Let’s cheer for CHEERS!
Ten teams each consisting of four members each from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University business school’s program Generation. Next: Leadership Programme for The Future Leader of the 21st Century competed to develop sales channels for products made by deaf and disabled producers in Cambodia through the Hinrich Foundation’s Export Assistance Program Cambodia.
In February, a team of judges selected team three CHEERS as the winner of the competition.
Pictured from left: Alex Boome (Program Director of Hinrich Foundation), Inka Liu , Sheree Ho, Draco Wu, Bonnie Chung on the Final Competition Day at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University on 12 February 2015.
Cheer for the winning team CHEERS! On February 12, 2015, it was our great honor to stand on the “Generation.Next” Award Ceremony as the champion team.
Four months of effort eventually paid off. It is wonderful to review what we have gone through during this journey.
On January 13, CHEERS participated in the charity bazzar in Discovery Bay held by Handmade Hong Kong. We planned to conduct offline sales there because the site was near Discovery Bay North Plaza and high-class residential districts helping guarantee the flow of customers.
On that day, more than 100 booths were established to exhibit and promote diverse charitable products. To make our booth more outstanding, our teammate Sheere came up with the idea that we could attract our target customers (families with children) by giving out free colorful balloons with our paintings on it. And teammate Inka designed a logo for our team—CHEERS, to express a hearty and warm impression to all passers-by.
In practice, the idea worked amazingly well and successfully drew kids’ attention. Additionally, the cute, soft and colorful animal ornaments manufactured by disabled Cambodia artists also easily caught children’s eyes. It was a great fun to create a joyful atmosphere by “producing” balloons while promoting these charitable products.
Besides simple see-and-pay transactions, our CHEERS group came up with additional ideas to add more value to our products. We set up profiles telling passers-by the Cambodian manufacturer’s stories and explained the business model helped Cambodia disabled artists by offering sustainable jobs instead of high-price charity bazaar and single-direction donation.
As for online sales, WeChat really helped us a lot. We established a public platform on WeChat to continuously communicate our value and update our processes to potential customers. The WeChat platform contains multiple powerful social media functions, therefore we could produce articles and videos on it to present what CHEERS was, how we wanted to help Cambodian disabled artists and what our products were.
Since WeChat is widely used by mainland China residents, payment transfer became a challenge to our online sale due to additional transferring fees. To reduce the price and attract more customers, we finally discovered that WeChat online Transfer function, which generates zero transferring fee as long as the customer binds a debit card with his/her WeChat account. Eventually, WeChat online sales proved to be a great success which contributes nearly 50 percent of our total revenue.
Forever friends, forever CHEERS.
After undergoing fierce competition with the other teams presenting our work on February 12, we finally became the winners. We would like to say thank you to all other participating teams and to the panel judges. This was an excellent opportunity to test our potential and apply our innovative ideas to real business implementation.
Most importantly, the four of us gained friendship that will last forever through this process through sharing, discussing, arguing, laughing and sticking to our dreams. We really appreciate that the Hinrich Foundation, Dale Carnegie Training and PolyU Faculty of Business all provided us this chance to transform everyone in CHEERS into a better future leader.
About the Author – Chung Hau Ying (Bonnie)
About the Author – WU Yao (Draco)
About the Author – Liu Yunling (Inka)
About the Author – Ho Pui See (Sheere)