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Artificial Intelligence: This MBA’s Startup Is Revolutionizing The Supply Chain

For Florian Gamper, using artificial intelligence is the key to unlocking a more efficient business model

By  Robert Klecha

Mon Jun 26 2017

BusinessBecause
Florian Gamper is an MBA graduate from CUHK Business School who’s recent startup, Datacrag, is developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to streamline business decision-making.

With a background working in business intelligence and data management in Germany, when Florian was presented with the opportunity to work in Hong Kong in 2013 he thought, “why not!” Two suitcases packed, he was on his way for what he thought would be a one-year trip, but he’s since ended up making a life there.

Working in supply chain, Florian noticed that the methods used by companies were outdated. He wanted to make a change, but first he decided to pursue an MBA to get the skills necessary to launch his own startup.

After graduating with an MBA from CUHK in August 2016, he took the career leap and started up Datacrag.

How did the idea for Datacrag come about?

In my previous work experience in the supply chain, I had various clients with big company names. Across all of them I saw that they were not set up for fast or efficient decision making.

If a company wanted to make company-wide decisions, they would start large -scale business intelligence initiatives to extract the data from all the separate company departments. They’d then bring it together in a data warehouse and attempt to visualise it in reports to influence the decision makers.

This is very resource and time-intensive. On average, it takes about two years to complete and is always subject to miscommunication between the business and IT departments. I asked myself why companies still worked the same way as 25 years ago when there is new technology available that could be used for shortening this process.

How does Datacrag work?

We aim to abstract all the processes of a company and put them into a network that consists of notes and actions. Datacrag’s application reads all of this, maps it and automatically understands and updates the network so we can model the business and can create a systematic process that can make decisions. At the moment, we’re starting with the core supply chain, but hope to develop it over time so that it can address any part of a company.

With this network in place, all elements of the company will be connected and the time is lost is minimal. A real-life example could be stores communicating with factories. The store says we need a product and the factory tells them if they can or can’t produce it and the network can adjust instantaneously.

Why did you choose CUHK for your MBA?

For me, it only made sense to go to one of the big-name schools. You have to take a year out of work, so the reputation, internationally-recognised degree and increase in salary after graduation made CUHK worth the time out.

CUHK had the reputation, exceptional tutors and the classes that were most appealing to me. It also had the biggest alumni network, which I felt was important.

How did the CUHK MBA help you on your entrepreneurial journey?

Overall, the degree helped me develop the courage to start the company and gave me valuable insight into funding and Hong Kong’s startup culture.

A useful part of the MBA was the inside information on funding and schemes for entrepreneurship in Hong Kong. You cannot find this online; it’s not well documented. Professors who have been involved in entrepreneurship were a great help. One famous professor, Wilton Chau, started two of the main government funding schemes. Knowing about these was vital.

We’ve actually just gone through a seven-month application process for funding and are most likely going to be granted 2 million HKD in equity-free support.

I also got to learn about the startup locations in Hong Kong such as the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Cyber Port. These are like a miniature Silicon Valley. We are now integrated into the Science Park. We have three years here rent free and with subsidised utilities. With rent normally high in Hong Kong, this is a great opportunity.

What’s your advice for anyone considering an MBA?

It’s not about the grade; it’s about really learning something. Don’t do it just for the degree. Make sure you pick up and learn information that is relevant to you. You need to consider the MBA and what you want to get out of it.

Another big part of the MBA is about networking, so that you can contact other MBAs in the future and do business together. Do things with the other students that will be good contacts in future. I’m close to and in touch with some of the grads from my year and we push each other to develop and innovate.

Student Reviews

CUHK MBA

Student

Verified

23/09/2022

Blended

One of a kind

I studied Bioinformatics at CUHK last year. It was the only Master's degree in Hong Kong in this field. This program developed my analytical skills and equipped me to be a Bioinformatician in a very practical way. I enjoyed my year here and met classmates from different parts of the world. If you are thinking to enhance your profile, this degree program would be a good option.

Student

Verified

19/11/2021

On Campus

general education courses, unique college system, large campus

The university facilitates multi-dimension and interdisciplinary learning. In social science faculty, we need to choose courses as our faculty package from other departments (architecture, psychology, sociology, etc.) to learn more than our major required courses. We are also required to finish general education courses, which aid our critical thinking and humanistic sensibilities. I do recommend the social science broad-based program, and the professors I met so far are all responsible and erudite.

Student

Verified

28/10/2017

LLM

The faculty of law is relatively new. You do not need to have a LLB to pursue a LLM, which is special. The taught programme is great for mature students who want to obtain legal knowledge. CUHK has good teaching staff too.

Student

Verified

20/10/2017

Amazing Campus and Great Educational Environment

Not only is CUHK's main campus breathtaking, it provides for a good educational environment for students. The university is well-equipped with modern and up-to-date facilities to help students with their study. We have 8 libraries in total around the campus; one for media, one for architectural studies, the medical library and the law library. The Professors are always helpful and are happy to talk to students when needed. Moreover, the college system within the university brings forth the uniqueness of CUHK. Each student belongs to a different college, and in that students are able to meet different peoples from different countries and students from different faculties. I think CUHK provides for a well-rounded university life for all students.

Student

Verified

17/10/2017

exthrillating

One of the most down to earth places in HK. A great opportunity to learn and embody the local culture. Also had one the most beautiful campus in Hong Kong up on the hillside. Glad to have graduated here.

Student

Verified

5/10/2017

Innovative and Supportive

My university provided me with all the support I needed, and encouraged me to be up to date with all the new developments in the world. They also provided me with the incentive to excel at what I do, and they take much pride in my achievements. I have had a very rewarding university experience.

Student

Verified

2/10/2017

Small, New But Friendly Law School

To being with, I think the campus of CUHK is the best and the biggest in Hong Kong, with fresh air and trees everywhere. I am an undergraduate Law student at CUHK and I think the teaching here is great, with very friendly and nice professors and the new Lee Shau Kee Building. In terms of the courses offered by CUHK, as one of the largest universities in Hong Kong, CUHK is an all-rounded university, offering a wide range of courses to students. Students may take the introductory courses of discipline other than their own major, or even declare a minor. For law electives, due to the small amount of intake, the variety of law electives are not that huge. However, the Faculty is offering some international programmes, which can be treated as law electives, but at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to travel and know more about the legal system of another country. The career support from the Faculty of Law is also amazing. The Faculty will organise CV Sessions and talks on how to get an internship from law firms or mini-pupillage from barrister's chambers. Each student will also have a Distinguished Professional Mentor, which is a current legal profession, providing us with practical advices and updates of the legal field. Finally, from my personal experience, I think the students in CUHK are friendly and genuine. As Law students, competition is inevitable for grades, GPAs, vacation schemes and training contract. However, I think the competition in CUHK Law School is a positive one, in a sense that help us grow together, instead of fighting with each other no matter what. That is the biggest reason why I am having a very good time here in CUHK Law School.

Student

Verified

30/09/2017

A place to explore your interests

As a law graduate from CUHK (both undergrad and post-grad), I realise that I had many opportunities to explore my areas of interests (legal and non-legal both). The faculty/university requires us to take a certain number of non-law electives, and offers a plethora of courses to choose from. Personally, I took 3 modules in Korean --I can't say it's made me highly proficient, but it's definitely given me a good foundation (I can walk into a Korean restaurant and confidently order food, at the very least). The fact that language courses are offered also provides students who are more financially constrained an opportunity to learn a language without having to shell out a premium for a decent language course. On top of that, we have a range of law electives as well. I know of classmates who have developed lasting interest in different areas of law because of the electives they took in school. The two electives that I would say have changed me is (i) mooting and (ii) family law. I think my experience in an international commercial arbitration moot competition has helped tremendously in formulating legal arguments and legal writing. On the other hand, taking a family law elective has made me very interested in the family law practice, especially in terms of child rights. For these experiences which I have gained, I'm grateful for the opportunities provided by the school. One main issue most students I know have is with the way our GPA is calculated and the lack of transparency in terms of how the honours system works. As our GPA is marked on a curve. it's highly unrepresentative of what we have achieved as individuals. Given that our GPA is the only criteria that is looked at when we apply for the compulsory post-graduate law course (mandatory should we want to practise law and/or be trainees in Hong Kong), it will put our own students at a distinct disadvantage when we compete for limited spaces with students from schools where GPA is not on a bell curve.

Student

Verified

27/06/2022

On Campus

Valuable time in CUHK

I like the learning environment and people at CUHK. Surrounded by hills and Tolo Harbour, CUHK provides a balance between nature and hustle. You can always escape from the busy study life and meet your friend around the big campus for different activities.

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