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For this assignment I chose to interview Mr. Robert Kung who is the manager of a famous Taiwanese bakery called 85°C Bakery Café. His store is located in Newark; despite the fact that this place has just been opened, it attracted public attention. To prove this fact, one can look at long queues of customers who stand for a long time to get bread they want. Moreover, at the day of opening, it took more than an hour to check the bill. Robert Kung is an ethnic entrepreneur due to his race, which is evident from the first sight. From the first minutes of communication with Mr. Kung, one can assume that he is from Taiwan, judging by the language he speaks. I selected this category because it is of great interest for me since I also come from Taiwan and I am, at the same time, interested in the food and beverage sector as my future specialization. By conducting the interview with Mr. Kung, I hope to learn more about the entrepreneurial perspectives for a person of Chinese origin in America.
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Profile of an Entrepreneur
Speaking about Mr. Robert Kung, one can notice at once his Taiwanese origin. Robert is 27 and has already completed his second year of graduate school, and while in college, his major was business. Interestingly, Mr. Kung did not receive any specific training in business and finance. It was only when he reached the undergraduate level that Mr. Kung got the “basics in business management experiences.” Evidently, Robert Kung has a degree in business management (MBA), and his knowledge in this area is at the sufficient level in order to be able to establish and run a business successfully. Robert Kung comes from an entrepreneurial family. Before starting his business, Mr. Kung used to work at his father’s “large plantation of cotton” while he was in his undergraduate level; his duties included the preparation of financial documentation for the farm. As a result, this experience allowed Mr. Kung to develop and broaden his skills, in particular, in the field of management. It was when Robert Kung received his hands-on experience in business management, evidently, under the supervision of his father. His mother worked as a secretary and receptionist in a hotel, but now she is a “manager of cotton farm in Scotland” working for the wellness of the family business. However, Mr. Kung did not choose to follow in his father’s footsteps and opened his business in the other area, namely food and beverages sector. The reason for such choice was his interest in “and a high link with investing and working as a manager of a large business” as well as the book that he read devoted to “investing in fast food and market changes in the global economy.” Consequently, these two factors were the greatest inspirations for Mr. Kung when he decided to invest into a particular café. Mr. Kung made his first entrepreneurial attempts in the early age, at the undergraduate level. His father was the person who motivated him to move forward when he gave useful “tips and promised to support.” The other factor that motivated Kung to start his business in his youth was “an urge of investing in the business in order to cope and compete with other entrepreneurs” (Kung, 2014).
Entrepreneurial Venture Profile
I visited Mr. Kung’s entrepreneurship in late January; he warmly welcomed me to the café and introduced me to different workers while showing the place. I should say that I felt very comfortable in this place during the two days of the interview. Despite the fact that Mr. Kung’s business is rather prosperous, which means he is always busy, the manager of the café found enough time for me to conduct the interview in full. Mr. Kung has been working as a manager in this café for half a year. Mr. Kung’s business is rather small, but usually there are a lot of clients since the place is very popular, especially among students. Employees work full time with one weekend. Naturally, Mr. Kung did not want to disclose the financial information concerning the annual turnover of his business, but it seems to me that the café is very profitable as it was crammed with people and there were queues of those who came for takeaway food and beverages. The idea to start a café came to Mr. Kung rather suddenly as his family business is located in the other niche. I think he followed his interest and wanted to overcome the challenge of competition existing in food and beverages sector. Based on Kung’s education and experience in his father’s business, it is reasonable to assert that Mr. Kung felt prepared to establish his own business. However, there were several challenges that included financial difficulties and the fear of failing the investment plan. Moreover, Mr. Kung was unwilling to disclose financial information about the start-up sum and the origin of the money among others. Before starting a business, Mr. Kung did not have a well-established network; he had to hire employees based on their qualifications and willingness “to improve the quality of the products and… the services to our clients.” The venture’s innovation is the quality of products and approach to clients. In fact, innovation is not the key factor in this bakery, but the quality and client-oriented service are in the focus of the venture. The hurdles that Mr. Kung experienced were predominantly financial; thus, his determination and risk-taking are key factors of his success. In addition, Mr. Kung believes that interaction with other entrepreneurs allowed him to acquire new skills in café management. The future goals of the firm are related to preserving the popularity of the place on account of “consumer-oriented aids in maintaining goodwill with the customer” that add to the growth and demand for bakery products.
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