Entrepreneurship is often described as a turbulent but fulfilling journey. Usually not for the faint of heart. A common social media post that illustrates this journey shows a bar chart with many downward trends and accompanying negative thoughts followed by periods of highs and positivity until success is ultimately achieved. This is usually the case for many entrepreneurs, and challenges are what make the journey worthwhile. Jason Kwan, Chairman and President of the Pearl West Group, is no exception. He discusses with us how he became an entrepreneur.
Growing Up in a Chinese Family
If you've ever read Robert Kiyosaki's 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad', then you would be familiar with the traditional values of the Chinese family, such as going to school, getting an education and becoming a good employee. For Jason Kwan, this was an avid description of his reality. "My exposure to entrepreneurship was very limited growing up. My uncle owned a Chinese restaurant, but other than that, my family isn't very entrepreneurial. There weren't any mentors that encouraged me to go down the business route."
Jason, whose father died at a young age, was raised by his mother. She believed in what he terms "the traditional way of success." She emphasized the importance of getting good grades and becoming an engineer or doctor. However, due to his curious nature, he stumbled upon an unconventional path that would soon become his reality.
Starting an Online Marketing Company
"My entry into entrepreneurship was very fortunate. I started reading books about financial freedom, and then it slowly led to books about starting a business. I decided to skip university to pursue this route," shared Kwan. A decision that his mother was not fond of but accepted since she knew of his capabilities.
Kwan started his first business at 17 after becoming consumed by courses and reading material on online marketing and Google AdWords. He formed a digital advertising agency once he realized that there was a need. "At the time, online advertising platforms were neglected by many big corporations, and there weren't many agencies that specialized in online channels. I reached out to local businesses and asked them if they wanted any online marketing services. The local businesses were skeptical. It was challenging convincing them of the benefits of online advertising."
Once he started to gain the confidence of his customers, he quickly began to take advantage of online advertising's novelty, which presented smaller costs than traditional advertising."Eventually, I started generating leads and sales for other industries like dating, health, and beauty space that had a wider audience reach. Many of the companies I started working with were direct response companies that weren't very well known. I met a lot of amazing good-hearted people in this space and developed a lot of great friendships. I started handling more and more clients and testing new advertising platforms like Facebook Ads, a very rudimentary platform back then."
How the Pearl West Group Was Formed
Jason relates that he spent ten years in the digital ad agency before venturing into a different business. "I figured I had accumulated enough marketing and business knowledge to pursue other ventures, and I wanted to build something that can scale quickly."
This is how the Pearl West Group came into existence. "We formed Pearl West Group as a strategic acquirer of brands that are selling on Amazon. We chose Amazon businesses because Amazon's marketplace is increasing organically every year, with more and more adoption of eCommerce and Amazon as the leading e-commerce platform. We also felt these types of businesses align with our previous experience and expertise."
Jason and his team at the Pearl West Group are focused on acquiring other Amazon businesses that fit into its profile and demonstrate profitability. He hopes to grow the company to one of the Top 10 sellers on the eCommerce platform. He concludes by saying, "we want to be 1 of the top 10 sellers on Amazon, have great brand exposure through other direct-to-consumer channels, and, more importantly, have a lot of fun doing it."