Ken Chu’s Haikou ‘golf mission possible’, he tells us how
Editor's note: Ken Chu, 38, is the new chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group and the son of David Chu, who founded the group in 1992.
When I graduated from the University of Western Ontario at the age of 21, the first thing my father said was: "Now that you've finished university, you need to enter the college of society, which is actual day-to-day life. You must work twice as hard: no pain no gain."
For 20 years, we've been writing a new history for China's golf development, from golf course one, two, all the way to 10 and now 22 courses. There is nobody that has done this in the world before – but my father did it. All these years he led his team to grow the golf and leisure industry in China.
My father has made many Chinese very proud and had been at the forefront of golf development. That is why he was known as "the father of golf" in China. I want to carry on his legacy to make golf more accessible and affordable to all.
With this in mind, we do not implement golf membership sales in Haikou; thus, the 10 golf courses in the Haikou resort are together positioned as the largest public golf facility in the world.
When my father passed away half a year ago, I told myself: "If you don't continue growing, then it'll be a standstill." My father developed the golf industry and invested in the tourism industry and residential community development. Apart from continuing to grow the three core businesses, I've also introduced three new businesses to the group: health tourism, commercial properties and brand export.
Society endorsed my father as a good businessman and a philanthropist. Now I want to prove to the world that he was a good father, too, by showing that he taught me well.
My interpretation of a good father is that you have to look at his next generation; if the second generation can reflect and hold the values that he always had and carry them forward, then that means he has taught his children well. My father has changed many people's lives, including mine. I want to inherit his vision to continue growing the company and to create more jobs for society.
Mission Hills employs 15,000 people. With my all new additional development, I foresee that there will be another 100,000 new jobs created in the near future.
I have two younger siblings who have not yet graduated from university. Now I have to play my father's role to make sure that they will also learn to be independent and teach them to be contributors.
My father's "candle spirit" has lighted many people's lives and brought comfort, happiness and improved the standard of living for many. At the end, he burned himself out. Maybe he has been overstretched.
To continue my father legacy, I must change the "candle spirit" to "LED spirit" because LED has a longer life span. I'm the earliest one to get to work every day in my company. For me, I don't see it as work: I see it as an opportunity to contribute to society.
How are you able to be part of making history? Many people have dreams but not everyone knows how to realize their dreams. When you wake up you've got two choices: Either you go back to sleep and dream or get up and follow your dream.
And what's more, vision without action is daydreaming and action without vision is a nightmare.
Ken Chu was talking to Zhao Huanxin.
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