Pakpoom Vallisuta presenting during the 2015 Duke University Asia Business Conference
Pakpoom Vallisuta is chairman of The Quant Group, a leading investment bank based in Thailand with a specific focus in mergers and acquisitions. Pakpoom spent the first five years of his career as a computer engineer and the last 27 years in investment banking, including almost 20 years with The Quant Group since he founded the company. He has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors and East Asia Regional Advisory Board.
Pakpoom discusses his career journey, the state of the finance industry in Asia and what he looks for in new talent in this Fuqua Q&A.
Tom Zhu, president of Tesla’s operations in China
Tom Zhu has gained expertise managing large international projects during his career—skills he now utilizes at Tesla Motors in China. He joined the company in early 2014 to lead the team that builds the network of car charging stations across the country. At the end of the year he was named general manager—assuming operational leadership of the company in China.
Prior to Tesla, he worked at Kaibo International, a construction project management firm, where he held several roles and ultimately led business development and the investment division of the company. In addition to East Asia he consulted on projects in Africa and New Zealand.
Zhu graduated from the Daytime MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He shared his industry and leadership insights in a Fuqua Q&A.
Q) Can you provide some context on the Chinese automobile market that has seen unprecedented growth over the last 10 years?
The development of China’s car industry is closely related to China’s demand. In the last 10 years, China rapidly increased its rate of purchasing vehicles. To date, an inventory of 155 million private vehicles has been reached throughout the country, and that increases by 20 to 23 million each year. Therefore, China has already become the most important vehicle market in the world, both in terms of the import and domestic automotive brands—and the competition is white-hot.
Panelists (left to right) Professor David Robinson, Jonathan Zhu, Zou Fei, David Zhang and Jeffery Li
The Duke International Finance Forum featured one heavy hitter after another.
Billionaire private equity fund managers. Academics. Executives from global firms and growing Chinese corporations. They all gathered at Duke Kunshan University near Shanghai on the last weekend in April to discuss the rapidly-changing environment for cross-border investment in China and beyond.
“We need to adapt to the change of the times,” said Gao Xiqing, former president of China Investment Corporation, which manages more than $500 billion of China’s foreign currency reserves. Gao delivered the closing keynote for a weekend that featured a day of academic discussion and a day in which business leaders convened to offer their practitioners’ take on the present and future.
Our Fuqua East Asia regional team had a front row seat to listen to top thought leaders analyze China’s ‘New Normal’ of slowing economic growth.
We attended an American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shangahi) session led by Dr. Yukon Huang, senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment’s Asia Program and former World Bank country director for China. In addition, we participated in a session hosted by the Economist Group’s Corporate Network.
Speakers at the events looked at China through three lenses—foreign policy, finance and economics, and business. Here are 10 takeaways and impactful comments from the sessions:
By Shan Shan Zhao, a member of Fuqua’s East Asia regional team based in Shanghai.
When I reflect on the Duke-Caixin Global Leadership Forum, held in April in Beijing, I feel as though it happened yesterday. The planning required months of hard work and long hours, but was ultimately worth all the effort in part because of the lessons I was able to learn from the leaders who participated in the forum.
I am a member of Fuqua’s East Asia team based in Shanghai. One of our responsibilities is to invite business leaders to share their experiences and industry insights with our Cross Continent and Global Executive MBA students when they are studying in our region. I always tell my colleagues and friends that the most exciting and valuable aspect of this job is that you always have the opportunity to meet with great leaders, listen to their interesting stories, and get inspiration from their wisdom. Of course, each leader takes his or her particular path to success and it’s impossible to duplicate any single one, but the stories always make me realize that each quest is unique.
Here are the key insights I took away from two of the speakers at the forum:
Jesse Wu is chairman of Johnson & Johnson China. He has worked at the company for 25 years and is a graduate of the Fuqua School of Business. Wu was born in Taiwan and spent most of his career in emerging markets.
At the forum, Wu shared that being a leader of consequence on a global scale requires three things: