Stay true, make changes and surprises await
“In every choice you make, there’s always a surprise awaiting,” said Vikey Chen (BBA Human Resources Management 2009), who is a testimony to her own saying in the past decade.
Going for an exchange in the US and ending up landing an internship there; enrolling in Microsoft’s “Business Manager on Campus” scheme and leading the team to win the “Best Team Award” out of 100 teams; studying at HKBU and finding the love of her life; turning from an HR middle management at Global 500 companies to a full time mom to an entrepreneur and creating Botto™: The Adjustable Container, a revolutionary food storage that won the “Oscar” of houseware in 2018.
“All of these are brought by my decisions to believe in my intuitions and do whatever I deem right despite all the traditional bindings,” Vikey recalled, “stay true to yourself is key.”
Go out, explore the world and create yours
At her early 30s, Vikey is now the co-founder of Botto Design, a startup in product design, dealership, licensing and startup consultancy. Its star product, Botto™: The Adjustable Container, achieved 940% funding on Kickstarter in 2018, was featured in major US media and is now available in 32 countries. Vikey attributed the success of her company to all the learning opportunities she had on and beyond campus during her university days.
“The one-year exchange in the US completely widened my horizon and changed my mindset,” said Vikey, “not only did I gain an internship at a multinational company unexpectedly, the experience also allowed me to understand the western culture from the inside out. This has helped me a lot in negotiating and doing business with overseas partners and dealers now.”
Shortly before she became an entrepreneur, Vikey quitted her middle-management job at Hang Seng Bank to be fully dedicated to her family as a new mother. To her surprise, this turned out to be the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey.
“I was in search of quality vacuum containers to keep food fresh for longer to cook for my family, as food waste problem has been nagging me ever since I become a full time mom!” Unfortunately, what was available in the market back then could not meet Vikey’s standard. Always a ‘doer’ than a ‘dreamer’, Vikey ventured to design and create her own, and the rest is history.
Plant the seeds and let it bloom
Being a HR, a mother and a woman boss at the same time, Vikey is well aware of the importance of communicating and managing with empathetic understanding. This has all been down to the education she received over the years.
“When I was a student, I was deeply inspired by how we should do business ethically and responsibly,” Vikey said. As a family-oriented person, Vikey feels with her employees, especially those who are working parents. For her, no business is too small to contribute to society and inspire changes.
“My company has been adopting family-friendly policies like flexible working hours and home office, so that our employees can better manage both their family and career. We also try to create more part-time jobs so that stay-at-home moms can partly get back to the workplace while taking care of family. We are also very eager to share our startup experience whenever people come to us for advice, so that they can learn from our mistakes and take less meandering routes.”
With the star product becoming an instant hit on Kickstarter and beyond, Vikey is often invited to share their entrepreneurial story and design concepts behind.
Vikey was impressed by the strong bonding and the supportive spirit of the School’s alumni when she was conducting her final year project. 10 years after graduation, Vikey and her classmates still maintain a close relationship and just had a reunion with teachers recently.