Ashlee Chin is the chief operations officer of K.C Consulting, a specialist Asian marketing and channel development agency, and is also the head of events for the Irish Chinese Society Galway, a non-profit organisation in the West of Ireland.
In her role as COO, Ashlee helps companies of all sizes to plan and implement their Asian marketing projects by assessing new Asian markets and improving their Asian marketing presence.
Ashlee was nominated for JCI Galway’s ‘Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award’ in 2017 and also worked with a number of large corporate brands. Here she talks to ThinkBusiness.
What is the Irish Chinese Society Galway?
The Irish Chinese Society Galway was founded in 2011 and it’s a non-profit organisation, open to Chinese people, as well as Irish and other ethnic communities. It aims to protect the rights of Chinese people in Galway, to enrich the cultural life of the overseas Chinese, and to preserve Chinese culture and traditions among the Chinese in Galway, especially among the younger generation. The Irish Chinese Society Galway also seeks to help the Chinese community integrate into Irish society and help the Irish people learn more about Chinese culture.
“I believe there are massive opportunities for trade between Ireland and China.”
What would be a typical day for you?
A typical day for me would start at 5:30 am where I wake up to talk to my boyfriend who is currently working as a lawyer in Hong Kong. I would then get ready to go for a jog near the River Corrib around 6.30 am. I usually start work around 8 am. A lot of my work involves liaising with clients face-to-face, as well as Skype and phone calls or emails to discuss contract terms between different parties. I have to travel a lot to Dublin, London, Hong Kong and China to meet with clients. My day in the office finishes at around 5 pm and I will have to get back to emails/calls during the evening as I work with clients in the Far East and they are eight hours ahead.
“The One Belt One Road Initiative, introduced by the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping in 2013, is designed to economically link Europe to China.”
What are you most passionate about?
I really enjoy volunteering with Online Marketing in Galway (OMIG) and The Irish Chinese Society Galway. Jogging in the morning or evening whenever I get a chance to. I also like to cook traditional Chinese cuisine and baking chocolate brownies and cakes for friends and family.
“With the uncertainty of Brexit, many Chinese companies will look at relocating their offices to cities like Dublin.”
What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to become an owner/partner for a trade consulting firm. I know the hard work involved in achieving this goal but that’s not going to stop me from working hard, learning everything I can and contributing to the company’s success where I will become influential in international trade consultancy. I am going to work towards this goal throughout my career.
“I’d like to see more Irish companies realise the massive opportunities that exist by doing business with China.”
What trends do you see emerging in the future?
The One Belt One Road Initiative, introduced by the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping in 2013, is designed to economically link Europe to China through countries across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean. This initiative is a foreign policy and economic strategy. I believe there are massive opportunities for trade between Ireland and China in the areas of agri-food, medical devices, project management, fintech, aviation leasing, and the high-tech industry. With the uncertainty of Brexit, many Chinese companies will look at relocating their offices to cities like Dublin. The awareness of Ireland is increasing among Chinese investors. Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Scheme, for example, saw a massive 500% spike in applications last year, driven by a surge in demand from Chinese nationals.
What you’d like to see more of?
I’d like to see more Irish companies realise the massive opportunities that exist by doing business with China. In conjunction with this, I would like to see the Irish government help businesses increase their exports and services to China. I would also like to see more female entrepreneurs at competitions like IBYE (Irish Best Young Entrepreneurs) and the various Startup Weekends. It is so important to support young female entrepreneurs.
“In business, I admire Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) – her book ‘Lean In’ is terrific. It’s not a comfortable read.”
What drives you?
I have a desire to be successful and to help others achieve bigger goals. I think it is important to be passionate about your job, so it doesn’t seem like work and then you will be willing to wake up at 5 am to get work done.
Who do you admire in business/innovation?
In business, I admire Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) – her book ‘Lean In’ is terrific. It’s not a comfortable read because it confronts the fact that we still face many serious gender issues in both our work and personal lives.
From an innovation point of view, I think we’ll all be better off if we’re getting great ideas executed by everyone, regardless of gender, race, or country of origin.