Chen Di, CEO of YouMi: Red Dragon rising!

Despite the global a priori about China’s economy being closed and its iron-fisted state-run system jeopardising its successful emergence into the global business landscape, the reality paints quite a different picture. There is a growing number of Chinese mobile internet firms that are venturing overseas. Among them, the 29 year-old founder and CEO of YouMi – a Chinese Mobile Advertising Network, Mr. Chen Di, is currently blazing the trail for this new wave of China’s entrepreneurial disruptors.

Entrepreneurial Disruptor

By age 26, Chen Di was already spotted by Forbes China as one of the most promising Chinese entrepreneurs to follow. As a teenager, he had toyed with the idea of real estate, then considered finance or technology, but finally decided on a mobile application advertising company. Then in 2009, together with a few fellow students from South China University of Technology, Chen founded YouMi, and has never looked back. If I failed to do something big in my fourth year at the university, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my teammates who studied at prestigious universities, Chen told China Daily USA. YouMi was one of the first mobile advertising platforms in China, and two years after its official launch, it really took off thanks to an angel investment of about 10 million yuan. YouMi expected its revenue to grow to between 80 million yuan and 100 million yuan—and that’s only for 2015!

Conquest of the West

Over the past two decades, an unprecedented explosion of entrepreneurism has transformed the land of what seemed to be a sleeping dragon into a vibrant global business hub. From the renowned e-commerce giant, Alibaba, to the lesser known Baidu, Tencent, YouMi, and Xiaomi, these companies are getting ready to take on the global markets…and earn a recognized place in the global economy. YouMi, one of the industry’s top three Chinese companies, drew the attention of internet industry players worldwide at last year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015) in Barcelona where they launched their newly developed global mobile ad platform Adxmi. Major players like Telefonica in Spain have already signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese mobile advertising platform giant, certainly ample proof that YouMi is ready for the big time!

YouMi’s products have been copied by more than 20 companies in China, but this worries Chen Di not a bit. He firmly believes that “You need to innovate constantly, launch new products in a timely manner and respond to the market.” Products in China are becoming more and more sophisticated, designed with locally developed technology, yet in complete compliance with global standards. While companies in the rest of the world wonder how they can access the fast-rising incomes of China’s 1.4 billion consumers, YouMi has already set sail to conquer the West!

Does Chen Di inspire you? Post your comments below!

Picture above: Courtesy of Forbes China


Thomas Farley, the Knight of Wall Street

With his Hollywood smile and suave good looks, he’s central casting for the next 007 espionage extravaganza. While you won’t find Thomas Farley outwitting international criminal masterminds anytime soon, you will find this intrepid 39-year-old at the helm of the NYSE.

Big Board’s New Champion

Farley who? You probably recognize his name from last year’s Fortunes 40 under 40 list when he was listed as one of the most influential young people in business.

Son of a retired federal judge and decorated Vietnam veteran, he is the second-youngest person in history to run the Big Board. An impressive resume for this former Georgetown University baseball player, nicknamed “Solid”, led up to his appointment: by his 30th birthday he was already head of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). During his tenure there, Tom completely transformed the former NYBOT (renamed ICE); by doubling the trading volumes the (now) ICE saw a six-fold rise in profits.

His new role might be undeniably daunting. Yet, despite a busy schedule, staying fit is vital for this WWE fan, whose early-morning workout group includes Olympic swimmers Conor Dwyer and Matt Targett, as well as the Australian actor Hugh Jackman!

Mission: Keeping the old man of Wall Street in the game!

Tom’s goal is to revitalize the entire institution by simplifying everything – from the NYSE’s trading systems to its office space and, most importantly, by reshaping its culture. “I told him I want our culture to be the one that survives,” to quote Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of ICE. Consequently, when Thomas Farley took control of the New York Stock Exchange, he didn’t only overhaul management, he immediately pushed to revamp its entire trading philosophy.

In a world where financial markets no longer need costly physical institutions to handle trades, reviving the 223-year-old icon of capitalism is no easy job! Seem like mission impossible? Not for Tom!

What do you think of Thomas W. Farley, the young President of NYSE Group? Does he inspire you?

Picture above: Courtesy of NYSE