William Wang’s story is inspiring. Arriving in Australia with only $60 in his back pocket, he went on to study an MBA and build an extremely successful electrical cable business, without knowing much about cables at that time! He is now called upon to give interviews and speeches to academics, Government and TV stations. Thank you, William for sharing your story with us and we wish you all the best with your upcoming speeches.

1.You were recently interviewed by Shanghai TV station, What was this about?

The TV interview is for a segment called ‘1st Economy’. It looks at how Chinese overseas have survived, developed their business and mixed with the community. I am part of the third group of Chinese to arrive in Aus. The first was 500 years ago that would pass through Darwin on route to other South East Asian countries; the second was 160 years ago when Chinese came during the gold rush. We were the first group to arrive by plane and not by boat.

2. In June, you will be one of only two Chinese businessmen invited to deliver a speech at Government House, to the leaders of China and Australia as well as international academics. Tell us about this.

I have been asked to speak about my experience as a Chinese Businessman in Australia, about how I have been able to integrate into the community, the challenges I faced when I came to Australia.

3.How did you build up a successful business?

The Chinese Economic Reform resulted in a lot of deregulation & export was encouraged. There was a lot of private investment in manufacturing factories, so our business had access to state of the art technology and was able to develop high-quality cables such as fire grade, mining, and extra high voltage cables which are highly sought after. This combined with the mining boom and favourable commodity prices from 2006-2014 saw our business grow and really succeed.

4.How did you gain access to the high-quality Chinese manufacturers & why cables?

I came to Australia with USD$60, worked three jobs including weekends while doing my MBA in International Trade – Non-Conventional Trade (Barter & Counter trade), and at the same time supporting my wife and child. Non-commercial trade was similar to the ‘barter’ system. I worked with AWB and traded with countries such as China, and the soviet union. When I first started, it was initially a barter system, then moved to Letter of Credit as China had little US$. Wheat was traded for other commodities such as minerals. I dealt with a lot of machine tools, and when asked by China as to what commodity I would like to trade, I suggested Cables. As a result, I was given access to high-end manufacturers in China.

5. With no experience in cables you would have had some obstacles to overcome, what were some of them?

Cables come on large reels & when I got my first order for 100m, I had no way of unwinding the huge reel of cables that had been shipped from China or measuring the amount to cut. So I built a machine to unwind the cables. I used wood from Bunnings and bicycle wheels (from the bicycle I used to ride to university) and bought a motor to unwind the reel. I then developed an electronic device to attach to the cable to measure it as it was being unwound. (Please see image below).

6.The world is getting smaller, which industries do you believe will shine in years to come?

Infrastructure is the future. A lot of people in China have applied or are on their way to Australia and are looking to invest. Australia’s population was 16 million 30 years ago, it is now 24 million which is almost 50% increase, but infrastructure has not grown at same pace. Shanghai has the same population as Australia, but they have 13-15 underground subways, express railways, and highways. Melbourne has yet to see an express railway. Investing in Hospitals – nowadays even private health insurance can result in wait times and shared wards. There is a lot of catch-up opportunity.

7.You are also quite involved in the community, can you tell us more?

I am the honorary president of the Shanghai and Australian Business Association as well as the president of the Chinese Golf Association. I hear Brian McPhail loves his Golf; perhaps you can organise a game!

Click here for more information about World Wire Cables.