A Tale of Two Paths

3 February 2016

For most, it is enough to have one successful career, but Dr Saimond Ip’s (Croucher Scholarship 1993) adventurous spirit and drive have awarded him two successful career paths - one in business and one in youth outreach. 

After completing his PhD in Management Information Systems at the University of Cambridge, Ip joined McKinsey & Company, a leading management consulting firm with a focus on logistic and technology companies and strategic and operational issues. After spending six years at McKinsey, Ip’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to found a number of successful companies, including a graphic software developer, a mobile location technology vendor, and a multimedia company that was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The latest company that Ip founded is Oneport, which provides electronic services for the port and logistics community in Hong Kong and Southeast China. Before Oneport, logistics companies were required to fill out stacks of paperwork for every shipment. This paperwork was required to travel with the container, be passed on to the recipient, and finally submitted to the bank in order to complete the transaction.

This outdated process proved to be time consuming and prone to error, so with support from the Hong Kong International Terminals Limited, Modern Terminals Limited, and COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited, Oneport developed an electronic platform to handle the document filing and exchanges. The platform has reduced the typical turnaround time for transactions from a three to four day process to an almost instantaneous one, and with better accuracy.

Ip is passionate about sharing his vast knowledge of business and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, and has been teaching an MBA/EMBA course on entrepreneurship at the University of Hong Kong for the past seven years. He has also written a book on entrepreneurship and how to launch a startup company in Hong Kong. “Many entrepreneurship textbooks written in the U.S. focus on a later stage of business development, such as how to write a business plan. But what is critical, and missing in most textbooks, is the skill needed to transform a business idea into a successful product or service in the early stage of a startup. During this time, expertise in sales and the ability to find the right resources, for example; employees, suppliers, and funding, is far more important than developing a thorough business plan.” Ip explains.

Ip has also been active in youth coaching, starting out at a youth center while he was working at McKinsey. Since then, Ip has founded a new youth center with 500-600 active participants. The centre’s philosophy is to coach and mentor young adults early in junior high school, with a focus on leadership development. By the time they reach senior high school, the idea is that they will give back by coaching the next generation of youth.

Moving forward, Ip is looking to expand his own youth centre. Ip has also established a programme to teach over 50 churches in Hong Kong about youth coaching, and has written several books about youth coaching and ministry in Hong Kong.

Dr Saimond Ip received his PhD in Management Information Systems from Cambridge University, UK. He then worked as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, and has now founded several companies in Hong Kong.  

To view Saimond's personal  Croucher profile, please click here.