Jiangyi Zhou

  • Case study - Jiangyi Zhou
  • Personal details

    Name: Jiangyi Zhou

    Nationality: Chinese

    Course studied at Oxford Brookes University: MSc International Hospitality and Tourism Management

    Year Graduated: 2014

    Name of business and short description:  Parcel & Pass Warehousing Service Limited – importing and fulfilment service for Chinese exporters in support of their e-businesses. Holding stocks of goods and fulfilling orders to UK based customers who are trading with Chinese suppliers reducing delivery costs and times.

    Business summary

    Parcel & Pass Warehousing Service Limited decided to operate from Manchester where there was good air connectivity and a good supply relatively low cost premises and staff.  The aim is to provide a logistics fulfilment service for China-based online sellers entering into UK consumer market. The business has grown rapidly – and they are now looking at their third set of premises in just over a year.  We created 26 jobs and the annual turnover exceeded £1m by April 2016.

    Q&A

    Why did you apply for Tier 1 GE Visa?

    Fundamentally, the location and online trading merits and opportunities of setting up my business in the UK became apparent when I was studying in Oxford Brookes University. I saw that there was a gap in the market and I thought that I could help fill it.  I was convinced that the UK market had great potential for me to start my business career in international E-commerce, in which I have gained some knowledge, experience and resources. The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur was a great starting point and the programme offered at Oxford Brookes helps anyone who really wants to do business in UK after they complete their studies.

    How easy do you find the application process?

    The application process became easy after I had developed my ideas but getting there was challenging. You must have a clear and viable business plan - understand your market, your product and be able to demonstrate that with hard work and determination that you have a good chance of success. You will get help but the onus is on you to show that you can make it work.

    What support have you been given since receiving your Tier 1 GE visa?

    I accessed research resources and received recommendations from industry experts. My mentors helped me at every stage and our meetings were an opportunity to test these ideas and to get feedback.  They are available and accessible.

    What are your future plans for your business?

    We will keep growing our existing business but the long term future plan is to build on our success, diversify our operations and next to develop a team of local UK designers and create our own fashion brand.  Through our network we plan to organize Chinese resources to manufacture our products overseas and then launch them in the UK consumer market. We’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience in a short time about the E-commerce sector, the design pattern competitiveness which needs to be combined with sound production. Accurate sales forecasting and marketing in order to control costs has to be the key to our future success.

    What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying for a Tier 1 GE visa?

     

    Firstly, take the time to get your viable business idea ready.  Be thorough - it may seem like a tough test but the Tier 1 team are here to help you and have your best interests at heart. They have experience and know that proper preparation is the key to success so do your homework! Use them.  Help is at hand but have a sound idea before you decide to apply for the Tier 1 GE visa.

    Secondly, learn from those who have successfully completed the Tier 1 GE visa. There are quite few us now and we can all help each other.

    Thirdly, talk to industry experts - learn from people who are out there doing it.

    Finally – Do It – it’s a great opportunity.