Binary University and Hejun Group CEO Training Program
Tan Sri Joseph Adaikalam is no stranger to the Malaysian education industry. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Binary University, and probably the only Indian origin head of a higher learning institution that has been granted the title ‘Tan Sri’, which was bestowed upon him just recently in September 2017.
We initially wanted to interview, Tan Sri Joseph about his interest in entrepreneurship, but being the visionary person he is, we ended finding more about Binary University’s recent collaboration with Beijing’s Hejun Group. Hejun Group is a recipient of the prestigious Best Business Model Award by the 21st Century Business Review Magazine in China.
Therefore, joining Tan Sri Joseph on this interview was Mr Dichang Xu, the Vice President of Hejun Group itself. They tell us more about the new joint project they’re working on, which they hope will benefit the community as a whole:
Binary’s Journey to Becoming an Entrepreneurship University
Tan Sri Joseph begins his side of the story by going back all the way to the founding of Binary University in the 1984. When they begin, all the other private institutions of learning were focused on offering as wide a selection of courses as possible.
However, Binary wanted to be different. They wanted to be a specialist institution that was focused on IT and Business. They also wanted to be industry relevant. One of the first steps to achieve this was by partnering with the world’s top six IT companies at that time, including IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, SAP, Lotus and Microsoft.
Even our name was new, and the word ‘Binary’ helped educate the public about the Binary code on which all computers function. So from the industry specialization came the birth of entrepreneurship. We actually found out that a large number of our alumni became bosses of their own companies and startups because they were trained to be so industry savvy right from the start.
Entrepreneurship at the time was such a new concept. Many people confused it with business studies. Business study is actually a subset of Entrepreneurship, which covers a lot more ground than just business. Binary had a hard time convincing the government that Malaysia needs an entrepreneurship University, but they eventually succeeded in becoming Malaysia’s first Entrepreneurship University in 2003.
Centres of Excellence
The values and topics of entrepreneurship is not just a marketing jargon for Binary University. It is incorporated into all the courses offered on campus. They also have two Centers of Excellence, the Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
Every country requires both business and social entrepreneurs, but Malaysia seems to be lagging behind on the number of Social Entrepreneurs so the Prime Minister has come up with the MAGIC program to produce more such entrepreneurs.
Social entrepreneurs differ from their business counterparts from the fact that profit maximization is not the priority. Instead, they focus on identifying a social problem and formulate business solutions for it. Of course, social entrepreneurs also make money from their projects, but that isn’t the main focus.
Our Centers of Excellence have been contributing to the social and business entrepreneurship blueprint of the country in recent years.
The first business is a management consulting, in which they are the biggest management consultant group in Asia with more than 1000 consultants working for them
Where Does Hejun Group Come in?
Hejun Group believes that they can help local Indian Entrepreneurs understand the Chinese market and thereby break through into the market.
Mr. Dichang Xu came all the way from Beijing and was thrilled to meet us and speak to us. He began by introducing what the Hejun Group did. Hejun Group was established in the year 2000 and they have three core businesses.
- Biggest Management Consulting Group in Asia
- Capital Investment
- Business Education
The first business is a management consulting, in which they are the biggest management consultant group in Asia with more than 1000 consultants working for them. They have served more than 5000 big name clients and these companies are some of the top 500 in the world, which also include government and private enterprises across various industries.
The second core business is in capital investment. In total, Hejun Group is now managing more than 10 billion RMB in funds. They are the largest shareholder in one of China’s biggest listed companies and secondary shareholders in several other listed companies too. They differ from other investment bodies as they also have business consultating skills coupled with their investment projects, which gives an added value to their clients.
Most investment opportunities come from our consulting clients, and after investing we also shift our consulting capacity into the client’s company. This model is called the ‘Capacity Added Investment Model’.
Hejun Group created this model and is the only one that practices it in China. Only when they can manage the investment well, do they undertake investing into a client’s company.After shifting their management capacity into the industry, these companies usually become very successful.
The third and final core business of the Hejun Group is in business education. Their business school is different from the other conventional business schools in other Chinese Universities. While other schools remain somewhat distant from industry players, Hejun’s business school has real life cases that the company itself has encountered that can be used as examples in the classroom.
Hejun business school is quite exclusive in that it recruits only the best students from Masters and PhD programs, as well as young industry leaders.
Therefore, when representatives of Hejun Group met Tan Sri Joseph, they felt that they were a good match for a collaborative project. Hejun Group believes that they can help local Indian Entrepreneurs understand the Chinese market and thereby break through into the market.
Helping Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs Break into China’s Market
In the last 30 years, Chinese companies have learned to break into the international market. They have learned a lot through their economic experience over the years and now the government of China is starting the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative to bring in more foreign entrepreneurs into China.
So, based on the OBOR initiative, Malaysian Indian entrepreneurs have an open door to enter the Chinese market as Malaysia is strategically located. China is now leading the globalization wave, just like Europe and America did in the past.
Binary University – Hejun Education’s CEO Program
This program marks the collaboration between Binary University and Hejun Education, one of the core businesses of the Hejun Group and is headed by Ms Mary Ding.
Among Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs, the main problem faced is access to China’s market. The second one is often the lack of capital. This program will help Indian entrepreneurs understand China’s market better and is tailored for SMEs but specifically for entrepreneurs who are already quite well established and are at the upper SME phase. Unfortunately, this program is not for the micro entrepreneurs.
It will be a two month program that will be conducted right here in the Binary Campus, as travelling to China will incur heavy costs and they want to make it accessible. It will be conducted over weekends, so that entrepreneurs can attend without affecting their work.
The program will be delivered by experts from China itself who understand the market best. The aim of the program is to allow entrepreneurs to upscale their businesses to a level that they’ve never imagined before.
Upper level SMEs need a real strategy to penetrate China’s market and not just depend on luck. In order to formulate an effective strategy, Malaysian Indian entrepreneurs need to be equipped with knowledge on China’s consumer culture, policies, geography and accessibility.
For the first round of training, Binary University is looking for a select group of 25 Indian entrepreneurs who will be carefully selected and must be willing to commit to the program. The program will be made affordable for these entrepreneurs and Tan Sri Joseph is even seeks a full government subsidy for the program but of course this is still pending negotiations.
Part of the program will be to match local Malaysian SMEs with a Chinese counterpart, so that more co-operations and collaborations can take place.
China’s Market is Open and Welcoming
According to Mr Xu, one of the ways to make good business decisions in China is to look at the country’s GDP. When China’s GDP first grew, the first products that were snapped up were electrical home appliances. Further growth grew the demand for cars, and when it reached an even higher GDP level, China began to spend more on vacations and education.
In the future, Mr Xu believes that advanced technology, environmental products, health services and the like will be in demand. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Hejun Education can share, and they’re looking forward to equipping local Indian Entrepreneurs with knowledge grown for decades of real market experience in China.