Rubio Chan is breaking down cultural stereotypes through his insightful tours throughout Asia.
What’s your story?
4 years ago, I went to North Korea and found that people there are not at all like the media portrays them. They are simple, nice and helpful. This made me realise that travelling can break stereotypes if you are eager to step into other cultures. This eventually drove me to quit my stable job with the Hong Kong government and found Eastern Vision; to bring local insights to travellers. The biggest feature of our tours is, we provide political, economic and social insights during the tours via meaningful sightseeing and meeting with interesting people, from journalists, politicians, local tribes leaders to monks. Our destinations include North Korea, Myanmar, Tibet etc.
What excites you most about your industry?
The opportunity of mixing tourism, journalism and education via curating tours that provide unique regional and global insights to young people is what is most exciting. Of course, working with often misunderstood people like North Koreans, Burmese, Middle Eastern people can always give you surprises too!
What’s your connection to Asia?
Born in Asia’s world city (Hong Kong) and developing tours to mostly Asian countries.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong. Safe, fast and efficient. Although English is widely spoken HK is still able to retain its unique local culture and Cantonese language, which keeps the place interesting. It may not be a big market but HK is surely the best place for testing your products because people here are sensitive to global trends.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Follow your instinct
Who inspires you?
Hong Kong and the people who are working hard to maintain Hong Kong for what it is.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Hiring is the most important thing in a start-up and I have been able to feel it in the process of managing people.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I started my business without a well-thought out business model. I would probably test it for a bit longer before officially starting things off to save the painful learning process.
How do you unwind?
Try to give a more detailed calculation before I make an important decision thereafter.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Pyongyang. This may sound unbelievable, but the fact that you have no internet in North Korea can set you free in some ways. Although on a national level I do not agree on information denial.
Everyone in business should read this book:
From Zero to One – Peter Thiel
Shameless plug for your business:
If you look for a tour that gives you political and cultural insights about the places without compromising the fun part of travelling, join us now! See www.easternvision.hk We welcome univeristies/instutions or private coprations to tailor-made tours.
How can people connect with you?
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>