Kenneth Cao (MCom ’97)
Director of Jewellery, Far East, World Gold Council
According to the World Gold Council, China is the fastest-growing market for gold jewellery in the world, with an annual demand of 870 tonnes in 2012, and last year, 6.6 million Chinese brides received this precious metal as part of their marriage rituals.
Director of Jewellery for the Far East at the World Gold Council, Sydney alumnus Kenneth Cao specialises in jewellery retail management in this region. And under his leadership, the company is actively promoting gold jewellery to general consumers through various vehicles, including leveraging digital platforms.
Cao, a seasoned jewellery expert based in Shaghai, China, graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of Commerce in 1997. “Being a graduate of the University of Sydney had been my dream for a long time, even before I migrated to Australia,” says Cao. “After living and working in Sydney for six years, I believed that I had the need to upgrade my knowledge and academic background, especially in the marketing and management areas.
The University of Sydney was the first institution that came to mind. I believe that was because of its history, quality and reputation, and being well-recognised worldwide, particularly in China.”
Cao adds that by being educated at the University of Sydney on Western economics and business theories, his overall vision and understanding was really opened up. “I gained a better understanding of Western economic theories, though I had studied them before in China,” he says. “It opened my vision and exposure to the world of management. I gained better learning and analytical skills, especially in quantitative approaches. It built up a strong foundation for my later career growth.”
After graduating, Cao went on to serve as the China Business Operation Manager and then South China General Manager for Hong Kong jeweller Chow Sang Sang Jewellery Co. Ltd, where he was responsible for building regional teams in China and management structures, plus setting up and supervising Chow Sang Sang’s China Operation Headquarters in Guangzhou, the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province. He has been working at the World Gold Council, which is the global authority on gold and its uses, since late 2012.