Rags To Riches

Unlike westerners where the Nouveau Riche or "newly rich" are looked down on, these people who have weathered poverty to climb up to their present lofty status are looked up on and emulated. The story of Li K Shing of Hong Kong is a modern tale of rags to riches. He is considered the richest person of Chinese descent in the world.

His father died when he was fifteen, forcing him to stop schooling and take on a job in a plastics factory to support his family. He worked long hours but also learned what he could. Later, his first business venture would be a plastics factory. He became a leading supplier of plastic flowers through which me made a fortune. He was later asked if he considered himself lucky. He said: "No, I wasn't lucky. I worked hard to achieve the goals I set for myself."

He later expanded his business to include real estate, when he was forced to buy property because he wasn't able to renew his lease for his company. He was able to buy parcels of land at low prices during the late sixties as the riots during the Cultural Revolution triggered plummeting property prices. This started his foothold in Real Estate, for which he is most known for.

He continued to expand by acquiring Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited.

Through it all, he was also known as a philanthropist, pledging to donate one-third of his fortune to charity.