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Asia: business hub for students

22 May 2019

Entrepreneurship doesn’t all revolve around Silicon Valley in the US. Some new “places to be” are emerging on the world stage and on the Asian Continent in particular. Lamia Hassene and Bertrand Del Grande, currently on an internship in Hong Kong, have both studied at SABS (Shenzhen Audencia Business School), a favourable environment for inspiring them to start their own company.

For his part, Bertrand has managed to spot a gap in the market for dairy products:

In Asia, there’s a deep distrust of locally produced brands, especially following the infant milk scandal which affected the sector around ten years ago. My goal is to create and establish a “made in France” brand of milk for the Asian market.

The 23-year-old is starting his entrepreneurial venture in Hong Kong, before breaking into the markets in Taiwan or Singapore, performance permitting.

"As one of our Audencia professors used to say, things can move fast in this region: the number of investors almost outweighs the number of projects up for funding. It’s just a case of spotting the right opportunities."

As for Lamia, she has gone into producing organic cosmetics which are made from natural Moroccan products. The official unveiling of her “Kernel” brand is in two months’ time.

The products will be available on an e-commerce website and also in pop-up stores in Hong Kong: it’s a great place to start up,” Lamia tells us. There are so many places out here to get new products out, like the exhibition centre or at the airport for instance. They do everything they can to encourage enterprise.

And so, this young woman has jumped right into this extremely buoyant market:

The Chinese have very little confidence in the cosmetics which their own brands produce. In Hong Kong droves of potential customers come along every week-end to discover all the new products.

With this former British territory constituting a real cosmetics “hub”, at a later stage China stands to become her patch to canvass for hot new business.   

Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor

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