Relighting the fire
Serious family financial difficulties prevented Danny Cheung from ever finishing his bachelor's degree. Instead, he was forced to drop out of university in England at the age of 21 and find a job. He began his career in the supply-chain sector, starting in product development and sourcing, before progressing on to distribution, retail, brand-building and retail licensing.
After more than 15 years in senior-management positions in large companies such as Walt Disney and Li & Fung, he decided to start his own consultancy in 2005. He is now CEO and head of licensing at Smiley Company, a French fashion and lifestyle brand with headquarters in London.
Cheung is a graduate of OneMBA, the Chinese University of Hong Kong's global Executive MBA programme. He also has a master's degree in media management from the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Why did you pursue an MBA?
By my late 30s, corporate work had become a bit boring. I didn't really have a meaningful life, it was just work. So I decided to go back to school and the OneMBA programme came to my attention.
Why did you choose OneMBA?
I was travelling a lot and didn't want to stop that. The OneMBA programme combines five schools from different universities around the world. Its structure is very diversified and it allowed me to meet classmates from different schools every six months.
After graduating in 2005, I am still in close contact with the local and overseas alumni. They are key to opening up overseas markets for my business with market knowledge and networks.
What was the reaction of those around you to your study?
Interestingly, I was challenged as to why I had to 'trade' so many personal interests for my study. Yet soon everyone realised by seeing what I was achieving and the satisfaction I was getting.
Although the number of social gatherings I attended decreased, they became more precious and of better quality. The new relationships formed with local classmates are also amazing. They have become new friends and have enhanced my social scope.