Hutchison Whampoa Group Managing Director Canning Fok has attributed creativity as an important ingredient for the Company’s business success.
In a speech at the Li Ka-shing Foundation sponsored Creative Cities conference held in Hong Kong today (8 November) Mr Fok said that whilst Hutchison’s main focus as a listed company is making profits and creating shareholder value, the Company always emphasises creativity and encourages its people to think out of the box.
To the audience comprised largely of entrepreneurs and participants of the creative industries from London and Hong Kong, Mr Fok explained how the Chinese words for business “Sang Yee” — translated literally into “lively ideas” — holds true business sense for Hutchison in how business is conducted in all of its core interests ranging from property development to ports, supermarkets to the latest generation of mobile telecommunication services.
The Whampoa – a commercial centre built in the shape of a ship located in the midst of Hutchison’s Whampoa Garden’s shopping and recreational complex in Kowloon, which actually were dockyards previous to development, has become a favourite subject of both professional and amateur photographers. In the same district, Hutchison Property has also revived Hong Kong’s traditional and best-loved street-style cuisine under one roof at the Whampoa Gourmet Place with the help of a celebrity food critic, which now draws locals and tourists alike.
Hutchison’s port business has also gained industry leadership worldwide for its creative use of technology to ensure traffic moves as efficiently as possible despite the constraints of space availability in Hong Kong.
“Our system is not only able to ensure only the top pile of containers are the first ones being moved away first, it can also re-think and re-plan the entire container yard arrangement to suit the different scenario changes in case a ship misses its schedule. In fact, our system has consistently been ahead of modern airport terminal operations,” said Mr Fok.
In the retail business, Hutchison has introduced the freshness and variety of vegetables, seafood and meat that used to be only available at Hong Kong wet markets into the western style supermarkets and has revolutionised the shopping habits of Hong Kong residents. The popularity and market leadership of ParkNShop superstores in Hong Kong have paved the way for the successful launch of megastores in the mainland, which are equally been well received by the consumers.
Mr Fok cited several other examples including the Orange brand and the recently unveiled 3 brand, “People joked that Orange was a lemon but in due course, Orange turned out to be the fastest growing mobile brand in the UK, winning many big awards from the industry. Now, we have just launched our 3 brand for our 3G service. For us, we are sure that one day, people won’t be able to imagine living without 3K” he added.
“We are a company that does things differently. We were the only ones to have sold 2G business to enter into 3G. We were the first to sell car parks separately, which helped us raise enough to pay for the land premium on the new Cheung Kong Center. Similarly, we were the only ones when it comes to seizing opportunities and investing where others fear to goK as we have done with many ports in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico; and recently Global Crossing in the US, ” said Mr Fok.
In summing up his speech, Mr Fok commented, “These are all creative ways that we go about our business and they all contribute to making Hutchison Whampoa what it is today. To us, creativity makes plain business sense.”
Creative Cities, sponsored by the Li Ka-shing Foundation and co-organised by the Shantou University, explores the growth of the creative economy in several cities: London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shantou and Taipei. Policy makers, academics and creative entrepreneurs will exchange views and share experience in the increasingly important economic role played by creative industries in their respective cities.
The programme has just completed its tour to London where more than 10 Hong Kong representatives from various creative industries participated in exchange projects organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. The group of UK representatives, after the two-day conference in Hong Kong to be held on 8 and 9 November, will leave for Beijing, Shantou and Taipei with their Hong Kong counterparts to continue with the programme. The programme is co-organised by the Shantou University.
08 Nov 2002