Ever wish you could communicate in almost any language? How awesome would it be to be a ‘Citizen of the World?’ Today, we are spotlighting Dr. Mark Yong, Blume Global’s new addition to the Hong Kong office. Mark is truly a global citizen and his shining personality ensures he makes friends wherever he goes.
Mark, welcome to Blume Global! What is your current role?
Mark: I am the Managing Director for Asia-Pacific as well as the Director of Global Customer Operations. I work cross-functionally to ensure that we support our customers by providing excellent customer service wherever our customers are. I am also working on expanding the network, driving the sales effort and increasing Blume Global’s brand awareness in the Asia-Pacific region.
What were you doing before you joined Blume Global?
Mark: I spent the past 11 years at BMT Group, where I was responsible for increasing the business footprint focused on infrastructure and environmental service. Prior to that, I was at IAS, where I was the General Manager of Asia-Pacific and worked with Steve Dowse (our current SVP of Product Strategy). I also had various roles at INTTRA where I was the regional Sales Director, then Head of Global Operations, managing the operational hubs servicing the world, before being posted to Mumbai, to drive growth in South Asia. Whilst at Alibaba, my role was to build a shipping platform to facilitate online trade.
That’s quite the experience! Did you have to move around with your various job requirements?
Mark: Yes, I have moved quite a bit. I have lived in a total of seven different countries. But I have traveled to a total of 104 different countries!
Wow! So how many languages do you speak?
Mark: About 10. I don’t profess to be fluent in all, but I am confident that I can have a sensible conversation in English, Chinese (a few dialects), Bahasa (Malay and Indonesian), Vietnamese, German, French and Spanish. I also studied Russian, Polish and Italian. I always like to have a conversation with taxi drivers in every country I visit!
That’s amazing! Tell us more about your upbringing and what brought you to where you are…
Mark: I was born in the UK, but my parents are Malaysian. We moved back to Malaysia at some point so I could attend grade school, and then moved back to the UK for my secondary education where I attended the University of Liverpool and the University of Oxford to study molecular biology.
That’s right, you have a PhD in gene cloning. That’s impressive!
Mark: Thank you! I was always very fascinated by how the human body works and how we were created. I studied molecular biology (DNA) to satisfy my curiosity.
What made you switch your career to the supply chain industry?
Mark: After I got my PhD and worked in research, I realized it was a very lonely world. In scientific labs, everyone worked individually on their own research and that was not at all my personality. I am an extrovert who loves to be around other people all the time. One day at a career fair, I came up to a global shipping line booth and started asking questions about containers and what goes on a ship, etc. They encouraged me to apply for a job with them and that was how I started my career in supply chain.
Besides working, what do you like to do?
Mark: I love to travel. I also try to swim every day and I love to take pictures. I also spend some of my free time doing charity work as a business mentor in Hong Kong, supporting startups who are investing in community work to help the environment and developing technology assistance for seniors.
Do you have a life motto?
Mark: Yes! Surround yourself with great friends and family, and everything else will follow!