100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

The H Hotel

CEO Hong Bibo

Message to young people
There are three things I would say to the young people:
1. Believe that your business is a brilliant one.
2. "Life is how you make it." You can create your own life. Try hard to draw a rainbow in a picture of life as you like it.
3. You may miss a chance given if you don’t make an effort. Do your best.

I was born into a large family. I had very good times in my childhood as I lived with many cousins and always played with them. I went to high school and university in Melbourne, Australia. I did various jobs; for example, I worked in a credit card company and was a server in a coffee shop in Chinatown while I was there. I had enough time and opportunities to think about my future, so my goal was getting into shape at that time. Studying abroad really affected me not only in academic learning, but in shaping my view of life, view of the world and future plan.

Upon graduation, I went backpacking around Europe alone. I was very surprised to see the diversity of hotels there in style and character. After I got back to China, I realized that the number of such hotels was very few in my country. So I wondered if I could introduce such a hotel culture to China. Then I started to study hotel management and research characteristic accommodations such as small country inns.

I decided to build a hotel in Shanghai where I owned property, as I thought it cost less and took less time as well compared with starting from nothing. I drew up an investment plan that explained a prospective return on investment and the market to my relatives ― investors. Then I gained their investments.

Of course, I faced many difficulties in the process of building up my business. I hired an interior designer for my property as it did not have any. In China, a payment for designing is not so expensive but the whole cost would jump once the work is executed, due to kickbacks for contractors. As I was not happy with that system, I asked for the designer to just create a design and that I would find a contractor by myself for the renovations. The designer said yes at first, but did not provide the plans even after the work started. I begged the designer again and again to bring the plans because the renovations could not be processed without it. Since I never got the plans, I fired the designer and decided to design a plan by myself. I realized that my management skills were not yet good enough through that incident.

I think people in China should experience different cultures more, so I would like to provide such opportunities for them. Our hotels are not only accommodations for sleeping; people can feel new lore and cultures staying there. I will open our hotels in major tourist sites at least and then expand the chain all over China to make my dream come true.

Company Profile

The H Hotel
about 40
Hotel management