Combining Sweden with Hong Kong should foster a great startup environment. Sweden has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship and Hong Kong is regarded as a global startup hub. Hong Kong’s proximity to Shenzhen and integration to the Greater Bay Area has facilitated great prerequisites for startups in the city to flourish.
SwedCham HK has several interesting startup members and entrepreneurs with very different backgrounds. We aim to tell their stories and showcase their work. A series of articles under the name SwedCham Startup Insights will be published on our website. This week’s story is about Alex Wong, Managing Director at Konnet.
With over 30 years of Asia Pacific business development experience in the healthcare industry, Konnet’s Asia team connects buyers and sellers, facilitating sales of innovative technologies. They offer a broad range of services to help their partners maximize their business growth in the region. Konnet’s flexible business model is in line with both partners’ strategies and market conditions and assists both MedTech manufacturers and local distributors in achieving and enhancing a long-term and stable business partnership. They aim to accelerate the market entry of innovative MedTech solutions for the benefits of suppliers, distributors and most importantly the patients.
Konnet is a new member of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Alex Wong told us more about why they decided to become a member of SwedCham.
“Since my career in healthcare segment from 1990, I worked for several leading Swedish companies like Elekta, Getinge and Cellmark. I was inspired by their innovative ideas and ways of thinking. As a member of SwedCham, I believe that my company will benefit from the chamber’s network, support and exposure which are the essences for a successful start-up.”
Another interesting story related to Alex, SwedCham and Swedish startups draws us back to a previous Startup Insight article. Two years ago, Alex helped to introduce the innovative lighting company BrainLit to Hong Kong. BrainLit is now expanding in Hong Kong and beyond.
We sat down with Alex Wong and asked him some additional questions.
Why did you decide to set up Konnet in Hong Kong?
“First of all, I am a Hong Konger. Secondly, Hong Kong is well known as one of the most business-friendly places in the world and full of opportunities. It is the perfect place for any industry who wants to bridge the East and West”
Have you encountered any challenges when doing business in Hong Kong, compared to elsewhere?
“The business environment in Hong Kong has become more challenging in the past few years, due to the fact that the company’s political position and opinions are considered as one of the success factors. It may not be easily recognized for a foreign startup. However, we can tell the difference as a local entrepreneur.”
What do you find unique about Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area?
“At the moment, the uniqueness of Hong Kong is still our integrity of people, transparent system, the efficiency of work, etc. However, in my own opinion, those advantages will be slowly disappearing when Hong Kong loses its special status and becomes one of the tier one or two cities in the People’s Republic of China.”
Before finishing the interview, we asked Alex if he had any advice for new startups or businesses considering setting up in Hong Kong. He summarized it fairly easy!
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”