Asian subcontinent gave the world some of its most prolific business leaders and entrepreneurs. However, very few make it to the zenith of success fighting poverty and a myriad of barriers. One such visionary and leader is Li Ka Shing. Without a strong financial background or adequate education, he managed to become one of the top business leaders in the world.
Li Ka-Shing is the 11th Richest Person worldwide and Asia’s Richest Person. Through the Cheung Kong Group and Hutchison Whampoa Limited, he runs a business empire that is spread in 54 countries. His business has diversified into sectors like cement production, real estate, banking and steel production.
Here’s his life success story.
Li Ka-Shing was born in the south eastern coastal city of Chiu Chow, China. At the early age, Li moved south and relocated in Hong Kong, as the Japanese had started bombing the city of Chaozhou as part of their strategy to overcome the Chinese.
Shortly after the arrival of Li in Hong Kong his father was diagnosed with tuberculosis, Li would swap those books for medical studies on the disease which caused unnecessary pain in his childhood, which did affected him.
After the death of Li’s father, Li had to leave his education to work full time in a watchstrap factory to support his remaining family. Li was driven to learn as much as he could by reading second hand books every evening before he went to bed.
Thought for own business
Li knew that he had what it took to begin his own business, and trusted himself with all his life savings, even borrowing money from family members. Li wanted to set up the track for his own business.
Li started his own business by purchasing a small plastics factory in Hong Kong, and from many long hours of research decided that plastic flowers and other plant arrangements would provide the best profit as the demand for these products was reliable in overseas countries, especially Italy.
Li has a strict set of business ethics and personal morals that he places weight on, such as placing importance on trust, hard work, frugality, understanding risk and the power of knowledge. Li placed vast importance on his credibility with all business partners.
Li flew to Naples and Rome just to tour the plastic factories and to learn the methods of production. Li Ka–Shing’s companies reach into many homes all across the world from his constant opportunity spotting, and his “360 degree” vision.
While Cheung Kong Industries was growing exponentially, Li acquired Hutchison Whampoa Limited after a deal with HSBC. It led to the creation of a massive conglomerate with business spreading into various sectors. Later, he focused on investing in top container port facilities in many countries.
Li Ka Shing donated a huge amount to Singapore Management University after which The Li Ka Shing Library was named after to show honor towards him. He also contributed for Indian Ocean Earth Quake.
Businessmen must move with the times. The correlation between knowledge and business, as the key to success, is closer than ever. Vision is perhaps our greatest strength. It has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries; it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.