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Philanthropic Frame of Mind:
D.K. Kim invests in future business leaders
Dong Koo Kim became an entrepreneur in international trade in his native country South Korea, and then moved to Southern California in 1989, where he founded B.P. Industries, an importer of home decor items. Kim has been a two-time client of Haas International Business Development (IBD) Program, hiring students to help develop an educational program in Cambodia and a business to fund it. A longtime supporter of Berkeley-Haas, Kim's most recent gift of $1.2 million will support international full-time MBA students, including recently establishing the D.K. Kim Foundation Fellowship Fund to make sure this support continues in perpetuity.
Q: Why did you choose to support international Berkeley MBA students?
D.K. Kim: Many of the students who will benefit from these fellowships will earn their MBAs, go back to their countries, and choose careers that have a positive influence on the largest number of people. My investment goes very far in this way. I feel good about supporting Haas because it is one of the best places for MBA students to learn how to be effective business leaders.
Q: What are the most important skills a business student needs to succeed?
D.K. Kim: The best business leaders need to set clear goals in the beginning and follow through, work diligently, and be ready to solve problems. They need to do business with integrity and responsibility, be honest with consumers and customers, and have strong business morals.
Q: What have you gained as a client of the Haas Schoool's IBD Program?
D.K. Kim: In Cambodia, IBD gave me a foundation.a network of people who were receptive to doing business with me, eliminating hours of work establishing the right ties in a foreign market.
Q: How has the business world changed since you founded B.P. Industries?
D.K. Kim: When I started we had no competitors at all. Now, because of the sophisticated communication vehicles that are available today, business is conducted in a much faster, broader, globalized way. This means the gap between our company and our competitors has become very narrow. Another difference is that many executive managers are dollardriven instead of value-driven, to a point that they are willing to give up quality for more profit.