‘If you stay in the of­fice longer than is needed, you’re ei­ther in­ef­fi­cient or not right for the job’

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG - By SO­PHIE HE in Hong Kong so­phiehe@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Roy Ng, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Star Lite (HK) Ltd, was born in Hong Kong, but he left the city when he was 7 and went to the United States to be with his fam­ily.

He tells China Daily he’s ac­tu­ally a third-gen­er­a­tion Chi­nese Amer­i­can; his mother’s fa­ther em­i­grated to the US a cen­tury ago and he was raised there.

He went to the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, where he ma­jored in psychology and took Man­darin lessons.

“I chose to study con­sumer psychology and in­dus­trial psychology as I’m a very out­go­ing person and love to work with peo­ple.”

He claims to have been very lucky as be­fore he grad­u­ated from univer­sity, a ma­jor re­tailer on the US west coast started an ex­ec­u­tive trainee pro­gram. Ng was among 35 peo­ple who were hired, se­lected out of more than 1,000 ap­pli­cants. He was the only Chi­nese Amer­i­can; it wasn’t easy and that’s how he got into re­tail­ing.

Ng says a very im­por­tant thing he learned from his par­ents, par­tic­u­larly from his late fa­ther, is that busi­ness peo­ple should al­ways have in­tegrity and moral­ity.

“When I make money, I al­ways think of th­ese two fac­tors as what my par­ents taught me.”

Th­ese val­ues, he says, will show you how to treat peo­ple and how peo­ple will treat you.

“I also teach my son and daugh­ter th­ese val­ues.”

In terms of man­ag­ing his com­pany, Ng says he al­ways sets ex­am­ples for oth­ers to fol­low.

“I’ve opted for a very open­minded man­age­ment style, with a lot of dis­cus­sions with my team. I’m not al­ways right, I learn every day, I learn from my col­leagues, and that’s how you can build a very co­he­sive team.”

Ng stresses that al­though Star Lite’s rev­enue remains very low, his col­leagues still pre­fer to stay with the com­pany.

“I re­spect my col­leagues’ work­life bal­ance. If I see peo­ple stay­ing in the of­fice long after work­ing hours, to me that person is ei­ther not right for the job, maybe it’s a mis­match, or that person is in­ef­fi­cient,” he says.

Spend­ing nine hours work­ing every day should be enough, Ng in­sists, and after that peo­ple should go back to their fam­i­lies.

For main­land young­sters hop­ing to start their own busi­ness, Ng sug­gests they should stay fo­cused on the par­tic­u­lar task or work. They should al­ways ac­cept con­struc­tive crit­i­cisms as, nowa­days, they tend to be self-cen­tered, which could lead to fail­ure. Young peo­ple should learn from oth­ers, from their peers and el­der peo­ple, and they should have ob­jec­tive views.

“Young peo­ple also need to be cre­ative. In busi­ness, it’s good to be a trend leader be­cause if you’re just fol­low­ing trends, you could eas­ily fail, that’s how I see it.”

The in­gre­di­ents of my skin­care prod­ucts will be very unique. It took us three years to de­velop and fi­nal­ize the for­mu­la­tion work, and we’ll be tar­get­ing the up­per-mid­dle mar­ket.”


Home­ware re­tailer Roy Ng, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Star Lite (HK) Ltd, is de­ter­mined to make a come­back by seiz­ing the golden op­por­tu­ni­ties in the e-commerce mar­ket.

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