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February 2017

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A Servant Leader Viv Allanson, named Australian CEO for 2016 is CEO of Maroba. She tells us more about how the industry has evolved over the years and what she believes it takes to make a successful leader.

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Below, L to R: / Fruity Marketing - Mango Promotions / Exploring Asian Markets - Transtar International Freight

Cooling Solutions – H-E Parts International COR Cooling Continuous Innovation and Reform – iSoftStone IT (Group) Co., Ltd. Unique HR Service Delivery Soluions – AscentHR The Leading Light in the Indian Legal Industry – ALMT Legal, Advocates & Solicitors Franchising a Stronger and Profitable Future – Business Development Alliance (BDA) The Future of Technology in Education – V Training Australia World Class Real Estate – The A. J. Mason Group Builtink. Built Right. – Builtink Successful IT Initiatives – Argo Computing Services Pty Ltd


Editor’s Note

, Welcome to the February 2017 edition of APAC Insider. In this edition, we reflect on the innovative, dedicated and results-focused culture that has seen the Asia Pacific region become home to some of the most prominent industry-leading businesses in the world. In recent news, Magister Advisors analysis suggests that 2017 will be a watershed year for Asian investment into European tech. Perversely we think the most active ‘European’ destination will be the UK. There are several factors combining to set the stage for a potentially landmark year for Asian capital into Europe. Despite the global uncertainty brought about by recent events such as Brexit and policy direction of the incoming Trump administration, the outlook for energy and environment markets in 2017 is largely viewed to be balanced with a slight positive inclination, according to Frost & Sullivan. I hope you enjoy reading this inspiring edition.

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Jonathan Miles, Editor Phone: +44 (0) 203 725 6842 Email: jonathan.miles@ai-globalmedia.com Website: www.apacinsider.com

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Contents

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4. News 8. A Servant Leader - Maroba 12. H-E Parts International - Cooling Solutions - H-E Parts International COR Cooling 14. Unique HR Service Delivery Soluions - Ascent Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. 16. The Future of Technology in Education - V Training Australia 18. World Class Real Estate - The A. J. Mason Group 20. Exploring Asian Markets* - Transtar International Freight 22. Successful IT Initiatives - Argo Computing Services Pty Ltd 23. Fruity Marketing - Mango Promotions 24. Builtink. Built Right. - Builtink 26. Continuous Innovation and Reform - iSoftStone Information Technology (Group) Co., Ltd. 27. Taking Great Care of Business - World Corporate Travel 28. The Leading Light in the Indian Legal Industry - ALMT Legal, Advocates & Solicitors 30. Franchising a Stronger and Profitable Future - Business Development Alliance (BDA) 32. Ultimate Prize in Customer Loyalty - Drovers Motor Inn 33. Leading the Way in Dog Training - Bonnies Dog Obedience 34. Hands On Experience of Asia - New Step International Ltd. 36. Freedom to be Creative - ASAP Creative & Communication Ltd 37. All Natural - PT. Harmoni Dinamik Indonesia 38. Honesty, Responsibility, Integrity and Focus - Central China Real Estate Limited (0832.HK) 39. An Experience Like No Other - LASERWARRIORS LASER TAG 40. Paper Power - Da Kong (HK) Ltd 41. Get Real - Caine Real Estate

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Exploring Asian Markets @Transtar International Freight


NEWS

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‘Techtonic Shift’ as Asian Investors Focus on Europe’s Tech Sector

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Magister Advisors analysis suggests that 2017 will be a watershed year for Asian investment into European tech. Perversely we think the most active ‘European’ destination will be the UK. There are several factors combining to set the stage for a potentially landmark year for Asian capital into Europe.

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NEWS

, • Asian capital thinking twice before committing more money to the US – Much of the sentiment and rhetoric since the US election should concern any Asian corporate. There is a feeling Asian corporates have benefited too much from US trade, and this needs to be redressed. Irrespective of how true or not, the fact is Asian corporates and investors are likely to be less welcome in the US in the next four years than in the last eight. They are also less needed. Significant private equity and the prospects of offshore corporate cash flowing back into the US offers the prospect of huge private liquidity. Finally, US tech valuations aren’t exactly cheap: they are at all-time highs in many sectors. • There is a 25% discount on UK tech – A $/£ rate near $1.20 is near unprecedented on a trade-weighted basis. While currency doesn’t drive basic investment decisions, it does make previously-logical UK investments 25% cheaper than a few months ago. U risks that drive this depressed rate are of little consequence to many Asian investors; they are interested in leveraging UK tech assets in Asia, not elsewhere in Europe. Hence the 25% discount is real for them. • The number of ‘grown up’ European companies is far greater than 10 years ago – there are nearly 50 European tech ‘unicorns’ valued at $1B+, up sharply from even five years ago. European unicorns are much better developed than US counterparts; revenue averages $300m+ versus $100m+ for US unicorns. While these groups aren’t precisely comparable, the difference is indicative of a European trend away from hype valuations, resulting in performance driving value more than just potential. We see this mind-set having created dozens of sizeable and mature tech assets in Europe, making that sector much more investable than a decade ago. • European late stage growth capital is a fraction of what’s needed, leaving a huge gap in the market – while a similar number of tech companies get initial funding in both Europe and the US, the funding gap is yawning in later stage rounds. For Series C and later rounds, total US capital invested in tech companies in 2016 was $26B, in Europe that number was only $2B. As more European companies mature, this gap will be closed by Asian investors, as nature truly abhors a vacuum.

• Many emerging European tech leaders will need funding in 2017/18 - We see dozens of European tech companies that have been funded recently to achieve scale quickly, not necessarily to break-even. The result is that we believe an unprecedented number of quality tech companies in Europe will need at least one more significant funding round (e.g. $30m+) from 2017 onwards. While European VC has increased significantly in recent years, the capital requirements for these companies is happening faster than the local VC industry can mature to handle it. This funding gap will be filled in part by greater Asian capital. • Asian corporates have already bought platform assets in Europe – 2015-16 saw unprecedented Asian M&A of platform assets in Europe which will be expanded through follow-on investment and acquisition. From ARM plc being acquired by Softbank, to Midea’s investment in German robotics firm Kuka, to Tencent acquiring Supercell, down to a broad range of $100m+ acquisitions completed or in progress, Asian corporates are building long-term assets in Europe which will support further capital inflow. • Much of European tech is already more international than the US, making adaptation for Asian markets easier and less risky – Because of smaller home markets European tech companies build platforms and models which are inherently more international than US counterparts. For example, in fin-tech European companies build multi-currency and multi-lingual capability in their products day one. European tech companies think nothing of creating multiple overseas operations early in their development, something US companies have little need to worry about. This results in European tech targets that are inherently much ‘safer’ to internationalise, in turn increasing their attractiveness. Last year Asian capital into European tech reached an all-time high of $58B. We believe 201718 could see a doubling of that, entirely transforming the European tech ecosystem. We believe ‘looking East’ from 2017 could be the greatest ever endorsement of the quality and value of European created-technology, and accelerate the development of the tech ecosystem far faster than it could ever develop by ‘looking West.’

Special Purpose Vehicle’ Mortgage Market Could Blossom in 2017 The buy-to-let mortgage market could blossom in 2017 if greater lending support is provided to Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), according to State Bank of India UK, a customer-focused bank that values fairness and transparency. The bank is hoping to support professional landlords over the year through the provision of SPVs, which carry significant tax benefits relative to standard buyto-let (BTL) mortgages for some customers. SPVs’ increasing popularity (1) follows what many landlords have regarded as heavy regulation of the BTL mortgage market in 20152 and earlier in 2016.3 As a result, UK landlords have increasingly turned to SPVs to mitigate the rise in BTL costs. Yet only 16% of all BTL mortgages are currently available to investors through SPVs.4 Only a small proportion of providers offer SPV mortgages as other lenders are likely to shun the SPV market due to a perceived higher risk of lending, increased complexity and cost of underwriting SPV applications. Many mortgage providers charge a higher rate for SPV mortgages than their standard BTL mortgages: the average BTL mortgage rate on the market is 3.3%,5 1% less than the average rate of 4.3% for SPVs. However, SBI UK’s average SPV rate is 3.22%,6 only 0.50% higher than its BTL rates.

Mr. Sanjiv Chadha, Regional Head for SBI UK said, “we believe landlords will increasingly use a limited company structure for their property portfolios and this trend cannot be ignored. As such we are keen to support those investing through SPVs and the mortgage brokers serving them. ‘SBI UK is willing to work with any professional landlord that is interested in an SPV, whether they are opening one for the first time or remortgaging an existing SPV. However, if they are considering borrowing through an SPV for the first time, they must be a professional landlord with a proven track record. After all, an SPV doesn’t have experience, but a landlord does and that is what we will assess as a part of our underwriting process.’ There are several benefits to landlords investing through an SPV or limited company structure; for example, income taken as dividends is taxed at 10%, which is much more efficient than income tax, especially for higher rate earners. Multiple shareholders can appear on an SPV’s title deeds, which makes it easier to manage share of profits and proportions of ownership. SBI UK has effective but not overly onerous underwriting requirements: it requests that investors have a required minimum income from their properties of £25,000. For more information, www.sbiuk.com

visit:

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NEWS

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Asia Pacific Will Assume Global Leadership for Clean Energy in 2017

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Despite the global uncertainty brought about by recent events such as Brexit and policy direction of the incoming Trump administration, the outlook for energy and environment markets in 2017 is largely viewed to be balanced with a slight positive inclination according to Frost & Sullivan.

This follows a period of downward revisions to the economic growth forecasts and volatility in financial and commodities markets globally, impacted by the slowdown from China and oil prices slump over a two-year period. The Conference of Parties (COP22) discussions in Marrakech were clouded by Trump’s threat to pull the US out of the COP21 Paris climate change accord. While it may be difficult for the US to unilaterally scuttle the accord, since most of the world countries have affirmed their commitment to de-carbonisation, the challenge lies in actually meeting the US$100 billion/ year financial commitments and also agreement on the transparency of future climate monitoring. However, economics will drive the substantial investments in clean and green technologies, led by China and India. “We expect 2017 to be a transition year for long term changes, globally. With the rising protectionism across the world, issue of energy security will once again come to the fore in Asia Pacific. This will accelerate adoption of clean technologies which can be harnessed locally and those that are less impacted by global policy & price fluctuations”, noted Ravi Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Energy & Environment, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan discusses key trends for 2017 across the energy and environment sectors including oil & gas, power, buildings and water, in Asia Pacific. Global Oil Industry will begin a Slow Recovery With oil prices expected to average about US$55 per barrel in 2017, the focus will be on operational excellence as industry players try to survive the tight upstream market. However, interest in downstream sector will continue to be strong with a slew of refinery and petrochemical investments planned across developing Asia including China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam Rise of LNG for Power Generation, even as Coal will see Decline in Capacity Addition during 2017 The global glut in LNG supply, aided by the possible large scale exports from the USA, has provid-

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NEWS

, ed a huge opportunity for South and Southeast Asia increase its base load capacity using gas. Furthermore, the push towards delinking natural gas price from crude oil price could help development of Asian gas market, in the long run. There are signs of this already impacting the coal power plant industry, with 25% less coal capacity likely to be added in 2017 across China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia than in 2016. Distributed Generation Investments will be driven by Local Government Initiatives Despite the likely reduction of feed-in-tariff support in many countries including Australia, Japan, Philippines etc., Frost & Sullivan is forecasting a healthy growth for renewable technologies lead by solar PV at about 17.8% in 2017. Initiatives by the local governments to increase the access and quality of power supply, to both residences and industries, is aiding the growth of a range of distributed energy technologies such as biomass, solar PV, microgrids and small temporary power plants. The total distributed energy market is likely to be US$18.36 billion in 2017 in Asia Pacific representing a 14.0% year-on-year growth. Investment in Distribution Grid Automation will Increase, even while the Smart Meter Market Slows Down In Asia With nearly US$137 billion likely to be invested, the transmission and distribution sector will present the largest opportunity for power equipment majors, in an otherwise lacklustre conventional power industry. With China’s rollout of smart meters having peaked, the market will depend on Japan’s ongoing implementation. Countries such as China, Japan, India and Thailand are also investing significantly in large distance ultra-high voltage transmission capacity to balance the grid, with increasing share of renewable energy. China’s 13th Five Year Plan Offers Major Stimulus for Energy Storage Adoption Even though Asia Pacific region is home to largest number of battery manufacturers, their adoption for utility energy storage application has been lagging behind North America and Europe. However, China’s ambitious drive for lever-

aging energy storage to effectively integrate its large intermittent renewable resources, as a part of its 13th five-year plan, will offer major stimulus to the Asian market. Numerous demonstration projects in Australia, India and Japan will make 2017 a turning point with innovative applications and business models being explored. Edge Analytics and Cloud Adoption to drive the demand for Critical Power Infrastructure Critical power and cooling infrastructure for data centres will witness 8.2% growth in 2017. Security concerns, both cyber and physical, will further increase spending in advanced infrastructure management. Increasing connectivity and growing adoption of mobile applications in banking, travel and social media will drive the demand for cloud and edge analytics, thus propelling the overall data centre critical infrastructure market. Digital Transformation of Homes and Buildings Market The biggest beneficiary of ongoing global trend of digital transformation will be the homes and buildings sector in Asia. Proliferation of competitive energy management technologies will be aided by the use of cloud and open platform building management solutions (BMS). Facility Management companies will move into new service frontiers by acquiring and engaging in partnership with niche information technology players. With the availability of cheap and user-friendly devices for home automation, the smart home market is expected to show a strong growth in China, South Korea and Japan. Reducing Non-Revenue Water will remain Key Focus for the Water Industry The issue of resources and revenue leakage continues to plague the water sector across most of Asia. This will remain a major investment opportunity, with adoption of digital technologies like sensors and smart meters, helping to solve the problem to some extent. Indonesia’s ambitious plans to restructure its water sector and attract US$25 billion in potential investments would very much depend on the actual ground level implementation. Lack of financial prudence, political interference and policy flaws could potentially derail the plan, if these issues are not addressed.

Baillie Gifford Appoints CoManagers to Japanese Income Growth and Japanese Smaller Companies Funds Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh based independent international asset manager, has appointed Karen See as co-manager of the Baillie Gifford Japanese Income Growth Fund and Felicia Hjertman as co-manager of the Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies Fund, with immediate effect. Karen will work alongside Matthew Brett in managing the Japanese Income Growth Fund, following its successful growth since launch in July 2016 to assets of over £100m (as at 30 November 2016). Karen joined Baillie Gifford as a graduate from the University of Birmingham in 2012, and has been a member of Baillie Gifford’s Japanese Equities team since she joined the firm. Felicia will join Praveen Kumar as co-manager on the Japanese Smaller Companies Fund, with £300 million of assets (as at 30 November 2016). Felicia graduated from the European Business School, London in 2011, and joined Baillie Gifford that year. She has spent the last two years as part of the Japanese Equities team. James Budden, Director of Retail Marketing and Distribution at Baillie Gifford & Co says, “Baillie Gifford has a team-based approach to fund management and we see strong merits in the appointment of co-managers across our range of OEICs.” The Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies Fund’s total assets under management are

£299.68 million, as at 30 November 2016. The Fund aims to produce attractive capital growth by investing in smaller Japanese Companies that offer good growth opportunities from innovative business models, disrupting traditional Japanese business practices, or from the growth of Japanese companies outside Japan. The Fund has returned 183.2* per cent over the five years to 30 November 2016. Baillie Gifford employs over 900 people and has assets under management and advice of over £147 billion as at 30 September 2016, of which around £6.5 billion is managed by the Japanese Equities team. An asset management firm founded in 1908, it is headquartered in Edinburgh where most of its staff are based. The share price of these two funds can be volatile due to movements in the prices of the underlying holdings and the basis on which the funds are priced. Investment markets can go down as well as up and market conditions can change rapidly. The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount invested. Changes in the rates of exchange may cause the value of investments in overseas assets, priced in foreign currencies to go down. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. *Performance source: FE, single pricing basis, total return. B-Acc shares.

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1702AP25

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A Servant Leader Viv Allanson is CEO of Maroba. She tells us more about how the industry has evolved over the years and what she believes it takes to make a successful leader.

Maroba was established in 1954 in an old maternity cottage in Mayfield offering 10 rooms for elderly widows and spinsters. In 1960 a parcel of land was granted in Waratah where Maroba has grown from its initial 10 beds to 155 aged care beds and 23 retirement villas providing accommodation and care for seniors from all walks of life. Maroba continues to be operated by the Islington Baptist Church, proudly maintaining its independence as a truly local service.7 Viv Allanson is CEO of Maroba, she tells us more about the business and its ongoing strategy. “Maroba is funded primarily by the Commonwealth Government along with a contribution by each resident in the form of a daily care fee and, if they have the means to contribute to their accommodation costs they will pay the published price by way of a Residential accommodation deposit or a Daily Accommodation payment,” she explains. “The key to our future in a very competitive market is to continue to grow our brand and grow our services and accommodation offerings. Planning for expansion into community care and development of 51 apartments for retirement living within our Waratah campus will compliment and strengthen current service offerings.” Technology is key in the aged care sector, and Viv and her team work hard to ensure it is used effectively.

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“Maroba is well known in the sector as an early adopter so is always looking for innovative cost effective systems that will enhance resident outcomes and employee job satisfaction.

Maroba to ensure it continues to be a relevant and dynamic organisation. Viv was elected to the Aged and Community Services Association of NSW & ACT board of directors in 2007.

“When an innovation comes to our attention or we seek out a particular technology, we would establish a project team to research the offering and report back. If deemed suitable to our environment and the business case stacks up for the board then we press go and proceed with purchase and implementation.

Now an award-winning CEO, Viv shares with us the key attributes that she believes she possesses to ensure her continued success, and what motivates her to keep on climbing.

“In some cases this sector has been very slow to adopt technology leaving some organisations behind in this now very competitive market place. As aged care leaders we must consider and sure up the future which lies both in our people and in technological advancement … the two must be front of mind for organisations to progress and grow.” Viv was promoted from the Executive Director of Nursing position to the position of CEO of Maroba in 2000. Whilst beginning her career in the Public Health sector she has not looked back since she made the move to Aged care in 1992. Her qualifications are numerous including a Master of Health Management. Bringing her nursing experience to the role has enabled her to maintain her focus on the clinical and care issues whilst progressing Maroba’s business performance. The focus now is to diversify the range of accommodation and services provided by

“Connectedness is a driver for me as I see the world as one big connected family each playing a part in the others success and life outcomes,” she enthuses. “My personal approach is to always sew into the whole so that we all look good at whatever it is we do. I lend myself to individuals, organisations and to causes as I can’t ignore the call of humanity and am fully persuaded that I can make a difference one person at a time and one day at a time. “Courage in the face of opposition and emergency situations has served me well and ignited the strength of the people around me who may otherwise be paralysed with fear or lack of self confidence in those situations. “I wear my heart on my sleeve so no one has to second guess me, my team have come to rely on that transparency and honesty… speaking the truth in love does win others over . “Having the attitude and demeanour of a servant leader has led to success after success…and I don’t just mean personal or organisational success…once again the success of our team and

for those in our care shines through.” “My Maroba family are my motivators along with some amazing people in all sorts of business and leadership roles who challenge me and inspire me to never give up. I have a strong faith in my Creator who keeps me grounded and settled even in the midst of the storms. It is this same faith that causes me to Love the unlovable and gets me up each day believing I CAN make a difference.” Being a CEO within the AsiaPacific region has not come without its challenges, and Viv talks about how she has risen through the ranks despite sometimes facing adversity. “Over my 42 years working in the Health and Aged Care sectors the only constant is CHANGE which for the most part ranges from mild to extremely challenging. From leading the evacuation and emergency efforts and subsequent dismantling of the Area Health Service as acting Director of Nursing at Royal Newcastle Hospital in the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake to dealing with failures in care, the deaths of highly valued staff members and working alongside and supporting the poorest of the poor in third world nations … I have learnt to overcome. Flexibility is a key feature of who I have become, but flexibility without deep compassion for humanity can lead one into the quicksand. For me, this is about putting the people first … yes, even before the organisation, for by so doing the organisation is always advanced and in a better position to deal with the next challenge.


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Company: Maroba Name: Viv Allanson Email: viv@maroba.com.au Web Address: www.maroba.com.au Address: 58 Edith St, Waratah. NSW. Australia.2298 Telephone: +61 2 49350300

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“The Aged Care Industry, especially the Not for Profit sector, has been evolving from a cottage industry to a highly-competitive commercial environment during my 25 years in Aged Care. Within this competitive environment we face the dilemma of fluctuating and uncertain funding due to changing legislation especially in response to Federal budget constraints, financial cycles and unstable government where there have been more Aged Care ministers than you care to imagine. This has the effect of uncertainty in the extreme and therefore lack of investment and real growth in the sector. In fact smaller organisations are constantly facing the question do we “Stay (the same), Grow or Go?’ “Workforce planning is particularly challenging as pay rates in our sector are not competitive so we always strive to create a desirable home for seniors in a family atmosphere where we ‘get to work’. This approach has supported low turnover and strong interest in working at Maroba. “The Policy shift to Consumer Directed Care is driving great change within the region as we all look to how we can further set ourselves apart from the competition once the consumer controls the funding. It is being rolled out in the community setting and soon to be rolled out in the residential setting… watch this space as some have already missed the boat.” The APAC region is currently facing some exciting opportunities as the ageing demographic of the region is coming into focus more broadly. Viv embellishes: “There is great opportunity for Australian Aged Care leaders to influence the future for older people beyond Australia’s shores. We have learnt a great deal in care and service delivery over many decades and although Australia is still evolving we do have much to offer our APAC colleagues. Not only in the area of expertise in the Built environment but also models of care, approaches

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to in-home care, training and development and innovation. I engage frequently with Asian Academics and business people who visit Maroba and I have found in every instance they are hungry to learn from the Australian experience. After all we do have so much in common… People who are ageing and who desire dignity and choice in their frailer years and indeed we have much to learn in that space from our regional neighbours.

visitor asked what do you want to be when you grow up?!

“For businesses who haven’t had any interest or contact with the aged care sector, now is the time to look at us with a new lens of interest and opportunity. Aged Care is the new black… ignore it at your peril!”

“At 59 I still have an overflow that is impossible to switch off and I still have the passion for people especially those desiring the honour of a Leadership role. My Joy is to raise up Leaders and release them and so I plan one day to make that a primary focus along with sharing the wisdom I have gathered over my lifetime concerning matters of Health and Aged Care, the Built environment, Sustainability and issues that affect ‘organisational wholeness’. Some call that consultancy … I call it creating Tsunamis when ripples won’t do!

Viv strongly believes in building relationships, rather than reputation, has given the company a competitive advantage, and she tells us more about its core values and principles. “Our values are backed up by Christian foundations where we truly live by the Gospel of ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. Our Core Values guide us on a daily basis, these being: Accountability – we choose unity and personal responsibility; Visionary - we choose to create a community that is spiritual, inspirational and passionate for all; Loving- we choose to enrich lives through love, respect and dignity;, and Willingness to Learn and GrowWe choose a journey of continual learning and growth. “Being consistent and singleminded about our purpose and showing up in every situation and interaction with transparency, integrity and LOVE… this simply means treating everyone as a family member and how you would like to be treated.” As a successful CEO, Viv has huge aspirations for the future, both for her own personal development and for that of Maroba too. “I am often asked by my peers what are your plans, what’s next for you or even one cheeky

“I am still having fun within the context of Maroba, and the external organisations where I hold Director roles, however I am acutely aware that my contribution to my current organisation does have a use by date and with that in mind after 22 years I have allowed myself to dream of that moment when I do ‘grow up’ and it is time to move on.

“Maroba aspires to continue to be regarded as an influencer within the region, not only in the aged care sector but within the business community and community generally. Opportunities arise regularly for Maroba’s people to be the voice on a variety of issues from aged care to sustainability and lots in between. “The “Braeside” apartments are our next project. Along with planning for community services…they will run parallel with a care team and building team. Finally, Viv leaves us with some words of wisdom that she has picked up along the way during her tenure at Maroba as CEO. “Maroba has developed strong relationships with learning institutes such as University of Newcastle and TAFE to create a multidisciplinary teaching and learning environment. From 2017 Medical students will join the Speech Pathology student unit, social work students and the

other allied health professionals and various levels of Nurses both students and qualified to engage in the Maroba learning experience. “This has been a career dream to create a real “teaching” Aged Care service, as the foundation to my health career began in a teaching hospital environment where peer support and peer review where evident every day. I am convinced that the future of a robust Nursing profession depends on that same collegiality within safe learning environments in real “laboratories” called the residents home. (That home may be a facility or their own home). “I also have challenged academics and educational leaders to change the way we “educate” all levels of our nurses and carers. We need a new lens like that of tourism and hotel services so that nurses become adept at “delighting” those in their care…Consumer directed care will have NO MERCY on those who miss this vital platform of care …the Consumer is Numero Uno , no longer someone we do things too. “The times they are a changing”… and they have!” So what is Viv’s overall philosophy of leadership? I’m not sure who said this but it resonates very strongly for me…. “You must always remember, you’re not here to serve me... I’m here to serve you. I’m here to give you the tools, resources and the products to convert our residents into raving fans. “In addition, my job is to create an atmosphere where we’ll want to serve each other with a smile in our hearts, because that’s the only way this will be a great place to work!”


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1701AP07

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H-E Parts International Cooling Solutions

CEO of the Year - Mining, Manufacturing and Design

H-E Parts International COR Cooling is Australia’s largest provider of industrial cooling solutions for the mining industry with facilities in Perth, Kalgoorlie, Adelaide, Hunter Valley, Mackay and its head office is in Brisbane, Queensland. Warren discusses how he has become an award winning CEO for Mining, Manufacturing and Design.

H-E Parts COR Cooling is the only national solutions provider of industrial heat transfer equipment, service and engineered products. COR is now the market leader working closely with the world’s largest mining companies and associated industries including BHP, RIO Tinto, FMG, Glencore, Peabody and many others. Warren gives us an insight into what COR Cooling now does that’s made such a difference to the company and also discusses his approach to customer service excellence and positioning the company to become the market leader.

efficient whilst reducing operating costs and minimising equipment down time.”

“We recognised that the market was seeking alternative options to the OEM that delivered increased value through superior aftermarket capabilities and service. At COR, we have strategically positioned the company to offer the customer exactly that. COR’s cooling systems are not only more cost effective, they are more readily available at short notice, with improved design features that provide longer serviceable life, improved reliability and are more

Warren acknowledges that the industry has changed, and is continuing to change. He discusses with us what the major challenges are at the moment. “We must continue to be innovative with our products and our business model so we can provide increased value to our customers which in turn will drive our revenue growth in the future.”

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“Strong leadership and improved operational management along with the successful implementation of strategy were the key turning points of COR’s success. In addition to this, a range of improved operational processes and systems have also been implemented such as ISO Accreditation in International Standards, the consolidation of a multiple site business model, health and safety management standards, marketing and branding strategy and a greater focus on customer service excellence.”

“The way business is done these days is everchanging. We are finding it is harder to engage

directly with customers face to face. Customer relationships are slowly being replaced with systems and processes. The market is trying to diminish our unique capabilities and advantages by commoditizing our value proposition through aggressive procurement tactics that attempt to drive prices down. The challenge therefore is to work harder on strategies and maintain close contact with our customers so that we stay in the number one position. Aside from changes in the industry, Warren also notes the issues which are affecting business in the APAC region. “I see the future as positive and exciting in the region. I see more collaboration and trade between the regional countries as necessary and logical with greater cooperation. The weaknesses, however rests with the lack of leadership, vision and cooperation here within the Australian political landscape.” “Asia has now become the major player in determining the future demand of metallurgical and thermal coal resources from Australia. Domestic policy coupled with cyclical demand for

these energy and steel producing resources from Australia will continue to have a significant impact on their commodity prices in the future.” “Other challenges have included the management of our supply chain in the region, logistics management and foreign exchange rates fluctuations.” Technology however, is key to COR Cooling’s success. The company uses the most innovative technology in order to stay ahead of the competition and grow in a competitive sector as Warren explains. “Technology and innovation are paramount to our past and future success. The larger mobile mining fleets are becoming larger, autonomous and more advanced. As a solution provider, we must adapt and be able to provide the most advanced and leading edge products and capabilities. Technology has made a habit of turning ‘slow to react’ companies into dinosaurs in the past and it is more than likely that some companies will get caught out in the future if they don’t keep up. This is why I have introduced innovation as an integral part of the DNA within our organisation,


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our strategies, our people and our systems. Our ‘New Products’ division is testimony to this and one of the main reasons we were able to perform so well during the global mining downturn over the past few years and our underlying results are very pleasing.”

Camp in 2018 and I would also like to do more sailing on the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef with my wife, and most likely still doing much the same as I am today enjoying my passion for my work, family and life. Possibly, also transitioning to a non-executive Directors position.”

Warren has aggressive growth plans for the company’s future both in Australia and internationally seeking to leverage off increased demand in mining fleet maintenance over the next few years as well as utilizing the global footprint of H-E Parts International in other regions such as the Americas.

In five years’ time, Warren outlines his personal ambitions, saying “I will be trekking with my daughter to Mt Everest Base

Company: H-E Parts International COR Cooling Name: Warren Arthur Email: warrena@corcooling.com.au Web Address: www.corcooling.com.au Address: 62-64 Union Circuit, Yalata, Queensland Telephone: +61 487 912 551

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1702AP04

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Unique HR Service Delivery Soluions Ascent was Founded in 2002 by two professionals from the fields of Law and Finance, Subramanyam and Geeta L. Subramanyam, is the Founder President and CEO of Ascent. We looked at what the firm has done in the industry to stay successful.

Human Resource Practice has been a very dynamic and ever growing repertoire of knowledge and keeping oneself updated with that is a daunting task. Likewise, People Management is a key business function that has direct impact on competitiveness, efficiency of operations, and long-term profitability of an organization. Which is why, organizations have been investing enormous time and resources in the HR function, which diverts focus from the organization’s core business. To keep pace with the ongoing changes and also to refresh oneself on certain fundamental issues, Ascent Consulting Services (AscentHR) provides this information in a simple and lucid way. They are continuously striving to keep this information updated and useful to every professional engaged in People Practice. Inception and Growth Story Headquartered in Bangalore, AscentHR precisely addresses this anomaly through its 360-degree HR Management Solutions that transform the HR service delivery. While these solutions accomplish cost reduction, greater efficiencies and improved quality, their larger effort is aimed at improving organizational efficiency and not just creating incremental change. AscentHR has achieved this by building the right mix of skills and knowledge required for

14 APAC / February 2017

an effective Outsourced HR Management function. Their solutions employ a matrix of technology, domain expertise, streamlined business workflow, and highly skilled people to create tangible, measurable, performance improvements throughout the client’s organization. AscentHR believes that People Practice is an ongoing voyage of discovery, learning and development. The challenges and evolutions that confront Human Resource professionals and organizations are ones that rise and fall with the changing tides of business and people needs. No single solution can address all challenges or meet the needs of HR professionals across different industries. AscentHR is recognized as one of the most trusted partners in this business by clients around the world. They work as an extension of their client’s business. Their management and delivery teams are passionate about building efficiencies in their clients’ business. Trailblazer of AscentHR Consulting Ascent Consulting took birth under the eminent leadership of Subramanyam S, Founder and CEO. Subbu is a corporate lawyer and a Fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He had close to two decades of experience in Finance, Legal, Tax and Business Management. He has worked in these areas for 14+ years in various corporates

as a passionate professional before venturing to be an entrepreneur in setting up Ascent Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd in the year 2002. Subbu moved AscentHR up in the value chain, through right mode of organic growth and some acquisitions, into an information technology solutions and services company while enlarging the outsourcing business across India. His past experience includes exposures in Advani Oerlikon group, Shonk Technologies in Finance, HR and Corporate Legal Services. He has a good understanding of Finance, Treasury management, and Indian Legal frameworks, has an excellent grasp in managing IT/IT enabled services and covered all critical business areas in terms of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, and Product Development. Also, he has hands on exposure to domain in HR, Finance, Software Development and Managing Mergers/Acquisitions. Peerless Services Propounded AscentHR Consulting is essentially an HR Solutions company providing 360-degree HR Management Solutions that addresses growing business demands. Their solutions are industry agnostic while meeting specific needs of any vertical. AscentHR Consulting works with unmatched zeal and passion to make their work possible resulting in the successful interventions handled by them.

The company always makes larger efforts aimed at improving organizational efficiency and not just creating incremental change. In addition to AscentHR’s HR Outsourcing strengths, the company has an HR Automation suite that is built over a knowledge base of vast experience and real life scenarios. Its HR Automation suite comprises of five different applications: PowerHR – A fully integrated comprehensive real time enterprise HR delivery system covering all aspects from Hire to Retire. Stohrm – It is an efficient and easy tool for HR Hygiene Management for small and medium business enterprises and includes an interactive Employee/Manager Self Service. PowerPay – Payroll processing application which has multi country, multi-location, multicurrency and multi company capabilities while addressing regulatory environment of each location or country. PowerCMS – A comprehensive Compliance Management application for India with specific focus on HR Compliances. Strength and Proficiency AscentHR provides solutions, rounded completely for all needs of a comprehensive HR service delivery. They offer several services that are unique and not offered by many of their competitors. They have a full


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suite of products or services for HR Service Delivery which covers enterprise HR Management System on the cloud supported by an efficient managed service of Payroll and Benefits Administration in addition to Compliance Management and Consulting Support, which are managed services. All of these tools and services complete the transactional and strategic part of HR service delivery which makes them a niche company, setting them apart from others. Another factor where AscentHR differs is in their ability to provide a unified and integrated platform not just for India, but many countries worldwide. It is this unique platform that they bring to the table, making them relevant for global mobility which has helped them in establishing presence in 25 countries around the world. Tactics That Cracked Challenges Essentially, AscentHR believes in the 3A’s - Accuracy, Adaptability and Accountability, thus ensuring customer delight and proficiency in every task. They believe that it is necessary to put themselves in the shoes of the client when they deliver HR services and hence they try to be accurate, adaptable and accountable in everything they deliver. Meeting client needs and providing solutions are in the DNA of all professionals at AscentHR. Across the globe, HR is a nonstandard practice and is quite unique to each industry or entity. For this reason, it is necessary to work around and try to see how to reflect the ambitions and aspirations of that particular entity and its human resource in an interactive manner, ensuring a path to excellence. That’s one of the key elements of the issue.

Relation with Clients Traditionally, AscentHR have been a company that is into outsourcing which means that they try to take enterprise clients and manage services which has been the storyboard of their enterprise so far. In addition to that, they provide services in the form of staffing and training. They also have value addition in terms of their new SMB solution, i.e. Small Business Solutions, which is more like a software service in the cloud which is unique in terms of its approach. This has probably been born out of the experience that AscentHR has dealing with enterprises. Due to this, they are familiar with the pain points, the challenges and the tough tasks that lie ahead of the HR Service Delivery. This has led to a kind of combined expertise which has been implemented in this. So they believe that by next year they should be on track for being the fastest growing company by scaling their worldwide presence. In their opinion, they should be able to do at least 200 clients in the current year. AscentHR have implemented a very large HRO solution for an enterprise which has more than 65,000 employees ensuring their capability in handling large companies. This is a unique experience as far as India is concerned. In short, one can say that they are Industry agnostic, Size agnostic, Practice agnostic. AscentHR values and nurtures every relationship. They always meet client needs and provide solutions which are in the DNA of all Ascentians. AscentHR Consulting’s Future Perspective Having established their presence in India, AscentHR has placed their feet in 27 countries around the world at this point of time and are confident that the volume of business in these 27 countries will scale up rapidly at the same time scaling the number of countries as they grow. AscentHR position themselves as an Asian competitor to major global players today and are looking forward to becoming an Asian solution to global players in the future.

Company Name: Ascent Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. Management: Subramanyam S, Founder and CEO, Geeta L, Co-founder and COO Description: AscentHR provides 360-degree management solutions with services like payroll and benefits, consulting and compliance and automation tools for an enhanced HR service. URL: www.ascent-online.com

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At AscentHR, they believe that by offering their own solutions they have the advantage of being adaptable, an option which would be lost to them had they used inflexible third party solutions. Therefore, flexibility, agility and adaptability are something that they keenly bring to the table and this has been something that has helped them overcome obstacles. It also has the advantage of providing such solutions in a short span of time.

At AscentHR, their inherent approach to assist a client in any function always provides the best combination of skills and knowledge resulting in an excellent outsourcing service or solution


1702AP31

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The Future of Technology in Education Veronica Reilly talks to us about her firm and the future of the industry within the APAC region. V Training Australia is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), a legally compliant education provider in Australia. Veronica Reilly tells us more about the firm and its client base. “This RTO registration permits us to conduct qualifications and other nationally accredited training programs, and we concentrate on delivering our courses online. “We also specialise in training design and development, including e-learning, and training delivery and using our expertise in project management to deliver these educational services. “Our clients range from the Australian Government to major corporations like Fuji Xerox, Toyota Financial Services, Manpower and Woolworths and to education providers like the University of Western Sydney, the University of Technology, Sydney, and Open Universities Australia.” Veronica embellishes to tell us about the firm’s overall mission and the steps taken to ensure it achieves its objectives. “Our mission is to expand our online Diploma of Business program and Diploma of Accounting program throughout

16 APAC / February 2017

Asia Pacific, commencing with China in 2017. “Australia is one of the most popular countries chosen by Chinese students to study a Diploma program as an alternate pathway to entering university while also building their English language skills. “V Training Australia can offer the same Diploma program to Chinese students from their home, without the need to travel to Australia to complete their Diploma. This saves an average of $20,000 AUD per student.” When undertaking a new project a good strategy and approach is vital to consistently ensure the best possible outcome for clients. “With 12 years of global experience working on education programs, we have designed our own project management methodology that combines the traditional PMBOK approach with Agile. The approach has been refined over the years to meet the needs of clients better. “As qualified and certified project managers, our team set up all learning design, development and training projects using a range of cloud-based technologies to communication, collaborate and report on progress with team members and the client.

“We spend considerable time during the scoping phase to ensure projects are clearly defined, and expectations on return on investment are confirmed upfront.” The firm clearly differentiates itself from the competition, and marks itself out as the best possible option for clients, due to designing and developing its own material and being involved in the development of the learning management systems that deliver its programmes. “Our unique skills are in writing for online training and university providers, and we have written for many of the best providers,” explains Veronica. “We’ve benchmarked our work against the best in the industry and have come on top in regards to innovation, technology, use of offline support tools and overall student support services.” Australia is internationally regarded as having one of the most advanced and innovative education and training systems in the world. It has been teaching international students for over 60 years and attracts approximately 500,000 students from around 200 countries each year. Veronica provides a more indepth overview of the industry in the APAC region, including the external influences which affect it

and how the firm has overcomes certain challenges it has faced. “Australian educational institutions are renowned worldwide for the quality of their teaching and research. Australia ranks second out of 191 countries and territories in both the United Nation’s Human Development Index and the United Nations Education Index, according to the Australian Consulate-General in Shanghai, China. “The rigour and quality outcomes that Australian RTOs must meet ensures our vocational education system remains amongst the best in the world. V Training Australia believes it’s an ideal time to offer online Diploma’s as an alternative study option to students throughout the Asia Pacific region as the younger generation are demanding justin-time learning and alternative options to traditional classroom training. “Technology in education will continue to evolve and give more students access than ever before to education online, and that’s why V Training Australia is ahead of this trend and has spent the last 18 months designing and developing the online Diploma programs.” “We utilise research from Deloitte Reports from China and


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Australia, our colleagues in the education industry, AUSTRADE, Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), Queensland Department of Education, Ministry of Education, China and ASQA to stay abreast of the latest research and predictions for the Asia Pacific Region, with an emphasis on online education.

and unique culture we have! We often have potential candidates complete tasks to demonstrate competency and rely on referee checks and previous work outputs to determine suitability. However, we find that we’ll hire someone with a great attitude with fewer skills and knowledge than someone that is not team orientated but meets the job brief.

“We have needed to overcome numerous legislative and cultural barriers to assist with entering the vocational market in China. From issues with technology speeds and access to Australian websites to working with locally based institutions to legally import our textbooks into the country to support the Diploma programs. We continue to work tirelessly to establish a reputation in China, where we are new.”

“We are a training company, so we thrive on building not only our client’s and student’s skills and knowledge but also our team members.”

The internal culture at V Training goes a long way to ensuring that staff are equipped with the necessary skills to provide the best possible service to its clients. “We have a very collaborative culture where trainers, designers and senior staff members are provided with the freedom to be creative in their problem solving. This encourages accountability and responsibility to assist the business to succeed, which is always related to student and client support services. “Other staff are provided with work from home options and are encouraged to use technology to communicate and report on work progress. This builds a culture of trust and accomplishment, as they are not assessed on the time they work but by what is produced by the end of the week. “It doesn’t work for everyone, which is great! We only want people that can work within our unique culture to be part of the family. It just works for us.”

“I would like V Training Australia not only to be the best supplier of online education products to China but also have students from India, Singapore and Japan by 2022. “We look forward to speaking with parents and potential students throughout the Asia Pacific Region about our exceptional online Diploma program and how we can provide an alternative pathway to enter university in Australia. “With regards to the industry, all the research today points to online learning being the future of education. With the latest technology now allowing educators to develop programs that facilitate video chat between trainer and students, the rapid development of interactive e-learning content, add instant messaging with group discussion forums to promote social learning and students having access to the theory 24/7 means that online learning is not just online. “To be successful, it needs to combine offline activities such as practice activities that involve other students and volunteers, access to trainer using various communication channels and have structured live webinars and 1-on-1 coaching sessions to support the student throughout the program. This is the formulae to success, and our programs were designed and developed with this in mind.”

Company: V Training Australia Name: Veronica Reilly Email: veronica.reilly@vtrainingaustralia.edu.au Web Address: www. vtrainingaustralia.edu.au Address: Level 14, 167 Eagle St Brisbane QLD 4000 Telephone: 1300 130 942

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With regards to recruitment, Veronica likes to keep it all in-house. “We do not use third party providers to recruit any of our team members,” she says. “We do it all ourselves as only we can communicate the passion

Veronica has great aspirations for the future of V Training and the industry itself as a whole.


1701AP17

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World Class Real Estate The A. J. Mason Group has been developing real estate in the APAC region for nearly 40 years. We profiled the firm to see what they offer to clients.

The A. J. Mason Group was established by Mr. A.J. Sze and Mr. Mason Sze in 1978 as a private company for the family business. The founders’ origins were established in the construction industry as Mr A.J. Sze was also the co-founder of the publicly listed company ‘Paul Y. Construction Company Ltd.’ based in Hong Kong, and was a leader in the construction industry for both Hong Kong and Singapore. In the earlier years, the Group focused on the development of residential properties, and has since evolved into a developer and operator of quality projects with unique character in specialized niche markets. Today, the Group is

well-established in the real estate business that includes development, investment and management. Based in Hong Kong, the Group is now operated under the leadership of Mr. Mason Sze, Group Chairman, and Mr. Jason Sze, Group Managing Director. It has also successfully extended its focus and network beyond Hong Kong too. As the managing director, Jason controls a group of privately own companies in Greater China focused primarily in the real estate industry including property development, investment, management, and leasing. He joined the group in 1990 and in 1994, he started a new management company, McGillis and Associates Ltd., that focused

on the property management and leasing side of this business. In 1997, Jason initiated a new investment trend by taking over an existing three storey office podium on Nathan Road and transformed it into a trendy retail youth arcade featuring over 150 shops called ‘Chic Castle’ that catered exclusively to the young and trendy customers of Mongkok in Hong Kong. A year later, the firm continued its growth globally as Jason started to diversify the Group’s property investment objectives to overseas projects and one of the first such projects he spearheaded was the takeover of an existing marina development in Australia at Patterson Lakes, Melbourne (www.pattersonlakesmarina.com. au). This led to the successful low rise apartment development known as ‘Pier 9’ residences, which are apartments that actually float on water. He also expanded the Group’s property portfolio into North America including new investments in Vancouver, Montreal, San Francisco, and Calgary. With regards to the APAC region, Jason has focused his business attention on China over the past 12 years. To date, he has successfully completed three projects, including a hotel/apartment development known as Mayfair Hotels and Apartments in Tianjin (www.

18 APAC / February 2017

mayfairhotel.com.cn), a retail education mall in Shenzhen known as K Plaza (www.kplaza.cn), and his third venture is a residential/commercial development in Wuhan called Lido Mason Residences’ that is includes 1500 apartments; 100 retail shops, and 700 parking spaces. Another project in 2014 was the completion of the Urban Post Hotel (www.urbanposthotel. com) in Foshan. Jason pioneered this using a concept of a private villa in Foshan which has begun operations in the Lingnan Tiandi area. Jason graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1987 with a degree in business administration, and in 1992 he also studied at Insead in Fountainbleu, France. He was originally recruited to Hong Kong by the Swire Group to work as an executive management trainee for Cathay Pacific Airways in 1987. Jason has been previously involved as a member of the Ningbo Residents Association, the Hubei Hong Kong Youth Exchange, and the Tianjin Youth Federation. He has also been a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Development Council (www.ydc.org.hk) in Hong Kong since its inception in 1997 and a Director until 2006. Jason’s proudest achievement to date has been his work as co-founder of the Hong Kong


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Today, The A. J. Mason Group is rapidly developing exciting businesses with new partners in the various Chinese Mainland and North America cites, and the Group is poised to benefit from the significant opportunities for growth that will arise from the rapid transformation in these cities that have been previously targeted by the Group. The company is confident that based on its vision, core values, and past achievements, the Group is set for long-term prosperity and growth in 2017 and beyond.

Company: The A. J. Mason Group Name: Jason Sze Email: mail@ajmason.com Web Address: www.ajmason.com Address: 15th Floor, Kailey Tower, 16 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong Telephone: +852.2524.8383

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chapter for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.eonetwork. org) and in 2011, he also co-founded the China South chapter for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization as well. He has served on the chapter board in both chapters, including as President of Hong Kong Chapter in 2000 and as Northeast Area Director in 2001, and as the EO China 300 Chair in 2013 and 2014, and has served as Path of Leadership Chair in 2015, the Leadership Committee Chair in 2016, and as member of the Global Board of Directors starting 1st July, 2017.

World Class Real Estate


1701AP15

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Exploring Asian Markets Annie Meyer, Asia CEO and Group Board Director at Transtar talks to us about how the group is doing business in the freight and logistics market.

Transtar is an international freight and logistics company, specialising in the provision of end-to-end solutions for importers and exporters doing business throughout Asia. The business also has extensive experience in European and American markets. Headquartered in Melbourne and with Group Board Director, Annie Meyer heading up the Asia Head Office in Hong Kong, the group has a network of 18 offices located throughout China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Asia CEO, Annie Meyer spoke to us about what the group provides, along with their approach to client service.

“The network – strategically located in ten of the top 12 container ports of the world – provides Transtar with an integrated model whereby Transtar people and facilities control and manage cargo movements across the entire supply chain. Our dedicated teams provide local insight, scale and value-added initiatives to our customers across a range of industries. “The group’s belief that every customer has an individual map for their logistics needs has long been the mantra that has clearly served us well. Understanding the needs of the customer by offering personalised options in saving process and manual data input time has been pivotal in automating systems.

“As a growing innovative company, we want the ability to grow and innovate with like-minded businesses. Our relationship with our customers is truly unique. We not only help them to proposer by streamlining logistics and supply chains – we help them reinvent their business operations.” Over the last five years, Transtar has opened for business in nine new markets across Asia, including Ningbo, Qingdao, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur – however their aspirations do not stop there. Annie explains what the group’s mission entails and how this helps them to stand out as the best possible option for clients. “Our mission has long been to be the best service provider in our space whilst adding value across the customers supply chain. We do this by being physically hands on in all our offices and not enlisting third parties to fulfil the customer’s requirements. Detailed SOPs are continuously being tweaked as the customer’s businesses evolve; the reengineering never stops being assessed. “Our Transtar Asia infrastructure has been a step change for our customers both new and long term in truly providing personal levels of attention at all points of the supply chain which in turn allows us to offer true end to end logistics transparency.

20 APAC / February 2017

“Our significant growth over the last three decades can largely be attributed to our unique service offering. We have a fully integrated business model where our people and facilities can control and manage cargo movements across the entire supply chain – we go way beyond port-to-port; we can take you door-to-door.” Annie is a pioneer in creating and leading an Australian international logistics business in China, and continues to demonstrate to other women that anything is possible if you are driven and motivated. Transtar’s representation of female managers/leaders is second to none in the industry. All four directors of the business travel extensively throughout the international office network to meet with staff, customers and stakeholders. Staff members from all parts of the business also travel regularly between national and international offices which provides regular contact between operational and management teams, ongoing training and assessment, maintains alignment between China and Australia and ensures a strong sense of the Transtar corporate culture. Annie concludes the interview by giving us a brief overview of the developments she foresees in the market and what Transtar has planned for future growth.


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Company: Transtar International Freight Name: Annie Meyer Email: info@hkg.transtar.net Web Address: www.transtar.net Address: Suite 2209, 22/F., Tower 1, Millennium City 1, 388 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong Telephone: +852 3104 0510

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“With multiple shipping lines merging the market is open to change. With a presence in Asia, we are able to build relationships and have clarity about these changes prior to official press releases. Keeping ahead of the industry is crucial in delivering market movement updates to our customers. With a strong growth over the last 12 to 24 months, we as a group aim to be in the top 200 business in Australia and number one Australian logistics provider in the next ten years.�


1701AP30

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Successful IT Initiatives Argo Computing Services Pty Ltd are a Melbourne based software development company. They are passionate about building solutions which allow clients to conduct business electronically, using the most advanced methods and techniques available to IT. Boris Petukhov speaks to us about how his experience has helped the company grow.

Boris Petukhov explains what his role and responsibilities are as well as how his skills have strengthened Argo Computing. “I’m the principal consultant and owner of this company and been in the role since 1998. In the core of our business, one can find

solid experience in successful delivery of multiple business and IT initiatives in a very diverse problem domain environment.” “In 1983, I wrote my first computer program using language called ISO 7 bit and it was used for metal processing in an agricultural machinery manufacturing plant. These early studies and industry experiences have become a foundation upon which I’ve built up all my knowledge and expertise.” “I’m passionate about applying my knowledge and skills to solve real world problems on a daily basis. Seeing this positive impact keeps me motivated and rewarded. My strong technical background complemented by extensive industry experience and supported by innovative approach to everything we do has helped Argo to be successful.” Boris is currently in the process of writing his PhD thesis with Victoria University- Melbourne, Australia - in the area of Artificial Intelligence applied to Operational Management Optimisation, titled ‘Operational Scheduling with Business Modelling and Genetic Algorithms’. He discusses this research with us. “Whether one is applying Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), Projects in Controlled Environment (PRINCE2) or Agile project delivery approach to their project/program/portfolio management, initial development and following maintenance of effective schedules is paramount

22 APAC / February 2017

to overall success of any initiative. Scheduling in complex and large problem domains is resource consuming and challenging. It becomes especially difficult when project conditions often change within relatively short time periods. Failure to timely respond to this change will results in all sorts of problems occurring in a given management space.” “This study developed a new planning and scheduling method which helps managers to address challenges they face in their day to day work. The proposed approach employs Business Modelling and Genetic Algorithms (GA). It is anticipated, that not only will this research project deliver a new project scheduling method; it will also show some improvements and innovations in engineering and business contexts of this study.” This method is now fully developed, patented (AusPat reference number 2016200960) and tested in an industry setting.

Boris finishes the interview by sharing his thoughts on what companies from the APAC region may find useful in order to help their business, including the implementation of technology. “In my opinion, managers in APAC and other regions should use current advances in technology to improve and streamline their operations. This approach should allow improving their bottom line without having to generate more sales, reduce the number of staff or increase the current pricing of their offerings. Technology is extremely important as it allows us to implement the advances in science and scale this application to the sizes and domains which current business environment require.” Looking to the future, Boris plans to complete his PhD project and continue working on implementing the method developed within that study, in organisations in APAC region.

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Argo Computing Services was established in 1998. Since then, participants of the company have been involved in numerous business and IT implementations for a range of Australian clients across various industry sectors. These include: • Telecommunication • Education • Finance - Lending • Finance – Wealth Management / Trading • Finance - Insurance / Payroll • Health • Retail • Transport and Logistics • Manufacturing • Utilities

Company: Argo Computing Services Pty Ltd Name: Boris Petukhov Email: boris@argocomputing.com.au Web Address: www.argocomputing.com.au Address: PO Box 145, Chadstone Centre, Chadstone, VIC 3148, Australia Telephone: +61 419 115 480


1701AP37

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Fruity Marketing Mango is an experiential marketing, event management and staffing agency, based in South Australia. Managing Director, Larnie Baldock speaks to us about what the firm can offer clients.

“Through experiential marketing we bring to life your brand by creating exciting, unique and fun experiences. We work with a broad range of clients from the alcohol industry, cosmetic, service and one of our absolute favourites food. We are very passionate about the food industry in SA we see a great growth in this area and love the opportunity to showcase SA’s exceptional food options. Along with experiential marketing concepts, we are well known for our events that always have a creative flair and attention to detail. “Originally starting just as a simple staffing agency we now see that as just a small part of our company and have now

developed the one stop shop that we have always dreamt about. Our passion lies with Event Management and Marketing, moving forward Mango will have a major focus on establishing themselves as market leaders in these avenues.” Mango puts its clients first and will move mountains to ensure they get the result they desire. Larnie explains how she has kept her herself motivated in order to help clients get the outcome they desire. “I love what I do, not only do I get to be creative and work on many different brands and engage with clients from all backgrounds and help make their brands successful, I also through our staffing arm, get to see our brand ambassadors change, they become empowered after working with us and so many of them have gone on to be very successful in their careers.” The industry and the APAC region have both presented

challenges for Mango. Larnie describes what these challenges are and what the firm has done to stay current in the market. “SA is not the easiest state to make your mark in, we are the highest taxed state in Australia and quite often seen too small to compete with eastern seaboards. Social media has had a massive impact on our industry, we have had to change and develop our marketing and event management plans to incorporate the use of social media. Also, technology is becoming key in our industry, keeping up to date with social media options is a must and having the latest technology at your fingertips is vital to get the most out of your concepts.” Looking to the future, Larnie sees herself continuing the work she has done with Mango. As well as her personal aims, Larnie tells us all about the firms plans for the future. “Hopefully on a yacht cruising the Greek islands! My passion is Mango so I cannot see myself stepping down in five years. I will

be strengthening and furthering our reach so by doing this I will need to use my skills to mentor a candidate into my role and assist with many of my duties. “As a company, we will develop ourselves as a market leader in experiential marketing and event management nationally. We are currently seeking support from the South Australian food industry and look forward to becoming a marketing hub, where we can utilize different brands to showcase the amazing talent we have in SA. Mango is currently very successful at incorporating and pairing our SA brands and would like to grow this concept further. “Mango is a can do agency, we listen to our clients, learn about their companies and create unique marketing and event management experiences that are aligned with their brand. Through this ideal we have established and maintained great working relationships with our clients, many of who have been with us since I started Mango 11 years ago and have now changed from clients to family.”

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Larnie Baldock is a passionate, driven and enthusiastic leader. In this interview, she explains her expertise has helped Mango to grow in to the company it is today. Firstly, she chats to us about what the company can provide to clients.

Company: Mango Promotions Name: Larnie Baldock Email: larnie@mangopromotions.com.au Web Address: www.mangopromotions.com.au Address: PO Box 33 Blackwood SA 5051 Telephone: 0404 702 177


1701AP28

Builtink. Built Right.

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Company: Builtink Name: Michael Little Web Address: www.builtink.com

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BUILT INK. BUILT RIGHT. Builtink is a solution based building company specialising in tailored, time focused, aesthetically driven functional design and construction. Michael Little speaks to us about what this Building Company offers to clients in the region. “The firm’s services attract developers and owner occupiers requiring a costeffective solution to their Industrial Warehouse projects. We custom design their built environment to fit their work needs to either improve productivity through space or improve work flow in Administration areas.” We spoke to Michael Little from the firm to find out more. “Builtink consists of two divisions a BUILT division focused on strategic, time-lined construction and an INK division focused on design solutions . Both are specialists within their fields and are supported by our administration to ensure smooth processing of all projects. “Our key focuses within the company is to provide comprehensive, tailored, solution and service based design and construction for the Industrial & Commercial sector. We achieve this through sustainable partnerships with clients and professional trade services. Builtink guarantee the above through maintaining quality control and practices within our company, subcontractor agreements, relevant training and insurances; ensuring all health, safety and environmental systems are priorities on all sites; and logical design practices to help reduce cost and time on site during the construction phase. “In the current market, strategic planning for growth is essential. You cannot take the same

approach to construction that was done ten years ago, the industry has changed. It is filled with challenges highly influenced by the mining sector (in WA). “This has provided Builtink with no better time to evolve and implement key performance goals. Sticking with our focus we have implemented further strategies within our estimating and construction phases to help compensate for reduced profit margins and fewer clients in the market. Keeping our highly qualified team ‘tight’ allows us to reduce many issues within a business including expenses, communication breakdown and time.” In order to be a successful CEO in the region, Michael shares some of the challenges he has faced in the industry. “Having previously setup and managed a successful, award winning architectural practice provided some exposure to well organised building companies. I was able to target their weaknesses and provide a solution for the client based on their feedback. Recruiting experienced staff members was crucial in the setup of this organisation. “With the downturn in the Industrial market for 2016 presented many challenges as cost cutting became the norm across a number of Industries. Builtink was able to maintain its staff levels by looking outside the box and completing various different types of projects through our existing network of clients.”

From this, Michael talks about the APAC region, along with how it has changed over the years. This has affected business during a difficult economic period. “Western Australia is a major player in the resource sector for the APAC Region. With a downturn in this market over recent years several key Sectors are experiencing challenges. Residential and Commercial Construction are just two sectors experiencing this downturn. “We have seen cost sensitivity over 2016 as a critical factor in decision making for both clients, tenants, purchasers, builders and trades. Builtink has worked hard to maintain its quality of service and finish through our company motto- BUILT INK, BUILT RIGHT. This is critical for our reputation whilst still providing extremely cost competitive pricing for our clients. “As Western Australia is the only state currently experiencing a downturn, we see this as a golden opportunity for investment over the next ten years. State infrastructure projects forecast major growth for this state over the next decade and Builtink plan to be a major part of that growth. “The APAC region present exciting opportunity for major collaborations of networks. As it continues to grow at a much faster pace than Australia, we see many advantages to working together with clients to develop portfolios in a very stable Country and Government. New Trade Agreements are making it easier to work together in both supply

or investment possibilities as many customers seek to make Australia a home away from home. “Many state laws have heavily taxed the purchase of Residential property for foreign investors to stem the growth of purchasers. Victoria will have a 7% foreign investor surcharge on residential stamp duty (increasing from the current 3%). From 1 January 2017, the existing 0.5% land tax surcharge has increased to 1.5%. New South Wales will have a 4% foreign investor surcharge on residential stamp duty and a 0.75% land tax surcharge. Western Australia currently presents no surcharges on residential stamp duty or land tax for foreign investment. This demonstrates great opportunity long term for astute investors from the APAC region.” Michael finishes our interview by outlining his plans for the future. “As CEO I plan to complete many developments this year for both clients and partners. Builtink plans to create some further partnerships and networks with clients in the Asian Pacific region as they wish to expand in alternative markets. “As a family business consisting of two brothers, I plan to incorporate as many opportunities for training and educating of family members to help maintain that family feel throughout our business. I aim to keep our key values and focus as the core of the business to ensure we keep on track for our company goals.”


1701AP04

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Continuous Innovation and Reform Established in 2001, iSoftStone Information Technology (Group) Co., Ltd. is a leading China based global IT services and solutions provider. With nearly 120 offices in 55 cities and 38,000 employees around the world, iSoftStone understands what it takes to deliver success on a global scale. We profile the firm to see what they provide.

iSoftStone’s endto-end software development and consulting services and solutions in big data, cloud computing, and Internet app services provide clients with a sustainable competitive advantage. The firm has a grade-one certification for information system integration and services. iSoftStone service 1000+ worldwide clients, covering more than ten major industries and business verticals, 90+ fortune 500 clients. Up to now, iSoftStone’s Smart City plans cover more than 100 cities and the projects have covered and been operating stably in over 80 cities. Holding the concept of creating values in a win-win situation, iSoftStone adheres

to continuous innovation and reform. With experienced global development team and technical experts, as well as deep technical strength and integrated ecological resources, iSoftStone provides customers with more standardized and professional products and solutions. In addition, iSoftStone has developed universal platform services for different industries. It also provides ‘end-to-end software + services’ whole value chain solutions to meet customers’ ever-changing demands in the Internet era. iSoftStone’s vision is to become a world-class technology services provider and preferred partner for global customers. The firm’s mission is to create values for the customers with innovative ideas and leadingedge technologies. To achieve this goal, iSoftStone has always

adhered to innovation-driven to accelerate a new generation of information technology and Internet technology integration. For the future, iSoftStone is committed to providing leading edge technology and services for clients, and to promote the city, industry and enterprise digital transformation based on cloud computing and big data. iSoftStone’s core values are: Quality, Innovation, Openness, Learning, and Value Creation. Under the guidance of such core values, the staffs of iSoftStone work closely together, and adhere to customer-centric, hand in hand with clients and partners to create a broad future. The firm provides information technology services, consultation and solutions, cloud computing, big data and internet services to clients of cities, industries and enterprises.

In iSoftStone, talent introduction and talent development is regarded as the most important to enterprise development. Through years of adhering to the “people-oriented” corporate culture concept, iSoftStone has established the best employer culture in both internal and external areas, which is an important reason for iSoftStone to attract talents, develop talents and retain talents. In China, iSoftStone has been awarded ‘The Best Employer’, ‘The Best Employer of Chinese College Students’ etc. Software defines the world, and the data drives the future. With regards to the industry, the digital transformation is stimulating global dynamism, based on innovative technologies and services iSoftStone will work hand in hand with clients and partners to create a broad future.

K Company: iSoftStone Information Technology (Group) Co., Ltd. Email: contact@isoftstone.com Web Address: www.isoftstone.com.cn/en Address: Building 16, Dong Qu, 10 Xibeiwang Dong Lu, Haidian District, Beijing 100193, China Telephone: Tel: +86 10 5874 9000

26 APAC / February 2017


1702AP08

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Taking Great Care of Business Gary Bender of World Corporate Travel talks to us about the travel industry and how the firm differentiates itself from the competition.

Wct has proven that these two core components of the business work hand-in hand and there is a dedicated team for each that offer a comprehensive range of services. Gary Bender tells us more. “Our Corporate Travel Management expertise provides clients with peace of mind that their travel requirements are being looked after efficiently and effectively to ensure financial goals are being met, the companies travel policy is being adhered to and that travellers are provided with seamless itineraries for their business travel. Risk management and duty of care is part of our service and very important to wct and our clients. “Event Management services include destination research, budgeting, registration, production and onsite management for conferences, incentive programs, group travel, road shows, awards dinners and more. A crucial part of what we do for our clients is to provide a concept that will win the hearts and minds of their delegates to reinforce their brand.

our clients, know our business and are experts in what they do. “Wct invests in technology that allows us to provide our clients with the highest level of service and invests in staff that are creative, strategic and experienced, therefore our travellers feel like VIPS and receive a level of service not available with larger travel companies. “For events we strive to win the hearts and minds of delegates to create life long memories that they associate with our client’s brand. When undertaking a new project, each company wct works with has different corporate travel objectives and no two events are ever the same. “We are welladapted to working with a diverse range of requirements,” explains Gary. “However, our fundamental steps for each new project are the same. We begin by asking clients what their objectives are and from this foundation we create a strategy using our team’s knowledge, experience and global contacts. “The best possible outcome is achieving and exceeding our clients’ objectives and expectations.

The firm’s overall mission is to provide clients with a customer experience that reflects its passion for travel, events and personal service.

“In our industry where trends are always changing and it is competitive not many companies can say that they have had clients for over 20 years, that’s the difference – wct care and move with our clients trends to ensure we are always providing longevity and forward thinking.

“In our eyes it can be the small things that make a difference,” Gary elaborates. “Our team know

“In a world where there are so many options clients can find it hard to choose the right fit for

their travel and events’ needs, wct provides an option that gives peace of mind and our clients investments are protected by means of wct’s comprehensive insurances and the fact that we are IATA licensed, ATAS and Magellan Group members.” Gary has a very strong presence within the industry. He is the Chairperson of the Meetings Events Australia NSW PCO special interest group and attends regular senior industry meetings. The GM, Simone King, also travels to various, relevant events to stay abreast with current information and travel developments. “The team are very proactive in providing our suppliers with feedback, requesting updates and are very proactive with professional development,” says Gary. To this end, Wct has a team which shares the same vision and values, and embraces the company’s practices. “We have a low turnover of personnel and great length of service. We provide a nurturing working environment and develop our team to achieve their best. An asset and strength of wct is that we are a close team, all with strong work ethics, inter-

communication to benefit each other’s strengths and the skills to create a personal rapport with our customers. In terms of hiring staff we have a number of freelance personnel to call on if we need additional hands on deck.” The future for the firm looks very bright indeed, as Gary enthuses: “Wct is working on an exciting project in partnership with Tourism Portfolio. We are launching a new industry tradeshow in July 2017. Get Global provides an effective and efficient business platform for international suppliers to connect with corporate meeting planners, incentive houses, PCO’s, travel companies and anyone else that has international group business from Australia. We are excited about the opportunities that businesses will have to connect and this is one example of how we stay ahead in our industry – we create ideas and make them happen. “The world is changing at a fast pace and this can affect the way in which business is done. Wct knows that there is a need to be mobile with applications linked to the agency and we have the foresight to know when we need to be proactive in case of an emergency rather than reactive.”

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For more than 20 years corporate companies of all sizes from a cross-section of industries have been using World Corporate Travel (wct) for Corporate Travel and Event Management services.

Company: World Corporate Travel Name: Gary Bender Email: garyb@worldcorptravel.com.au Web Address: www.worldcorptravel.com.au Address: Level 10, 68 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney NSW 2065 Telephone: 02 9929 4000 Facebook: facebook.com/worldcorptravel LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company-beta/6825904/ Twitter: @worldcorptravel Instagram: worldcorporatetravel


1701AP08

The Leading Light in the Indian Legal Industry

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Company: ALMT Legal, Advocates & Solicitors Name: Kruti Desai Email: kdesai@almtlegal.com Web Address: www.almtlegal.com Address: 1st Floor Free Press House, 215 Free Press Journal Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021 Telephone: +91-22-40010000

28 APAC / February 2017

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The Leading Light in the Indian Legal Industry ALMT Legal is a dynamic and full service Indian law firm that provides high quality Indian expertise with an international capability. We invited Kruti Desai to talk us through the firm and the range of expert services it provides.

With approximately 100 lawyers and 23 partners across offices in strategic commercial centres like Mumbai and Bangalore, ALMT has an established reputation as one of India’s top bracket firms. Kruti discusses the work the firm undertakes and the clients it supports.

subdivided our firm into two primary verticals i.e. corporate law and litigation. Our lawyers are therefore given the opportunity to work with different partners in various areas of law, within their respective verticals. This enables our lawyers to expand their knowledge base as well as narrow down the areas they would eventually like to specialise in.”

“ALMT’s practice areas encompass all aspects of Indian law ranging from corporate, commercial to tax, employment, dispute resolution, property, IPR, shipping, aviation and even immigration law. Our clients include retail giants like Pavers England, to large cap pharma companies like Allergan Healthcare, property developers, investment funds (Indian and foreign), IT companies and various multinational corporate having their head offices in USA, Europe and the Middle East, apart from Indian clients e.g. Capgemini, AMP Capital, Credit Suisse Trust, Societe Genrale Bank & Trust, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, CDC Group, Barclays Bank, MSC Software Corporation, Wockhardt Limited, Compass Group, Exova Group Plc, etc.

Kruti’s expertise is in corporate and employment law, and she has gained a vast amount of experience over her career which enables her to offer the very best service to her clients, as she discusses.

“The firm consists of lawyers from various cultural backgrounds who share a common passion for law. This has resulted in a diverse environment in which ideas are freely exchanged and career development is a consistent and continuous process. We have

“Personally, I have over eleven years of experience in advising both Indian and international clients on corporate and employment laws. Over the course of my career, I have had extensive experience in handling complicated legal issues relating to exchange control laws, labour laws, data privacy laws, winding up of companies and corporate restructuring. However, my primary areas of specialisation

“Moving forward, our aim is to focus on consolidating and developing our existing practice areas.”

are private equity investments, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. “This varied experience has enabled me to advise clients in a well-rounded manner that takes into consideration all possible legal implications of the transaction at hand. This has resulted in me having a consistent track record in successfully protecting my clients’ interests and limiting their exposure. The most important aspects of my approach are: understanding the client’s requirements; being extremely responsive; focusing on quality (rather than quantity) of the deliverables; quick turnaround of matters; conducting in depth research on the legal aspects of the matter; providing solution oriented and pragmatic advice. “Currently I am handling various insolvency matters where I had the opportunity to act as a voluntary liquidator for three companies. These matters are still ongoing. Further, due to my specialisation in corporate and commercial law, I was seconded to the London office of an English law firm for a period of 6 months. During this period, I was involved in numerous cross border corporate transactions and assisted in advising clients from around the globe.” Looking to the future, the Government of India is in the process of opening up the Indian

legal market. The will enable foreign lawyers and law firms to open offices in India and advise clients on Indian law. This move will enhance competition in the legal sector. However, due to ALMT’s focus on excellence, the firm’s legal services are already at par with global standards and healthy competition is always welcome, as Kruti concludes. “Moving forward, our aim is to focus on consolidating and developing our existing practice areas to the maximum extent possible. We are also looking at expanding the firm and growing in terms of size to meet the demands of new clients and matters in order to build upon our current success. With the introduction of the newly enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 as well as the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 we intend to further develop our practice in insolvency matters, real estate along with competition law, media and entertainment.”


AB160042

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Franchising a Stronger and Profitable Future Business Development Alliance (BDA) works with business owners to identify any areas of their organisation that are not realising their full potential and help them to build a stronger, sustainable and more profitable future. Mark Fernandez, Director, explains to us the firm’s objectives and how they stay ahead of changes in the industry.

Business Development Alliance (BDA) is one of Australia’s leading franchise consultancy firm specialising in developing franchise systems and assisting current franchisors and franchisees with ‘best practice’ operations. Mark tells us how the firm pride themselves on their ability to work shoulder to shoulder with clients to achieve the very best outcomes. “Our strength lies in the ability to tailor our services to the individual business needs by carefully combining the business’ current strengths and capabilities with our proven business development strategies and knowledge of the market.

“The core elements of the BDA strategy are the pursuit of uncompromised excellence and to create a network of franchise experts in all key regions of our target market. Our creed, Strategise, Systemise, Commercialise is clear evidence of the driving culture and core strategy that is employed across all that we do and stand for. “The benefits of this include a resolute commitment to the selection of only the right profile of clients and the determination by all team members to provide nothing short of excellence in our approach to all facets of our work and the transparent nature of our relationships both internal and external. “The BDA strategy embraces the recognition that all businesses need a strategic direction, coupled with the flexibility to enable quick adaptation to market changes. This flexibility has been one of the key hallmarks of our success.” BDA offers services such as international growth strategies, franchise system development, franchise recruitment, franchisor coaching/mentoring, field visit services/training, retail leasing

30 APAC / February 2017

and property services and digital training and e-learning systems. Mark outlines what the company does to be seen as the best possible option for clients.

provide additional support by way of our In-house ‘Business Development Coach’ (BDC) coaching services, during the implementation phase.”

“Our role today is to firstly form alliances with our clients, big and small, then work alongside them, to explore strategic growth opportunities and test whether or not franchising is a suitable platform upon which to formulate their future plans.

BDA understands that they have to be competitive in a challenging market. Mark explains why he believes they stand out from their competitors.

“Our proprietary business model assessment tools include systemic analysis, financial forecasting and modelling together with a range of business management and development tools that are each combined to test the client’s business for the necessary robust nature and Franchisability. “Our goal is to first measure a range of business and proprietary elements against those which experience shows are the cornerstone of successful franchising. Once completed the outcome is a fully developed franchise system which has a strategic plan, an extensively documented operational model and a financial plan to guide the implementation process. We also

“We like to think of Franchising as learning another language. It’s our role to educate you, your team and your stakeholders in understanding all the different nuances that learning brings. We look to build a culture of franchising within your organisation and develop your leadership team and advisors along the journey. We demystify and bring clarity to complex situations that can only be achieved through experience and industry knowledge. Our aim is to make you the industry leader in your category and have a sustainable working model that builds your asset for the future. We bring high energy level and out of the box strategic thinking to your business.” “Currently, there are over 1,120 Franchise Systems in Australia, estimated 79,000 units


g Franchising a Stronger and Profitable Future

of businesses, employs over 470,000 people and contributes over $B146 in revenue to the Australian Economy. Griffiths University estimate that the number of Franchise systems in Australia will grow to around 1,344 by 2020. “The industry is growing moderately; however, the constant need to reinvent and build a sustainable model will become an even bigger challenge as we enter a new dawn in online sales and digital technologies. We have seen large brands disappear overnight, partly because of the lack of understanding to what franchising brings. Boards and management are faced with diminishing margins, tougher customer service expectations and government regulation, all of which requires high level thinking and operational deployment.”

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Give – help others first and always Value Community – always put something back Honesty & Integrity – no compromises No Packaging – direct and open advice Trust - trust others and seek to be trusted Educate – inform and educate the uneducated Adhere to the known – focus on our strengths Care – do it and mean it When to say NO – know when we can’t help Openness – total transparency Relationships – value the ‘relationships’ Respect – always and to everyone

In order to stay ahead of evolving developments in the industry, Mark describes that BDA communicates with many different parties. This gives them a good overview of the industry. “As an active Chapter Committee Member of the Franchise Council of Australia, we keep abreast of the current issues facing the sector. BDA prides itself on its local knowledge and understanding of the market trends and what is happening in this space. We are in constant communications with our Alliance Partners throughout Australian and New Zealand. We have a thirst for current best practice, processes, frameworks from other franchising countries: Canada, UK, USA.” Ultimately, BDA has an exciting time ahead in the industry. Mark tells us what they have planned.

Company: Business Development Alliance (BDA) Name: Mark Fernandez Email: mark@bda-online.com.au Web Address: www.bda-online.com.au Address: Level 2, Suite 6a, 47 Kishorn Road Applecross , WA 6153 Telephone: (08) 9364 3811

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“This is an exciting time for us at BDA, we are growing our firm and look to develop some exciting brands into the Australian Market. With our franchising, retail property and leasing, people and performance and our digital training platforms, we believe that future systems can only benefit from our passion for success.”


1701AP02

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Ultimate Prize in Customer Loyalty Noelene Wilson, Manager of Drovers Motor Inn talks to us about The Western Downs region in Australia and how the ‘Award For Excellence In: Hospitality’ winners have maintained their success in a difficult region and competitive industry.

“All of our decisions are made with a duty of care towards our guests so that they are uninterrupted as much as possible, and certainly, if that was not possible as in some instances informing the guest usually works very well, just don’t take it for-granted that they should be accepting of anything that is less than what they think they are going to receive. We go out of our way to ensure they receive more in those circumstances.” Drovers Motor Inn is situated in The Western Downs, part of a broader region that is on the cusp of a $180 billion energy industry emerging from the resource rich Surat Basin Energy province. The region has over 60 major projects either in operation or scheduled for

32 APAC / February 2017

commissioning by 2020, creating an estimated 12,500 jobs so their clientele is very varied. The region is well known for its production of cotton, sorghum, wheat to the yearly stock sales and horse sales which brings clients from all over Australia. Noelene tells us how the company gives clients the best possible service. “Our aim is always to give our guests the best possible experience at every stage from booking to checkout. We keep the motel updated and fresh and It really is all about the guest having a wonderful time with absolutely nothing to complain about, so when we read a review that says ‘I can’t wait to go back’ we are pretty chuffed. “We don’t like to waste a minute of our guests’ time, they are very busy corporates or workers, so our loyal clients spend as much time as it takes to advise us the date they wish to stay and the rest is history. We have all details required to mastermind their stay. “Something as simple as receiving ‘real milk’ to the bed they sleep on, a particular dish on the menu or a million other things that they keep coming back for. So I believe if you are providing the experience the guest is expecting you know you are doing something right and of course that gives us the ultimate prize of that loyal customer. We will go out of our way to give the guest the room they wish to sleep in, to meeting their request for a dinner that they may wish to have. We at times have international guests who

work around the clock, so we do their washing for them, provide meals at odd times and anything we can possibly do to make their time with us as comfortable as possible.” Currently, the industry is competitive and Drovers Motor Inn aims to stand out from their competition. Noelene gives us an overview of the industry in the region at the moment and the challenges that they are attempting to overcome. “I am in my fourth year managing Drovers Motor Inn and when I first started the mining industry had just finished here and it was a flurry to investigate quite quickly where new business was going to come from. Government tenders seemed to be a reasonable choice in landing something significant and that was what we did and it certainly paid off for us. Now the government tender system has changed markedly and basically those opportunities are not there anymore. Sometimes, I think federal and state don’t

realise how much they can affect business with the decisions that they make and without any consultation with the end users. State government inaction over mining camps once the mining industry finished here has been a huge challenge that is on-going today.” Ultimately, Drovers Motor Inn will continue to provide guests with a high quality service for years to come. Noelene informs us of what the future holds for the establishment. “Understanding the strategic management process is important to achieving performance and I believe that if we can hold firm and not respond harshly to short term fluctuations in the environment we have a bright future ahead. It is difficult sometimes to do this, as our natural inclination is to react. With the Western Downs facing a bright future in investing in solar technology, I believe the region will benefit greatly from this. We will look at how we can maximise the opportunities that lay ahead.”

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Drovers Motor Inn is a wonderful modern haven situated on the Darling Downs with all its inspiring attractions and mere minutes to the lovely country town of Dalby. Manager of the establishment, Noelene Wilson chats to us about how they provide such a high quality service to clients.

Company: Drovers Motor Inn Name: Noelene Wilson Email: manager@droversmotorinn.com.au Web Address: www.droversmotorinn.com.au Address: 87 Drayton Street, Dalby Queensland 4405 Australia Telephone: 07 4669 0444


1701AP12

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Leading the Way in Dog Training Bonnies Dog Obedience has trained thousands of dogs to live in total harmony with their human families all over the world. We invited Val Bonney to tell us more about the firm and its innovative approach.

“Bonnies is a Dog Training organisation that exists to assist people to own dogs and teach them how to live in harmony. Our services are geared around the betterment of what it means to own a dog, and to provide a companion that can be loved by the whole family. It is really a people training Industry that we are and have been involved with all these years. We love dogs and thereby want them loved by their owners.

“As such our overall mission is to ensure that all dogs trained with us become the companion dog the owner requires. All our training is geared towards achieving this result. Dogs need to learn to live with their owner or family and not the other way around. This is our prime concern which we aim to achieve with our education of the owner/ handler and the training of their dog.” Over the years the dog training industry has changed a great deal, and as such Val is keen to outline how her firm has adapted to these developments in order to better serve the dogs and owners that it supports. “The dog training industry has changed in many ways since our inception. New ideas and methods are now being taught, some good some not so good. While we maintain our solid background in methodology, we certainly take on board any new ideas and ways that are out there. We sort out what we consider the good from the bad, and often make a mix. It certainly appears to work for us as our classes are growing and some others seem to be dwindling.” As a group of some 12 trainers and five trainees, Val and her staff talk together over morning tea every Saturday morning. Consequently, over the years

the group have formed a very good bond and can confirm the old saying the people who talk together stay together. When there is no dissention from the top the rest do not have any problems, so each and every person can and does give of their best. Any client has total access to staff by phone, and are welcome to ring with any problem they may be having, ensuring that their needs are always met and they always feel supported. Moving forward, Val is seeking to support the continuation of her legacy, seeking her family’s support in order to build upon the firm’s current success. “Moving forward myself and husband Bruce will be looking to retire from the business, and as such my son, Peter Bonney and grandson, Christian Bonney will take over from us when we retire along with other members of the family. They will continue with the

distribution of the three (3) books and two (2) DVDs I have written and published. The first book “Who’s the Boss?” has sold over 52,000 copies and the 2nd “Are you still the Boss”? is well on its way and the 3rd Book “HeyBabyWho’s the boss?” is again a potentially best seller. With over 20,000 dogs either euthanized or re-homed in 2012 when people bought babies home where a dog was already in residence it was time for this book to be written. It gives people the understanding that dogs and babies can live together if boundaries are set prior to babies coming home. “These three books and two DVDs together make the best educational package every dog owner could and should have. We need to understand our canine companion. He’s not human and therefore we need to learn about him if we are to successfully have the friend and companion we need.”

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Bonnies Dog Obedience has been providing dog obedience training in Brisbane, Australia and internationally for almost 40 years, and have honed an approach which is geared around supporting dogs and their owners, as Val outlines.

Company: Bonnies Dog Obedience Phone: +61 7 3300 2959 Mobile: 0417631246. Email: info@bonnies.com.au Website: www.bonnies.com.au


1701AP10

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Hands On Experience of Asia Since 2002, New Step International is dedicated to helping western corporations to operate more effectively in China through a combined approach of cross cultural consulting, training and coaching to suit our client’s need. Benoit Ams is a founding partner at the firm. In this interview, he tells us about the firm’s services and how they operate within the industry. New Step International is a boutique consulting firm headquartered in Hong-Kong. For the past fifteen years, they have assisted multinational companies to operate more effectively in the region, and have references in a broad range of sectors from financial services, insurances to FMCG or automotive industries. Benoit from New Step talks us through the core competencies of the company and how they benefit the client experience. “Firstly, one aspect is training, coaching and teambuilding facilitation. We help our clients to develop the crosscultural competency of their professionals through a combination of bespoke group or face-to face trainings, coaching, workshops or teambuilding activities. By the end of a session, participants are able to apply practical solutions to interact more efficiently in multicultural settings. We have delivered over 500 face-toface and group programs preparing leaders of some of the largest and best known global companies to do business in one of the most vibrant regions in the world. “Another aspect is experiential learning. We design and deliver customized ‘Learning Odysseys’

34 APAC / February 2017

to help executive teams to get a better understanding of the business environment in Greater China. A ‘Learning Odyssey’ is a people and strategy development program. Through travel, company visits, interactions and facilitated sessions they enable leaders and organizations to interact, to change, take decisions and act.

parties to unlock situations or to narrow differences, in a creative manner. At New Step International, our style, as mediator is facilitative and makes use of the tools of coaching and cross cultural management, to empower the parties, and help them to take responsibility for their own disputes, and the outcome thereof.

“We also offer formal or informal mediation services, with a specific focus on mediation in a multicultural context. Our understanding of local realities, and of cultural codes enables us to ‘read between the lines’, to switch style, and to help the

“Finally, we accept appointments, at board of director (as an independent director or as a board observer), management committee or steering committee level, in the context of Subsidiaries, Partnerships or Joint Ventures, in a Greater China context. The founding partner of the company is Fellow member of the HKiOD.” New Step operate in a challenging industry however they ensure they always keep up to date with any emerging developments as Benoit explains.

“Fifteen years ago, we were essentially a business consultancy helping Western companies to identify possible commercial or industrial partners in Greater China.

“First, we integrate technology in the audit phase, to make sure that the needs of the participants to our training or learning odysseys are properly understood, and that our training material is developed accordingly. “Secondly, as a small scale consulting firm, it is important for us to continue to develop the competencies of our professionals

in our fields. In the past two years, the partners of the firms have followed specific programs in the most prestigious universities around the world including Bocconi (Program in international Leadership and Organizational Behaviour), HEC, ESSEC, or HKU (Program in Mediation). “Finally, our consultants are a member of different professional organizations, like HKIAC, or the HKIoD, which is an important way for us to stay in touch of the latest development. Lastly, Benoit talks about how the business has evolved in the industry and how the company have adapted around any emerging developments. “Fifteen years ago, we were essentially a business consultancy helping Western companies to identify possible commercial or industrial partners in Greater China. Some years later, companies and HR departments started to realize that teams need to be prepared in order to succeed in this part of the world. So, we started to offer training programs to prepare foreign executives to work in China. The offer of services has also evolved as organizations are increasingly multi-cultural (with team members who have lived or studied in several countries), and the format of training needed to take that into consideration.


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Hands On Experience of Asia

“We then came to develop an ‘experiential learning’ type of intervention, where we typically take a group of executives for two to five days of ‘exploration’, where we typically integrate company visits, seminars and expert presentations. Travelling together a group of western executives in China to have them to understand the local realities is an eye-opening experience for them, and a very strong team builder. This is today the type of service for which we have most requests.” At the moment, New Step International has a healthy, client base of western multi-national companies, however the firm aims to grow their client base as more and more local companies go global. With this in mind, the future looks positive for New Step.

Company: New Step International Ltd. Name: Benoit D.G. AMS Email: benoit.ams@newstepinternational.com Web Address: www.newstepinternational.com Address: Office S404, 35, Aberdeen Street, Central, HK Telephone: +852 2803 7664

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Freedom to be Creative ASAP Creative & Communication Ltd provide global and China based corporations and government entities creative event platforms to inform and connect with their targeted audiences. The company’s co-founder and owner, Patsy Yeung, briefly spoke to us about what the company does and its plans for the future. Founded in early 2003, ASAP is an events agency specializing in communicating business messages in live brand environments. The firm works with international companies and corporations that demand excellence in communications services, covering diverse sectors and industries. Their services including design, logistics, creative & strategy, Live production, digital production and onsite management. Owner of the firm, Patsy Yeung chats to us about the company’s philosophy and how this benefits clients.

“Our philosophy is to channel a freedom to be creative but to operate within the specific professional boundaries of the companies and major corporations that we serve. With that in mind, we strive to constantly questioning and challenging ourselves and each other to come up with better solutions and answers and for high standard result and flawless execution.” ASAP is headquartered in Hong Kong, which is firmly placed in the APAC region. Patsy gives us an insight into the challenges of the region and what makes the company stand out from their competitors.

“Our biggest challenges in the region is the lack of new venues for large events, which results in clients spending their money elsewhere outside the city. However, clients in the HK market are a lot more openminded when working with new communication forms and social media. Hence, this also creates opportunities in this sector. “We are particularly knowledgeable of the China market. Witnessing the huge

“We are particularly knowledgeable of the China market.

financial and consumer growth and changes over recent years, we have rapidly expanded into this market. We specialize in assisting clients in meeting the receptiveness of new audiences in China, understanding the often challenging infrastructures and cultural diversities of each city having delivered events for international corporations in more than 20 cities in China.” Finally, Patsy shares her vision for ASAP’s future by telling us of projects that are being developed in 2017. “We are planning to spend more resources, developing further in the area of social media and apps development. One of our latest projects next year is to launch a new automobile world in a remote area. It will be challenging to develop an appropriate strategy for marketing and communication to the public and corporates.”

K Company: ASAP Creative & Communication Ltd Name: Patsy Yeung Email: patsy@asapcreative.com.hk Web Address: www.asapcreative.com.hk Address: 2/F Wai Hing Commercial Bldg., 17-19 Wing Wo Street, Central, Hong Kong Telephone: (852) 2152-9382

36 APAC / February 2017


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All Natural HDI, which stands for High-Desert International, is one of the leading social network marketing organizations in Asia. It offers a wide range of premium bee-based nutritional and skincare products. Founded in the 1980s, it started out as a network marketing company. Today, it is a group of 22 companies in seven countries, spanning seven different industries. We profile the firm and look at the impact it has made in the industry.

To solidify its position as the leader in the bee-based health supplement and skincare industry, HDI adopts the ANSA philosophy which stands for and guarantees that its products are ‘All Natural, and Scientifically Applied’. HDI is also a member of Apimondia, or the International Federation of Beekeeper’s Association. This is a global organization that promotes the scientific understanding of

apiculture – something that HDI also pursues within the company. As a testament to their excellence, HDI products have also been recognized internationally among athletes and sports organizations, such as the National Sports Committee in Indonesia (KONI), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). In addition, HDI has been the official Health Food Supplement sponsor of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) for the past 26 years. HDI products are also accredited by various state institutions, ensuring that all its healthcare and skincare products meet exceptional international standards.

In October 2015, HDI celebrated the launch of its revolutionary anti-oxidant rich skincare range, BSKIN. Designed from the ground up to be the smartest skincare brand in the world, BSKIN empowers the customer with full knowledge of what goes into their skincare products. Developed with absolute passion, sincerity and a combined 50 years of experience in skincare technology, HDI’s unique skincare line harnesses the harmony of nature’s most effective anti-oxidant ingredients – all acting synergistically to instill balance in skin. Every single detail – texture, fragrance, quality control, stability, efficacy, was rigorously tested and graded in order to meet the highest of standards. Working with renowned Korean researchers, BSKIN powerpacks a 6CORE Antioxidant System, comprising of Vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, B2O, alphalipoic acid and glutathione into its products using cuttingedge technology. This potent

6CORE Antioxidant System is further enhanced by apitherapy, leveraging on HDI’s heritage and history in bee-based products. The extracts of the finest beebased ingredients like royal jelly were mixed with pure natural Jeju spring water to create the unique, proprietary ingredient B Complex water, or B2O. BSKIN’s W Line Enriched Brightening Serum effectively inhibits melanin production and reduces pigmentation for a youthful and fresh visage. More importantly, it is also free from harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, fragrances and mineral oil. With its winning products, HDI’s position as a recognized industry pioneer is further solidified. It has successfully grown its distribution network presence to more than 140 cities in Indonesia and has also set itself the goal of becoming the best Social Network Marketing Company in Indonesia by 2020.

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HDI’s mission is to give individuals the chance to be entrepreneurs by providing them with high-quality natural health and wellness products to market and the training and support they need to succeed.

Company: PT. Harmoni Dinamik Indonesia Name: HDI Web Address: www.hdindonesia.com Address: HDI HIVE Building, Probolinggo Street No 18, Menteng, Jakarta 10350, Indonesia Telephone: +6221 29499200


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Honesty, Responsibility, Integrity and Focus Central China Real Estate Limited (0832.HK) is the top real estate developer in Henan province in China. It listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2008. The company not only devotes efforts in enhancing its core business, but has also enhanced its brand value by initiating a series of new strategies to meet the upgrading customer demands. We had a brief chat with Vinh Mai, Head of Investor Relations and Chief Investment Officer of the Company, to see how they have won the award for ‘Excellence in Property Development – China’.

Central China Real Estate Limited (CCRE) is a brand well-recognized in Henan province in China. Vinh Mai from the firm spoke to us about what the company provides. “CCRE is one of the leading Henan-based property developers which focus on developing highquality residential properties. Our buyers are mainly local end-users. Apart from sales of property business, the company also diversifies the business to culture tourism, hotel, education, football and green base to meet

rising consumption and services demand from our customers. “Having taken root in Henan province for 24 years, the company processes two major unrivalled advantages to support its long-term development, namely the wide customer base built up for 24 years, and its brand reputation representing ‘honesty, responsibility, integrity and focus’. Vinh also briefly describes how the region has presented good business opportunities for the firm. “Downward pressure on the economy in China continued to

mount while provincial economy in Henan, the GDP of Henan in the first half of 2016 realised an 8% growth, which remained to be higher than the national average.

“The competition in property industry in China will become fiercer. The company will strive to maintain market leading position in Henan province.

“The on-going rapid growth has revealed strong domestic demand and the ‘late-developing advantage’ from relatively lower level of urbanisation in Henan province, provide the Company great development opportunity.

“In the meantime, we will accelerate the expansion of the light asset model featuring, ‘delivery of our brands, management and capital’, with loyalty and management fee in returns. Diverse exploration for development model will enhance the market share and the brand reputation of the company effectively, and hence increase our profitability, resulting in successful achievement of our goal of transformation.”

With regards to what the future holds for CCRE, Vinh talks us through the firm’s plans for 2017 and beyond, and how they will cope in a changing and growing industry.

K Company: Central China Real Estate Limited (0832.HK) Name: Vinh Mai (Head of Investor Relations and Chief Investment Officer) Web Address: www.centralchina.com Address: Rm. 7701B-7702A, 77th Floor, International Commerce Center, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong

38 APAC / February 2017


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An Experience Like No Other Laser Warriors Mobile Laser Tag is a thrilling outdoor experience, ideal for teen and kid’s birthday parties. Located in Sydney, Australia, Dean You Lee, co-founder of the firm talks to us about the fun and enjoyable experience that Laserwarriors offers.

Laserwarriors laser tag is a high-action mobile laser tag played outdoors. With limited ammunition, health and lives, and more than a dozen game modes, Laserwarriors players become fully immersed in the game. Our staff introduce the equipment with a basic game mode and then introduce age appropriate games from our wide selection of game modes to match the players’ ability, skill level and competiveness. Dean explains more about what the company offers. “Our clients enjoy the convenience of being able to arrange an exclusive fun and energetic outdoor activity that can be held in their favourite local park or even in their backyard. Parents can easily keep an eye on the activity whilst tending the bbq, socialising with other parents or just relaxing. “Laserwarriors also works with Vacation Care services (called OOSH or Out of School Hours centres) looking for a great outdoor activity to keep energetic children occupied, school alternative sports programs (laser sports are great for developing

vestibular coordination), night time wide games for scouts, sports club presentation days and community fetes. Corporates and small businesses use outdoor laser tag for team building, family days and social club activities. “We also offer a holiday period service for bowling alleys and other amusement centres who wish to augment their offering with a cost effective laser tag option during the busier holiday and Christmas periods. Our goal is to keep the players fully engaged and running during the activities.” Dean highlights what makes the firm unique in the industry and how Laserwarriors distinguishes itself from competitors. “The Laserwarriors offering is unique because most clients in Sydney associate laser tag with lurking around a dark, commercial venue with loud music playing against strangers. Most are unaware that laser tag can now be played outdoors in a quiet natural park setting with a select bunch of friends, and that it is a very active sporting activity. “People looking for a unique outdoor team based activity that everyone can safely play are immediately drawn to Laserwarriors. The activity is engaging and non-threatening and can be played in very close proximity to other groups of people – for example at a busy park or in the back garden. Groups can vary in size from a

few players to large exercises with more than 40 players at a time. “From a competitive standpoint, Laserwarriors is unique in that we have been able to scale our business and run many simultaneous events around Sydney. Our staffing arrangements and compact setup ensures that we have the flexibility to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience all around Sydney, even during the really busy periods of the year. Clients who want to have an outdoor activity find our service affordable, convenient and most of all, fun and engaging.” Any business is confronted by positives and negatives which may affect growth. Dean explains the challenges and benefits of working in the APAC region. “Australia, and Sydney in particular, is a high wage cost environment with stringent labour laws. However, we have found that careful staff choice and a progressive pay structure has enhanced our business.

“Staff are generally young, fit and well educated. They engage well with our clients and have a welldeveloped sense of responsibility and communicate well with all ages. This has enabled our business to rapidly expand the service all over Sydney. Whilst regulations and business insurance requirements are tight and costly, the environment for outdoor play is safe, with parks and public spaces generally well maintained and easily accessible.” Dean concludes our interview by telling us what we can expect in the future from Laserwarriors. “Whilst there is still plenty of growth potential in Sydney, we do believe that we have a great business model for franchisees who would like to become lifestyle business owners (as opposed to self-employed). The business model accommodates people seeking to transition from a professional career into something different. Keep an eye on this space for 2018!”

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Laserwarriors was founded in 2011 as a niche, weekend business that could involve the whole family. Over six years, it has grown to more than 40 staff, and more than 15,000 players in over 550 events have experienced our unique brand of outdoor laser tag action in the last 12 months.

Company: LASERWARRIORS LASER TAG Name: Dean You Lee Email: dean@laserwarriors.com.au Web Address: www.laserwarriors.com.au www.facebook.com/laserwarrior Address: 12 Taylor Ave, Turramurra, NSW, Australia 2074 Telephone: +61 458 295585


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Paper Power Founded in 2007, Da Kong (HK) Ltd is a trading firm based in Hong Kong that supplies printed and custom designed materials. Miles Leach, founder and managing director tells us more about how the firm operates. DaKong is a global supplier of printed materials and custom designed packaging. The company provides structural and graphic design, professional project management, printing and assembling, vendor managed inventory, and inhouse logistics to international locations. The group’s products are produced primarily of paper and paperboard, but also include composites with plastic, foam, and fabrics. Miles Leach, founder and managing director tells us more.

“Our customers are from a wide range of industries including: educational publishers, gifts and home products, sports and special events, spirits and liquor, and fragrances and cosmetics. Our success depends on our customers. If their products perform well in the market, then they will return for additional supply. In an often tumultuous environment, we focus on executing the quality and timelines we commit to. “Over the past ten years, Da Kong has developed a large supplier network that has helped create additional

opportunities. More recently, Da Kong has injected more than HK$10,000,000 to enable set up of our 40,000sqft subsidiary factory in Dong Guan, China. The group utilizes various capabilities, both internal and external, to create synergies which allow us to provide most adequately to international clients. With a close understanding of our clients and their company position, we can align our resources more precisely to deliver accurately on their expectations.” Miles briefly describes the most prevalent trends in the industry over the past 12 months, and how the business has adapted around them.

“My first [currency] exchange in China was with a rate of 8.11CNY to 1USD. In subsequent years, it dropped down to as low as 6.15CNY to 1USD. This year, we have had to adapt to a reversal of the value of the Chinese Yuan. It de-valued more than 7% in 2016 compared with the US Dollar. Given this our customers have stronger buying and bargaining power, however at the same time we see increased costs on imported materials used in China manufacturing.” DaKong can look forward to a bright and prosperous future in 2017 and beyond.

K Company: Da Kong (HK) Ltd Name: Miles Leach Email: milesleach@da-kong.com Web Address: www.da-kong.com Address: 19B Man On Commercial Bldg, 12 Jubilee Street. Central, Hong Kong Telephone: + 852.3571.9120

40 APAC / February 2017


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Get Real Jacob Caine, of Caine Real Estate, tells us more about the industry as a whole and how it has changed over the years.

Caine Real Estate has operated in the luxury property market of East Melbourne since 2001. In that time the firm has been recognised by multiple industry bodies as a market leader in both sales and property management divisions. Caine Real Estate was named a finalist in 10 categories at the 2015 Australasian Real Estate Results Awards including Boutique Agency, Sales Agent of the Year, Marketing Agency of the Year, Property Management Team of the Year and won the Customer Service Award and Best Marketing Campaign Over $10,000. “Human resources are our firm’s most valuable asset, accordingly our ongoing strategy revolves around protecting, strengthening, and developing the “talent” within our business, as well as identifying new prospects to join our team,” explains Jacob Caine. “We invest heavily in training our team - not necessarily in “job specific” skills. The broader the education and experiences of our people, the broader their appeal to the wider community. The opportunity to learn and grow within our business, creates an engaging and challenging culture that attracts and retains the best talent.” Jacob expounds on how technology provides great efficiencies within the real estate industry. “Historically time consuming processes can now be completed in a fraction of the time, with greater accuracy and

detail. We have an administration support team located in the Philippines that work remotely on our Australian located systems – this would have been unthinkable a decade ago. As a company, we’re constantly assessing and trialling new to market innovations to test their efficacy against existing systems and processes. “In all honesty, the most significant change to the real estate industry in recent times has been the internet – obviously, that’s old news now. The fundamentals of residential sales and property management haven’t changed at all. Disintermediation is a big concern of the industry at large, and is a genuine threat. Though that threat, as it stands now, doesn’t offer real efficiencies for the “end user”. It merely adds another layer of administration (=cost) which will either be absorbed or passed on.” Jacob’s key attributes that enable him to be such a successful CEO include his uncomplicated nature. “What you see is what you get,” he enthuses. “I have an unwavering faith in people, and firmly believe that when you demonstrate trust and belief in someone they’ll reward you with loyalty and dedication…. people seem to respond to this. “I have two families – the family I come home to at night, and the family I spend every workday with. The people that surround me at home and at work keep me motivated for success. Their successes, their hopes, their ambitions, and their challenges inspire me to persevere and be a positive influence through the good times and the not so good.” However the company’s success has not always been without its

challenges, and Jacob tells us more about how he has worked to overcome challenges related to the APAC region.

Within the next five years, Jacob envisions great changes within his role, as well as within the business.

“Educational standards in the Australian Real Estate industry are lamentable. The barriers to entry are far too low, and as a result the pool of talent is significantly diluted by people without the dedication, work ethic, and skillsets to succeed. Competition for quality experienced staff is incredibly high. To overcome this challenge, we’ve adopted an “academy” approach to recruitment and training. We look for people that have proven non-real estate industry experience and lifeskills, with a particular set of attributes. We make a long-term commitment to those we identify as high-potential recruits, and invest in their education and development over a two-year period. The end product is a highly skilled and efficient operator.”

“I’m a part owner of the business I run, if I were still responsible for day to day management in five years, I’d consider that a failure on my part. Whilst I’d expect to continue to have input into the strategic direction of the company at a board level, in five years’ time my expectation is to have passed the baton to an exceptional individual with a fresh perspective and ideas about the future of not just the company but the industry. For me personally, I’d love to continuing working in a leadership position with passionate and inspirational people. “We deliver a “service” that has universal appeal, and is very scalable – the expansion of the business to the Eastern seaboard of Australia is the overarching five year goal.”

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Caine Real Estate is a residential Real Estate Firm providing expert advisory, advocacy, negotiation, and property management services. Whilst its clients represent diverse cultural backgrounds they share a passion for high-end property.

Company: Caine Real Estate Name: Jacob Caine Web Address: www.caine.com.au Address: 120 Jolimont Rd, East Melbourne Telephone: +61 3 8413 8000


1611AP14

Maroba is home to a vibrant community of people who are young at heart and

enjoyingb life! Contact us now to arrange to come and visit us. Simply call 02 4935 0300 or go to www.maroba.com.au

Maroba

Contact us now to arrange to come and visit us. Simply call 02 4935 0300 or email us at enquiries@maroba.com.au


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