Hongkong entrepreneur regards Vietnam as his second homeland
General Manager of Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Ltd Vietnam, Patrick Chung, regards the Mekong delta region his second homeland. What he likes the most about the locality is their positivity and the motto of “work at full capacity, live to the fullest”.
Patrick Chung (center) and Lee&Man Ltd Vietnam team in Hau Giang. Photo: VIR
The socio-economic development of Vietnam has become the country’s magnitude attracting investors from across the world. In the South East Asia, Vietnam, together with Indonesia and Singapore, have attracted 72% capitals poured into the region.
The rigorous flow of investment brings along many experts from abroad to the country. General Manager of Lee & Man Vietnam, Patrick Chung, is one among the expats who have regarded Vietnam as his second homeland.
The Vietnam Investment Review recently had an interview with the Hongkong businessman:
Could you share with us why you decided to come to Vietnam?
When I heard about the project of setting up the paper manufacturer in Vietnam, I was very interested in the idea. It brought me to a completely new path, joining hand in building a large facility from the scratch. That’s the reason why I came to Vietnam in January 2014.
What is the first impression Vietnam made on you?
Chau Thanh (Hau Giang province) is absolutely similar to the place where I was born and brought up in Hongkong, in terms of natural landscape, the climate and the lifestyle of the people.
The small house where several generations in a family live together reminds me of my childhood 40 years ago. Back then, we were not wealthy, but life was filled with laughters, positive attitude, iron-will and high working morale.
That’s my first impression of Vietnam, in particular Chau Thanh district, Hau Giang province.
Is there any barrier hindering your integration with the local life?
My biggest challenge was language. However, it was no big deal, as we had many other ways to communicate and understand each other, beyond verbal communication.
Despite my moderate Vietnamese language, I still managed to understand how people work and enjoy life.
I shared their motto of “work at full capacity, live life to the fullest”. At the beginning of my work in Vietnam, I was working as hard as a machine. However, and step by step, I realized that it was not the right way to boost my creativity and increase productivity.
Vietnamese people are very diligent and possess a strong willingness to learn. But after work, they all come back home to spend time with their family, gathering with parents, husband, wife, children. I love that way of living, and often urged my staff to come back home early, so their family won't need to wait for them for dinner.
Patrick Chung often meets with engineers and workers to learn about the work process from their perspective. Photo: VIR
Does that style of work affect productivity, or in a broader view, the company culture?
We consider our company a big family with 1,000 brothers and sisters. Our working culture is also based on the motto of “work at full capacity and live to the fullest”.
That does not mean that we have to work non-stop the whole day, in order to meet with the job requirment. Instead, we take account of the sense of responsibilities, self-development, the willingness to learn and the smart way of work to ensure effectiveness.
We regards one another as our family members. In our company, there is a kind of 'glue' sticking staff of different levels together, as we all working toward a common goal: the development of each inpidual and the company.
The manager is the trainer, instructor, while the staff are the youngsters whose dream is achieving greatness. We treasure their spirit.
How do you describe your typical working day?
As the highest leader in the company, I oversee all of the company’s activities. I often took time to observe the on-site operation of different department, especially in the factories and the waste management area. I regularly organized meeting with engineers, workers to understand the work from their perspective (first-hand experience). It not only reinforces mutual understanding, facilitating our work, but also help break the language barrier.
At the end of the day, I will go back home to spend time with my wife. We stay in an apartment nearby, therefore I can be at the office at any time.