‘Give the chil­dren a place in our hearts’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS HK - By DUAN TING in Hong Kong tingduan@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

You can see the big role of dig­i­tal­iza­tion. We’ll con­tinue to in­tro­duce new el­e­ments at our re­tail stores.” Anna Yip, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of SmarTone Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Holdings Ltd

Be­ing among the elite group of women hold­ing key lead­er­ship roles in Hong Kong busi­ness life, Anna Yip, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of SmarTone Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Holdings Ltd — one of the city’s lead­ing mo­bile ser­vice providers — nat­u­rally, is very much con­cerned about how they fare at the top af­ter hav­ing bro­ken through the glass ceil­ing.

Not the least is the over­all wel­fare of women.

Adding to her list of “firsts” at SmarTone, on top of the ro­bot­ics strat­egy to woo cus­tomers, Yip plans to have spe­cial rooms set up at the com­pany’s of­fices to help women nur­ture their chil­dren.

Wo m e n ’s s u c c e s s i n their ca­reers, she be­lieves, wouldn’t be pos­si­bly com­plete with­out them de­vot­ing their un­di­vided at­ten­tion to the fam­ily and their chil­dren.

“Es­pe­cially for women, you need to think about your kids,” she ad­vises.

Yip ad­mits she has never been some­one who plans well ahead and for the long term. Be­fore land­ing her­self in the tele­coms busi­ness, she had wanted to be in the academia, hav­ing taken out a doc­tor­ate in man­age­ment stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of Ox­ford.

“To be frank, I merely do things ac­cord­ing to what my heart tells me to do.”

Yip joined global man­age­ment con­sul­tancy McKin­sey and Com­pany in 2004 and was with the group for eight years. By the time she left, she was a part­ner with McKin­sey and Com­pany in Greater China where she led the Asia Pay­ments prac­tice and co-led the Asia Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tional Group.

She re­calls hav­ing re­ally gone through the mill, par­tic­u­larly on the heels of the dot­com bub­ble burst in March 2000 that saw global stocks and en­ter­prises sink­ing into obliv­ion and threat­en­ing to plunge the world into full-fledged re­ces­sion.

But, she told her­self: “I have to swim or sink.”

He r n e x t s t o p w a s at United Over­seas Bank in Sin­ga­pore in 2012 where she was ap­pointed man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for cor­po­rate plan­ning and in­ter­na­tional strat­egy and, prior to join­ing SmarTone, she was head of Hong Kong and Ma­cao, MasterCard Asia Pa­cific op­er­a­tions.

For those as­pir­ing for the top, Yip says “climb­ing the moun­tain in one day” is a pipe dream. “You can’t rush things. It’s fine to stop and take a rest. Learn as much as you can and think of ways to do it bet­ter. It doesn’t mat­ter which level you’re at. Some­one will no­tice you.”


Anna Yip, CEO of SmarTone Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, hopes that, with her wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, she can build on great foun­da­tions for the com­pany.

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