Source: Edmund Hor, MD, Trayport
Edmund Hor, founder and MD of e-trading firm Trayport, takes the two-minute test.
Date and place of birth: 1966, Hong Kong
Residence: Kent, UK
Marital status: Married
Education: Degree in Computer Science from Imperial College, London
Career path: From newspaper boy to Chinese waiter to financial technology entrepreneur
Current posts: Managing director, Trayport Limited
Q: What was your first job?
A: I started selling and trading bicycle parts to fellow school children aged eight in an attempt to piece together my own bicycle. I learnt the value of money and hard work at 14 as a newspaper boy and then as a waiter to fund my interest in computers.
Q: Who is or was your mentor?
A: I recall a fellow waiter who taught me that you have to justify your existence in the workplace to succeed. You will not get on in life if you treat work like a kindergarten.
Q: Which business leaders do you most admire?
A: Fujio Cho, the CEO of Toyota. They build more reliable cars faster than anyone else, at a profit
Q: If you weren't in your current job, which company would you most like to lead?
A: It would have to be the NHS. There is so much room for improvement that the job satisfaction would have to be phenomenal!
Q: Do you read books on management theory? If so, which has influenced you the most?
A: "Conquering Complexity in your Business" by Michael L. George and Stephen A. Wilson. This book really shows that there is a lot to be said for keeping it simple. It's a mistake to design and provide over-complicated solutions that customers will not necessarily see the benefit in.
Q: Which competitors do you benchmark your company's performance against?
A: Toyota for their ability to provide reliability on such a large scale. These are the standards that we strive for our company to achieve.
Q: What has been your best experience in business?
A: Seeing others share the same enthusiasm and dedication for the business that I have.
Q: What was your biggest mistake in business?
A: That the company could be more successful with more people. I wish I'd spent more time on recruitment earlier and grown the business that way.
Q: What keeps you awake at night?
A: When it's not my kids, the challenges of improving reliable, high performance software at a low cost.
Q: How do you relax?
A: Truthfully I seldom do, but if I'm not under the water I'm on it and my next project is kite surfing. Of course, some of my best time is spent with my kids, but if I ever get any other time to relax, I enjoy doing "geek" type things like mind challenging computer logic and programming puzzles.
Q: What was the last gadget you bought?
A: A high performance hybrid, energy efficient car. It's an engineering marvel, full of advanced technology. It's got a variable transmission system that optimises performance and efficiency at all times – the single gear system is completely smooth. It's the ultimate gadget.
Q: Favourite Web site
A: I like to browse all kinds of gadget and science/engineering related web sites. I love to see the different opinions they all give.
Q: Desert island disc/book
A: The book is "The Romance of Three Kingdoms" by Luo Guanzhong. It was written 600 years ago, but is still relevant today. It's ultimately about motivation and power. It tells the epic tale of the Han Dynasty in China during the second and third centuries.