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Hui Wing Mau, Chairman of Shimao Group

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Mr. Hui Wing Mau is the Chairman and Executive Director of Shimao Group. He holds a number of social functions, including CPPCC Economic Committee’s Deputy Director, Vice Chairman of China Federation of Returned Overseas, Chinese Chamber of Commerce Investment Enterprises Association’s Executive Vice President, United World Chinese Entrepreneurs Association’s President, Hong Kong’s New Home Association’s President, Honorary Chairman of the Global Fanducutong Assembly, China Red Ribbon Foundation’s Executive Director, President of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce etc.

In the late 1980s, as a patriotic Chinese, Mr. Hui responded positively to China’s reform and returned home to set up factories. He has invested in many labor-intensive industries including garment factories, plastic factories, textile mills etc. to cater for the demand at that time and contributed immensely to China’s economic development.

With the incessant urbanization process, China’s economic development accelerated continuously and the property market experienced explosive development. At that time, Mr. Hui seized the trend of the country’s development and switched full-gear to real estate development. The earliest focus was in Beijing. Then in 2000, the government pushed forward the development of Shanghai Pudong. Construction activities there were robust then, but the property market was relatively falling behind. Mr. Hui echoed the government’s strategy and shifted his business focus from Beijing to Shanghai, against the voices of many. He built the first luxury residential project with a riviera model on the coast of Huangpu River in Pudong, contributing massively to the resettlement of Pudong and improvement of people’s life qualities.

Over the past twenty years, Shimao Group has expanded its land reserve by following China’s development footsteps and policy. Under the leadership of Mr. Hui, Shimao Group has become an international, integrated investment group covering ecological residential, commercial operations, diversified hotel industry, tourism, health, theme parks and other business areas. He owns two listed companies, namely Shimao Property (0813.HK) and Shanghai Shimao (600823.CH). With over 26 years’ of experience in property development, property investment and hotel operation, he is mainly responsible for the Group’s overall strategic planning and business management. Because of his achievements, Mr. Hui has won the award “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year”, which is known as the Oscar for entrepreneur.

Shimao’s land bank covers nearly 60 cities in the country, with more than 120 large-scale development projects at different phases. These cities include Shanghai, Beijing, Harbin, Wuhan, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Kunshan, Changshu, Shaoxing, Wuhu, Yantai, Shenyang, Suzhou, Xuzhou, Hangzhou, Mudanjiang, Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen, Changsha, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Chengdu, Nanchang, Wuxi, Huizhou, Jinjiang, Hainan Wenchang, Jinan, Changchun, Nontong, Shishi, Minhou, Zhang Jia Gang, Chongqing, Yinchuan, Jiangyin, Shenzhen, Hong Kong etc. The Group’s highly-acclaimed projects have been well received by property buyers and investors both within the PRC and internationally, and have been accredited numerous awards. Shimao Property concluded its 20 years of development in the property market in China and had completed the corporate restructuring of injecting commercial assets to Shanghai Shimao Co. Ltd. (“A Share Company”, SSE stock code: 600823) in 2009. The success of entering into the A share market represents an important milestone for the development of the Group.

Shimao’s investment property and hotel portfolio comprises many high-quality properties including, among others, Le Royal Me ́ridien Shanghai and its retail podium, Shanghai Shimao International Plaza, Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai, Le Me ́ridien Sheshan Shanghai, Beijing Shimao Tower, Shaoxing Shimao Holiday Inn, Hilton Nanjing Riverside, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wuhu, Intercontinental Fuzhou, Crowne Plaza Shaoxing, Hilton Wuhan Riverside, Conrad Xiamen etc.

Going forward, Shimao Group will invest more into both upstream and downstream industries of real estate. Mr. Hui aspires not only to provide housing needs to citizens, but also contribute to the city’s infrastructure and improve living standards for people. Mr. Hui is not only a businessman, but also a contributor to the society, since he believes that a corporate’s success originates from the country and its citizens.

In addition, Mr. Hui always makes contributions to the community. He has set up four public charity funds, and funded a lot of high school fare subsidy projects. Whenever China suffered a major disaster, he would take the initiative to assist financially. For example, he donated RMB100 million for the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 to build over 100 “Shimao Rural Charitable Hospitals”. In May 2010, Mr. Hui led several entrepreneurs and founded a non-profit charitable organization “New Home Association” in Hong Kong. The organization provides care for the new Mainland immigrants in Hong Kong regarding their living, education, training, and work etc.

Mr. Hui’s charitable acts received wide social recognition. Awards conferred to him include “Hong Kong Gold Bauhinia Star”, “Justice of the Peace”, “Shanghai Magnolia Gold Award”, “Love China — the First Chinese Charity Figures”, “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Asia Pacific’s Most Creative Chinese Entrepreneurial Leader”, “Asia Pacific’s Most Socially Responsible Chinese Entrepreneurial Leader”, “China Charity Special Contribution Award” from the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, “China’s Top Philanthropist in 2014”, “China’s Charitable Leader in 2015”, “China’s Charity Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016” etc.

 

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Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Arthur Lam, Co-Founder of Synergy

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Arthur Lam’s business, Synergy offers B2B energy saving solutions.

What’s your story?
I am Arthur Lam, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman at Synergy (1539.HK). I was born and raised in Hong Kong until I was 13. Then, I lived in boarding schools in Melbourne and California during my high school years. After that, I attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 2008.

Upon graduation, I came back to Hong Kong and worked for a hedge fund. The financial crisis in 2008 wiped out a big part of the industry and gave me a chance to rethink and reposition myself. After the financial crisis, companies stopped spending and everyone was on cost-cutting mode. As an entrepreneur with an engineering background, I co-founded an energy management company called Synergy, offering B2B energy saving solutions. The idea is simple – clients don’t have to pay anything upfront, we do all the engineering and upfront capital investment. In return, we share part of the savings we create for the client over a period of time. We first started with energy saving lighting technologies based in Hong Kong. We are now also in the field of cooling & refrigeration, solar PV and battery storage with operation in over 10 countries. Synergy is one of the first and few energy management companies listed on the Main Board of The Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
On the side, I started a student co-living space with about 80 rooms.

What excites you most about your industry?
Sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency are some of the few industries that can ensure the continuity of our existence! We do not need to quantify the potential market size to justify our effort to provide a more sustainable future for the next generations. Practically every nation and business leader have pledged to work collaboratively, trying to undo the harm we have done to the planet for the past century. As a result, more energy efficient technologies and solutions are always in demand.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My great grandparents were from Chiu Chow and Shunde. I was born and raised in Hong Kong until I was 13. I spent 3 years in Melbourne during middle school before heading to US for high school and college. With Synergy, I was able to travel and work in China and most of the major cities in Asia such as Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok. Besides Cantonese and English, I speak Mandarin and took 4 years of Japanese during high school. I’m also trying to pick up Bahasa slowly.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Every city has its own merits and it is extremely interesting to learn about the intricacy of cultural diversification and different ecosystems. As a business owner, I believe in top quality service. No other city would exemplify world class service better than Hong Kong with respect to speed, quality, effectiveness and robustness of the financial and legal system.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Life is a journey – you come to this world to enjoy life, to be happier and healthier – Jack Ma

Who inspires you?
Elon Musk

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I am always amazed by the rapid advancement of technologies and innovations around the world. Everyday there may be a breakthrough coming up in different areas. One thing I learnt recently is the possibility of extracting clean water from air anywhere! Previous technologies require very high energy input, high cost and certain environmental conditions such has high humidity levels to extract water from air. However, MIT and The University of California provide a new method which has the potential for use in any locations. They developed a foam-like material that draws moisture into its pores and is powered entirely by solar heat. Today there is another commercially available product which is also a self-sustaining system, using sunlight to generate electricity to drive a cycle of condensation and evaporation that can produce 2 to 5 litres of clean water per day. People now may obtain drinking water anywhere with no external energy usage and this may solve severe water shortages in some areas in the future!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would love to learn more languages and learn how to code better. These are two important skill sets which I find very useful wherever I go.

How do you unwind?
On weekdays, I try to visit the gym at least 2-3 times a week after work. A good workout definitely helps to de-stress. Occasionally, I have the luxury to play a round of golf with my father or friends after completing a major project.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Sipadan, Malaysia is an amazing place for scuba diving.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Book of Changes “I Ching”. I make most of my business decisions based on the philosophy from the book.

Shameless plug for your business:
Victoria Park is one of the most famous parks in Hong Kong and it has about 3,500 trees. The amount of energy we have saved in the past 8 years is equivalent to planting 1,000 Victoria Parks worth of trees from the carbon emissions we saved.
Synergy is ranked 2017 top 100 most potential public listed companies in China by Forbes.

How can people connect with you?
Linkedin: Arthur Lam
Email: [email protected]

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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