Nicholas Lai

Profile Image

Alumni Experience

As a former lawyer turned General Manager of a manufacturing solutions provider and founder of a tech start-up, Nicholas developed an innovative software enabling remote working and improving work-life balance. His efforts won him the Young Industrialist Awards of Hong Kong, making him one of the youngest recipients.
Batch Year

Student Story

Can you briefly share with us your background?
My name is Nicholas. I am an HKU MBA alumnus from the 2022 cohort. I’m currently a general manager of a manufacturing solution provider and also a founder of a tech startup. 

Why did you choose HKU MBA?
I transitioned my career from being a lawyer to becoming a business executive because I felt the need to learn more about business administration. That’s why I chose to pursue an MBA degree.I chose HKU because the teaching faculty and the career team are very helpful. They prioritise the best interests of the students and are highly accommodating when students have new ideas. 

Promoting Re-industrialisation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong re-industrialisation doesn’t mean bringing back traditional industries, but rather focuses on innovation and the development of new industries. In my line of work, I get to meet with a lot of factory owners in Hong Kong and China, and they tend to do things quite traditionally. They will have managers going to the Chinese factories on-site to make sure that everything works in order. During COVID, a lot of managers couldn’t be on-site, and it caused a lot of problems.

Going back to school, I also had the chance to speak with a lot of younger generations, and I realised that work-life balance is important to them. They may not want to work exclusively or for long hours in remote areas where factories are located. I had an idea of creating software that would directly and present operational data from the machines on the manager’s smartphone in real time.

Luckily I got into the iDendron SEED programme and I was able to develop my idea to a stage where I now have a prototype. And I’m in the process of going into the incubation programme. I hope that with this software, we are able to change how people work in manufacturing by digitalising traditional management methods to make them more user-friendly and to allow for working from home. Factories and Manufacturers can hire more young talents to work in the industry.

The Young Industrialist Awards of Hong Kong
The Young Industrialist Awards of Hong Kong was established by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries in 1988. I’m very blessed to be amongst one of the youngest awardees in the award’s 35 year history. I was awarded because the judging panel deemed that I had a contribution to Hong Kong reindustrialisation.

Through HKU MBA, I was able to meet with A lot of students as well as researchers at HKU. I hope to be able to bring industries closer with the world of academia and create synergies by facilitating more collaborations.