CHINA / Top News

Tycoons share insights on leadership
By Jiao Xiaoyang
Updated: 2006-04-22 06:15

BOAO, Hainan Province: Rich people tend to be the focus of attention whatever they do, and this is particularly true of the young rich.

So the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia held a 21st Century Leaders Roundtable on Friday and invited many of China's most successful young entrepreneurs.

They included Robin Li, Huang Guangyu and Pan Gang, who were there to reveal their success stories and to give an insight into what makes a good leader.

It was the first time the forum, an annual gathering to discuss business issues, had opened a special session for young business leaders.

Most of the young billionaires attributed their success to passion and perseverance, despite popular belief that their success came quickly.

"Over the past six years I've had many difficulties," said Robin Li, CEO of the online search engine "But I never lost my passion."

Baidu now has links to 1.2 billion Chinese web pages, he said. The 38-year-old Li founded the Chinese equivalent of Google and Yahoo six years ago.

Aside from pursuing more business success, the young tycoons also talked about social responsibility.

"Speculation and seeking short-term interests do not make great business," said Huang Guangyu, chairman of Gome Electrical Appliances, China's top appliance retailer.

"Incorporating business goals into overall social development is the right path for a company to take," he said.

Huang, 37, started his business venture when he was 17 with 4,000 yuan (US$380) in his pocket. Today his Gome chain has more than 460 outlets countrywide. Gome's listing in Hong Kong in 2004 made him a billionaire.

Pan Gang, president of Yili Group, one of the country's leading dairy producers, said being a young leader means more than just handling a business.

"Leadership requires strategic thinking and foresight, whereas business management is about details," he said.