AlphaSights in Hong Kong: Performance Through Diversity
Diversity In People
As a second generation Hong Konger, raised in Australia, you’d think that it would be hard to beat the diversity that I was exposed to in ‘the lucky country’ renowned for multiculturalism and social diversity. Wrong. When I joined AlphaSights’ Asia hub in Hong Kong almost two years ago, I found myself building a business alongside the most diverse group of people I’ve ever come across.
Walking through the office just now - we have 17 different passport holders speaking over 21 different languages and dialects. Do not be surprised to hear an Ecuadorian introducing our business in Spanish, while the ‘Great’ Dane next to him connects to a doctor in Osaka in Japanese. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong bred, ex-barrister, part-time krav maga instructor, is trying to set up an in-person meeting in Germany with his client in India; while the American-Born-Chinese Teach-For-China alumna is researching about makeup trends in South Korea. Not to mention, the three Caucasian colleagues who put my Mandarin to shame.
Apart from cultural diversity in Hong Kong, we have graduates from Biomedical Engineering to Accounting; from Anthropology to a recent hire who has a PhD in Place and Rurality in China. But what I am most impressed about is our ability to utilize our differences, language abilities and cultural awarenesses to work together and drive commercial performance.
Diversity In Work
You’ve heard this before about AlphaSights - “no two days are alike”. I work in the Client Protection Team - a global function responsible for helping clients to manage the risks associated with accessing external knowledge. Within this role, it involves policy writing and implementation, developing products and system functionality, raising awareness to internal and external stakeholders, while providing constant oversight and guidance on projects. Given this, there is no room for monotony or complacency.
Being based in Hong Kong which started off at around 15 employees and has grown threefold since I joined, it means that the office culture and attitude is still very much of a young, fast-growing company where often, you are exposed to different areas of the business beyond your job description. I am offered the opportunity, support and resources to do anything as long as there is a justifiable business need. As such, I have been involved with and started initiatives in recruiting, marketing, professional development, event management and business development. This exposure has benefited my personal development and performance as it has allowed me to identify my strengths and weaknesses and explore different aspects of a business.
Diversity in Approach
The cultural and language diversity in this region of the world also means that our business expansion in Asia is different to that of our sister offices. Creating one office in one location in Asia would never work in this region. As such, we’re expanding into other important cities, starting with Seoul this year.
My experience at AlphaSights has inspired me to think that this is what being a true global citizen is about - working alongside talent from different ethnicities and cultures to bridge knowledge gaps from East to West, West to East, and expand our business and impact one region at a time.
Chloe Lui joined AlphaSights in April of 2014 and serves as a Manager on our Client Protection team.