In this episode, filmed at the Builders + Innovators Summit in Asia, Hillhouse Capital Founder and CEO Lei Zhang discusses the business landscape in Asia and his outlook on the future of entrepreneurship.
On choosing which entrepreneurs to back: “There are many great qualities to look for: persistence, smarts, teamwork orientation. But I would emphasize empathy and the ability to connect with people who are different from you. We see that great entrepreneurs will always have unbelievable empathy for their customers, their employees and even their competitors. The best entrepreneur does not necessarily view competitors as if it were some game, but they think about how the competitors together will nurture the market.”
On helping traditional businesses compete: “We look at a company and say, they actually have so many assets, including data, knowledge and people that they don’t necessarily view as assets. For example, every day, a company has over 100,000 employees servicing potentially 30 million customers and 100 million items being sold in 20,000 shops. We ask: how can we make the employees the best user interface and how do we use software to make the employees more productive and more helpful to consumers?”