360° Coverage : Swedish Entrepreneur's Multi Million Dollar Business...

2 Updates

Swedish Entrepreneur's Multi Million Dollar Business Success: Why Mom And Dad Know Best

May 5 2014, 11:41am CDT | by

When you’re a student, clinching an international internship with a major multinational is one sure way of gaining a competitive edge in the jobs market. The business of arranging those elite work...

Filed under: news


23 weeks ago

Swedish Entrepreneur's Multi Million Dollar Business Success: Why Mom And Dad Know Best

May 5 2014, 11:41am CDT | by

When you’re a student, clinching an international internship with a major multinational is one sure way of gaining a competitive edge in the jobs market.

The business of arranging those elite work placements – at around $5,000 for two or three months, they aren’t cheap – is one of the fastest growing sectors within international education and travel.

And if it hadn’t been for Swedish entrepreneur Fredrik van Huynh’s ambitious parents, he might never have founded of one of the market leaders, Absolute Internship, a multi million-dollar company that has placed 2000 student interns with blue chip companies all over the world.

Born and raised in Sweden, the son of Cambodian immigrant blue-collar factory workers, van Huynh was the first in his family to attend high school or university. As a child he learned to speak seven languages, and from as far back as he can remember, was firmly steered away from the mundanity of factory life and towards better things by his parents.

They were determined that he would have what they had never had; an education, so as a teenager, winning a university place became an all-encompassing goal.

“Believe me, where I come from, a small village in Sweden called Gnosjö, where all my friends’ parents worked in manufacturing, this made me stand out. Nobody went to university,” recalls van Huynh.

 Global business lingo

His parents also steered him towards fluency in several foreign languages at a very early age, one of their life philosophies. As well as native Swedish, at home, he learned to speak Khmer, the language in Cambodia, and in school he learned French.

His mother knew a retired Chinese language teacher in the village who taught him Cantonese and Mandarin, and every day after school, while his friends were playing video games, he studied Chinese.

Those multilingual skills were to become one the keys to his success as an entrepreneur; sharper insight into foreign markets and cultures, and clearer communication with locals, vendors and business partners.

To deter him from any thoughts of following in his footsteps to the factory, van Huynh’s father sent the 14-year-old on a two-week apprenticeship at a metal manufacturing company. He wanted him to experience production line monotony first hand.

Van Huynh says: “I biked the 14km round trip everyday for two weeks, and spent nine hours each day putting metal sticks to a paper box. I remember how boring it was, and I knew that I never wanted to do that in my life.”

He made it to university and during his first year, secured a three-month internship with Handelsbanken, one of Sweden’s top banks. While he enjoyed the experience, van Huynh never really felt that he fitted in.

“It seemed to me that no one in the company actually cared about the success of the bank,” he says. “I wanted to impact the company I was working for. I wanted to create and be 100% responsible for my own success. I didn’t just want to hit the clock each day to receive a paycheck each month.”

As a student van Huynh also got to travel, spending time as an exchange student in Shanghai, and in his final year, in Osaka, Japan.

Profitable intern placements

By early Spring many of his classmates were looking for summer internships. van Huynh, who had established a large network of friends and professional acquaintances, started helping them find internships in Shanghai through his old connections./>/>

He says; “I managed to help three of them, but then they wanted to know how to apply for visas, and how to find accommodation. That’s when I realized there was a smarter way of doing this, and I came up with the idea of setting up a business to send groups of students for overseas internships.”

He teamed up with intern Aurélie Chouaf, who he’d met a couple of years earlier, and in 2009, aged 23, launched Absolute Internship, with just $2,000 and a new laptop.

Van Huynh’s language skills paid dividends, while his flair for networking helped to forge strong ties with universities across the world. Today the company has a global team of ten in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong, 

working with more than 500 multinational and local companies around the world.

The dynamic young Swede has his own philosophies for business success; ‘Be 24/7; business never sleeps’, and ‘Treat everyone with respect; every contact knows another contact’, but views his parents’ life philosophies as the ones that count.

He says: “I’ve met a lot of successful people through my business and travels, from self-made millionaires to top investment bankers, but never anyone as resourceful and inspirational as my parents. They showed me by example how hard work is the way to getting what you want out of life.”


6 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new comp ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore


7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore


Don't miss ...


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ebola outbreak in Senegal over: WHO
Geneva, Oct 17 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Friday declared the Ebola outbreak in Senegal was finished, commending the West African country on its diligence in ending the transmission of the virus.
Brussels Airport to intensify passengers screening for Ebola
Brussels, Oct 17 (IANS) Brussels Airport authorities Friday said they would increase screening of passengers coming from Ebola-affected countries.
Obama to appoint Ron Klain to lead US Ebola fight
Washington, Oct 17 (IANS) US President Barack Obama is expected to appoint Ron Klain, best known for serving as chief of staff to both Vice President Joe Biden and former vice president Al Gore, as the single person leading the government's effort to fight Ebola, a media report said here Friday.
British PM appeals to world leaders to support anti-Ebola fight
London, Oct 17 (IANS) After the UN chief berated the nations over their cold response to contain Ebola, British Prime Minister David Cameron has called on world leaders to "wake up" to the crisis posed by the disease's outbreak, and follow Britain, the US, and France to medically and financially support countries in West Africa .

Latest from the Network

Bush shoe-tossing painting hits record at Doha auction
Doha, Oct 15 (IANS/EFE) A controversial painting by Iranian artist Mahmud Obaidi, depicting an Iraqi journalist throwing shoe in 2008 at then US president George W. Bush, was sold for $62,500 at a Sotheby's auction in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
US offers $45 mn bounty for eight terror leaders
Washington, Oct 15 (IANS) The US said Tuesday it is offering rewards totalling up to 45 million dollars for information on eight key leaders of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist organisation. The...
Read more on Politics Balla
UNSC extends peacekeeping mission's term in Abyei
United Nations, Oct 15 (IANS) The UN Security Council (UNSC) has renewed the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Abyei border region between Sudan and South Sudan. In an unanimously adopted resolution, the...
Read more on Politics Balla
Ebola cases in West Africa could reach 10,000 per week: WHO
Geneva, Oct 15 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could reach 5,000 to 10,000 cases per week by the first week of December. "Quite frankly, ladies and...
Read more on Business Balla
Turkey, Singapore sign strategic partnership agreement
Ankara, Oct 15 (IANS) Turkey and Singapore have signed a strategic partnership agreement to boost economic, political and cultural cooperation, as well as security collaboration, during the official visit of...
Read more on Politics Balla
Christina Aguilera is returning to 'The Voice' USA
Christina Aguilera will return to 'The Voice' USA next year. The 'Your Body' hitmaker, who previously shared a rotating spot on the judging panel with Shakira, has been replaced by Gwen Stefani this season as she is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Kesha's music producer hits back
Kesha is being countersued by her record company boss, Dr. Luke. The 41-year-old music producer, who runs Kemosabe Records, claims the 27-year-old 'Tik Tok' singer is a liar and is trying to extort him after she accused...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Jason Derulo won't get back together with Jordin Sparks
Jason Derulo insists his split from Jordin Sparks is permanent. The 'Talk Dirty' hitmaker, who recently ended his relationship with the 'No Air' singer after three years of dating, has ruled out getting back together...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Josh Groban feels 'very lucky' to be dating Kat Dennings
Josh Groban feels ''very lucky'' to be dating Kat Dennings. The 'Brave' hitmaker was very nervous before singing in front of the '2 Broke Girls' actress for the first time at the Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Australian Richard Flanagan wins 2014 Man Booker prize
London, Oct 15 (IANS) The first Man Booker prize to allow American nominees was Tuesday night won by an Australian, with Richard Flanagan triumphing for a novel of love and war that tells the harrowing stories of...
Read more on Celebrity Balla