“Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, it is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create.” – Stephen M. R. Covey, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “The Speed of Trust”
Trust can be created, not only as it is written by Stephen, but Ray Chan, founder of Central Business Information Limited (CBI) share the same mission. From one small premise with 2 persons to today’s 280 employees in 5 offices across Hong Kong and China, Ray has been working with the same commitment of pursuing truth for his clients, by providing up-to-date and accurate business information – a truly pragmatic, tangible and actionable asset.
Those who have studied psychology undoubtedly have heard the saying that psychology major students end up not working as psychologists. It makes no exception to Ray, except he makes use of his knowledge to pursue his career. “It is pleasurable to study psychology but it does not get you a good job without further studies in master or even doctorate degree.” It took Ray some time to explore his career path and accumulated experience that lies the very foundation of his business today. Before having the idea of setting up an information search company, Ray worked as the chief editor of a local Chinese newspaper in Canada after his graduation and has started to come across with the whole operation, from editorial, content, design to sales and distribution. This experience prepared him to acquire concrete and practical business skillset that sets for this business today.
So what paves the way for CBI as today? “Combining my psychology knowledge and business skillset into a business is my aspiration since I returned to Hong Kong from Canada.” Ray set up a search company, one that primarily focused on local business information. “Being a successful researcher is more than just being capable of digging potential false information and analyzing data. Good interpersonal skills are valued as researchers rely on effective communications with stakeholders to elicit information.” Ray worked his hands on every aspect of his business, from sales, data search, to document courier, and even banking in cheques! Startup journey is usually not a straight line. He literally knocked every door to promote his business at the beginning, and was often rejected and inevitably faced shut doors. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Months of hardship was repaid as the first business deal came through the facsimile machine which still sits on Ray’s desk now, witnessing a not-to-be-forgotten moment in his life.
“There is an amazingly simple formula for my business – to be persistent with our utmost aim of providing truth to our clients, at all cost. The company might be delisted or wound-up with disastrous consequences if any fraud is found after listing, so every of our information and data are important to our customers and investors. This is the core value of our business and I will certainly uphold it and take no compromise.” Combining years of experience and dedication to find truth under the most unnoticeable minors, CBI is certified with ISO9001:2015 in recognition of its consistently exceptional quality of service.
While making prompt and on-the-spot decisions are common in a fast-paced society, CBI, on the other hand, aspires to pursue everything that lies beneath the surface. This is the foremost mission since its establishment in 1996. Over the years, CBI grew rapidly and set foot in China and global market. With increasingly frequent economic activities between Hong Kong and China, the business philosophy of “Integrity and Compliance” is getting deep rooted in Mainland. CBI saw the huge need for a credit industry and entered China market with the first China office established in 2009, then gradually set up 5 offices covering major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi’an. While the dedicated teams of local expertise in China have the access to a network of over 213 countries worldwide with unique China market information channels, CBI holds the unshakable belief of digging deep to find the truth behind walls.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of CBI. The spirit and the core values are as intact as it started, yet the company always stays on the cutting edge by offering service that is adaptive to evolving clients’ needs. A new Business Hub division is set up this year that serves as a bridge between research analysts, sales team and clients for seamless and effective communications.
In a tech-savvy era, leverage the digital tools along the customer journey puts the company in a competitive edge. “We see the need to cater to the digitally empowered customers, so we design a new interactive platform “CBI SKY” where clients and all other involved parties could manage a project under one single platform, providing services that includes project storage, concurrent editing, real-time chatroom, etc. This collaborative platform can be accessed anytime anywhere, which fits exactly the on-demand business world.”
Talent, is the key to a company’s success. To cater the growing business size, CBI recruits professionals from different areas to build an efficient workforce. “I have invited seasoned editors from top publications to join us in enhancing search results. New joiners also include professionals from corporate finance sector who understand the industry trend and standard, giving advice on producing the most relevant reports to customers.”
As an entrepreneur specializing in data and people management, Ray always puts his clients in top priority and entertain their requests. “I never say no to my clients. Whenever they come to us with new ideas and requests, we endeavor to explore and try every possible way to deliver. Stay adventurous to explore! Never settled!”. With this motto in mind, CBI persists in the process of repeatedly proving, validating and authenticating, until the “truth” is finally be revealed.
“Pursuing Truth, Building Trust”, denotes the essence of the company’s DNA that was crafted 20 years ago, and will continue to lead the way in the coming years.