Biz Extra

Published: August 27, 2020 | Updated: August 27, 2020

Best thing about living and working in Dorset? Our perfect mix of sea, towns, hills and fields

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

He’d like to share a car with Stephen Fry, doesn’t deal very well with worry and conflict in his job, chooses a char grilled steak as his favourite smell and would like to be remembered as a good host who tried their best to be helpful to others. 

Gordon Fong, Face of Kimcell Ltd and Connecting Future Dorset, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: Kim’s Convenience. Set in Toronto around a Korean family running a convenience store. First generation immigrants, family business, quirky, awkward, totally relatable.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: There would be no shortage of topics with Stephen Fry.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Being a positive conduit for those that come through the business. Giving opportunities to those that might not otherwise get access to a role in high-tech IT services.

Q: And the worst…?

A: The worry and conflict. I don’t deal with both very well.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: My karate instructor in Sunderland called Frank Miller. After my first training session since moving to Sunderland, I was sitting in a pub drinking lager until it shut, at age 16. He said it was OK. He was always supportive and good humoured, qualities that I have taken to heart and try to be to others.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: A char grilled steak.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: Well, I have to say Southbourne, of course. Nothing finer than sipping a cocktail, sitting on a bar stool in the Library of Liquor, above the Larder House.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Take a job, which may not be your long-term ideal one that you had in mind, fully commit, test yourself, watch and learn from those around you, be positive, then move on, and be the one that others want to hire for your approach to life, not necessarily your CV. You have to start somewhere and build up.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: Centrefold by the J. Geils Band although my second one was Time For Action by Secret Affair, which I think is more fitting to where I am in life right now, with regards to the lyrics.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: Bullies who put others down. People who can’t see beyond themselves. People who scapegoat others.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: Simply the works of David Sylvian. Took me from a nervous teenager, to university, to middle age and beyond.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: Someone who is different and has an interesting background with the ability to talk about it. Someone that wants an opportunity to change themselves.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: A seafood platter. As a young kid my parents used to bring home lobsters, langoustines and mussels just for us to snack on. I’ve always appreciated good food and the people behind it in the hospitality trade.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Plate of melon.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: A perfect mix of sea, towns, hills and fields. We are lucky to have such variety within a short drive, or even walking distance for some.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Bring back more community centres and enterprises that create cross-generational job opportunities and pull people together. We need to go beyond ‘Shop Local’ in terms of supporting the local area. I love the Norwegian words of Dugnad and Dugnadsånd, in short, a community that comes together to get sh** done.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: There seem to be too many business initiatives and schemes happening that could be better coordinated, with less duplication and more collaboration. Many people want to put that extra energy into supporting and boosting the local economy, but there’s a risk that positivity gets used up and we turn cynical.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: I seemed to have jumped on a plane and flown to Prague and Girona the most. Guess I like their old European architecture, castles on hills, red roofs, cobbled streets, city walls and food.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: I love watching the wide range of Dorset businesses grow doing great things, especially the younger generation spinning up businesses at ease. There are some developments in the near future that I hope also enables the next generation of businesses to grow and be a positive contributor to Dorset. I want to stand amongst them and join the fun on my way to retirement.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: As someone who has been a good host and tried their best to be helpful to those around.