Sports entrepreneur jumps into the deep end
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Sports entrepreneur Simon Joyce has literally jumped into the deep end with his latest career move after topping his University of Adelaide MBA Strategy course in Hong Kong.
The 36-year-old has been appointed General Manager of Hong Kong's premier swim school, Harry Wright International, with a mandate to turn the business into a multi-million dollar operation.
Mr Joyce completed his MBA in December and will graduate at an offshore ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong today with 70 other students.
He will be awarded the Hong Kong Institute of Housing Strategic Management Prize after achieving a distinction for his studies.
Senior lecturer Dr Georges Baume described the former physical education teacher as "an enthusiastic, diligent and interested student".
"Simon's interest in strategy, together with his ability to draw on his managerial experience, made him the stand-out candidate in that course. He was instrumental in raising the standard of class discussion and he had a pivotal role in helping his group reach and achieve a very strong performance in the Group Project," Dr Baume said.
Mr Joyce has spent the past decade at the helm of Hong Kong's largest sports services company within the English Schools Foundation, which educates more than 12,000 students of more than 50 different nationalities. In that time he has driven sales from HK$0.8 million to HK$23.6 million per annum.
He initially moved to Hong Kong in 1993 for a one-year contract, but 15 years later he is firmly entrenched in the territory, with no plans to leave in the near future.
The Armidale-born entrepreneur embarked on a career as a physical education teacher on leaving university before combining his business acumen with his interest in sports to make his mark in the commercial world.
His forte has been to turn struggling sporting companies into highly profitable enterprises.
Mr Joyce's MBA will be put to good use in his new job.
"Harry Wright International specialises in learn-to-swim and competitive swim training," he said. "The business was established in 1976 and has a very good reputation throughout Asia. However, in 2001 the founder passed away, leaving the company without his leadership. My job is to focus direction and build a solid foundation for future growth."