Michael Mou

Founder -- DBTel -- Taiwan

Michael Mou, 49, was hardly an instant success. The electrical engineer spent two decades building up the telecom-equipment manufacturer he founded fresh out of business school in Taiwan in 1979. While other Taiwan companies established stardom in the booming PC business, Mou struggled to make DBTel Inc. a leader in less glamorous products: keypads and cordless handsets. "Cordless wasn't a really big market," says Mou. "So the company had a very low profile."

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