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Fong Ho Keng: Expert in Strategy Formulation and Implementation

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Nowadays, as business transformation and strategy formulation play a more significant role in a company’s sustainable success, their implementation has gained more attention than ever before. How to implement these measures effectively in business remains a persistent challenge for entrepreneurs.
Fong Ho Keng, founder and CEO of the FHK Group of companies, has a passion in the aforesaid subject. The past years have witnessed his journey to success in strategy formulation and implementation, thanks to his unwavering belief, perseverance, innovative ideas and his subsequent development of some pace-setting proprietary management systems.
Pioneer in Productivity and Quality
Mr. Fong Ho Keng is a pioneer in the research, practice and promotion of Productivity and Quality in Singapore and Asia. He graduated in 1971 from the University of Malaya with a Bachelor Degree (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science Degree(Industrial Engineering) from the University of Singapore, a Master in Business Administration (Information System) with Distinction, and a Diploma in Management Consultancy.
Although founded in 2008 with its vision “To move towards organizational excellence”, the FHK Group of Companies actually originated from a real estate investment company that was established since 1987. The Group is a consolidation of several affiliates, which include Singapore-based HIMS Management Consultants LLP, SDMS Software Solutions LLP, FHK Investments (International) LLP, and Malaysia-based HIMS Management Consultants and Fong Kee Fatt Holdings Sdn Bhd.
The group is in the business of management consultancy, software solutions and property and equity investments. Prior to this, he has worked in a tertiary institution as the Director of Organisational Excellence Office and Principal Lecturer.
Mr. Fong’s long standing industrial experience includes holding various engineering and senior management positions. He was the Managing Director of an engineering company and concurrently, as Executive Director, managed its associated companies that were in the business of property development, housing construction, trading and export.
Mr. Fong has been actively involved in the Productivity and Quality movement since 1985 when the Singapore government initiated the movement in the early 1980s. Through practical involvement and implementation, he learnt that Productivity and Quality has significant impact on business effectiveness and operational efficiency.
“Productivity and Quality are the foundations in continuous improvement. Without the two elements, continu- ous improvement and sustainable development is superfluous,” he said.
Thus, in addition to participating in the government sector, he also initiated industry-education joint venture teams to help improve the quality and productivity in the private sector and eventually increased the business effectiveness and operational efficiency of the enterprises. Motorola Singapore was one of the most supportive and successful partners in these ventures.
In 1996, he was invited by Motorola China, Tianjin to train their engineers in Productivity and Quality, and to share his experiences and achievements in Singapore.
Through his many years of hands-on experience in Quality and Productivity, he realized that its concept is easy to understand but difficult to excel in. Furthermore, it needs to be applied in a holistic manner so as to maximize its impact on business effectiveness and operational efficiency. In 1998, he was invited by Prentice Hall to author his first book entitled “Productivity and Quality Studies �CHouse of Continuous Improvement (HOCITM)”,
Moving Towards Organizational Excellence
In January 1999, Mr. Fong was appointed Director of Organisational Excellence (OE) in a tertiary institution and was responsible for spearheading his organization’s journey towards organizational excellence.
From January 1999 to December 2003, under his stewardship, the OE Office initiated and successfully implemented some pace-setting management systems, which include the Strategic Deployment Management System, Integrated Balanced Scorecard, Best Practices Management System, Customer Satisfaction Value Chain and a Totally Integrated Management System. The organization was awarded Singapore Quality Class in June 1999, ISO9001:2000 certification in March 2001 and the Public Service Award for Organisational Excellence in July 2001.

In view of the above contributions to his work-related organizations, Mr. Fong was frequently invited to share his experiences and achievements in Singapore, as well as regional and international conferences in topics that include Integrated Balanced Scorecard, Strategic Deployment Management System and Moving towards Organizational Excellence.
In addition to the above, since 1986, he provided consultancy and training services to the industries in Productivity and Quality, Total Quality Management, ISO 9001 Quality Management System, Manufacturing Resources Planning, House of Continuous Improvement (HOCITM), Reward Incentive System, Performance Management System, Strategic Deployment Management System (SDMSTM), Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and SDMSTM Scorecard, Holistic and Integrated Management System (HIMSTM), and Moving towards Organizational Excellence.
Some of his training and consultancy clients include Asian Productivity Organization, Best Practices Search Pte Ltd, Castrol (Far East) Ltd, CitiBank Singapore, Civil Service College (Singapore), Colombo Plan Bureau, DHL International (S) Pte Ltd, Government Ministries and Agencies, Innox Asia, Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts, Merchant Court Hotel, Motorola (Tianjin, China), National Productivity Centre (Malaysia), Raffles Hotel, Sakti Suria Group, Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd, Singapore Productivity Association, Singapore Productivity and Standard Board, SI Management Consultants(Thailand) and UNI-LINK Smart Venture Sdn Bhd.
Given the extensive experience in the diverse industries above, he authored his second book “Moving towards Quality Excellence” in January 2000. The 2nd edition was published in January 2002 and the 3rd edition in December 2009, all by Prentice Hall.
Since 2008, Mr. Fong has been enhancing his pace-setting management systems while implementing, upgrading and improving them in the industry. Now, these systems, HIMSTM, SDMSTM and HOCITM have become the proprietary intellectual assets, trademarks and brand names of his company HIMS Management Consultants LLP.“Presently, our main task is to further enhance the quality of our products, i.e. management systems and computer software solutions, promote our trademarks and brands, look for collaborative partners, formulate marketing strategies and prepare to march towards target markets,” Mr. Fong said.
Deep feelings for China
Mr. Fong was raised in a traditional overseas Chinese family. His father was an excellent trader. Though he was always busy, he took time out to educate the children with quotations from famous people and traditional Chinese apothegms. From his grandmother and mother he learnt Confucius values on dealing with people, diligence, frugality and modesty.
His first visit to China was in 1995. Impressed by what he saw and the future that his ancestral land holds, he dreamt of returning to China one day to make some significant contributions.
Mr. Fong was also impressed by how China dealt with the global financial crisis. “China is a master in dealing with risks as well as taking advantage of the opportunities to develop its strategic emerging industries. I hope to contribute through collaborating with Chinese organizations in transforming their enterprises with our pace-setting proprietary management systems,” he said.
Referring to the collaboration opportunities between China and Singapore, Mr. Fong commented, “China now needs expertise in areas which it has not yet excelled in, especially in the technical and innovative areas. And the way to a successful collaboration involves three key requirements. As a start, the strength of both parties must be complementary. The benefit of the collaboration must be a “win-win” outcome. Lastly, their intellectual property must be fully protected.”
Rich experience in business
Mr. Fong formulates different strategies in line with

changing times. “In 1980s and early 1990s, it was a golden time for investment. In the late 1990s, it was time for consolidation. Since the turn of the new century, it is harvest time and also a time for prudent investment.”
He believes that good investments require experience and opportunities. While risk is unavoidable, it is prudent to prevent it. “Before embarking on an investment, we must determine if it is within our core business, how well we understand the investment, where the risks lie and if such risks can be prevented.”
“After investing, we should set risk management as one of the corporate goals. Secondly, deploy the corporate goal to all relevant employees and functions. Thirdly, the corporate authority monitors the key of the keys in preventing the risks. Finally, if the inevitable happens, the corporate authority has to take immediate remedial actions and prevent its recurrence.”
While many companies were caught in the recent global financial crisis, FHK Group of Companies benefited from it, “While you cannot exactly predict when crisis will strike, you must always prepare for it. When it happens, grasp the opportunity at the right time and glean the best from it.”
Commenting on why companies, in particular some European and American enterprises, were badly hit during the crisis, he said that it was mainly due to their strategic planning, deployment and implementation systems which aimed mostly at short-term profit and opting for temporary solutions after the crisis strikes.
He pointed out that enterprises should always prepare for a crisis. In their strategic plan, short and long-term corporate goals are set for crisis management, not only to preempt but to benefit from it. They are then deployed to all functions and all levels of employees. The corporate authority should monitor the key of the keys at the operational levels to nip the crisis at the bud. He reiterates that formulation of the strategies is important, its implementation is crucial
While asked about his pace-setting proprietary management systems, he said that these areas, including its software research and development, are traditionally the fortress of the West. But it is not necessarily an unbreakable defence line. During his past 25 years of training and consultancy, Mr. Fong has demonstrated that many traditional management systems still have much room for improvement.
Recently in Beijing, Mr. Fong was invited to share his experiences in enterprise transformation using his proprietary management systems. He spoke about “The three key challenges in enterprise transformation and the five key requirements in its effective implementation.”
The three challenges are firstly, upon transformation, how to effectively implement the new direction and policies of the enterprises. Secondly, after transformation, how to optimize the allocation of the resources, reduce costs and raise productivity. And thirdly, as enterprise transformation will lead to a more complex organizational structure and added strategic initiatives, how to improve the productivity of the whole enterprise so as to ensure continuous improvement, sustainable development and moving towards organisational excellence.
Recognitions and Awards
Mr. Fong’s contribution and involvement in the Productivity and Quality movement have won him the“Outstanding QC Facilitator of the Year” in 1995, the“Outstanding WITS Facilitator of the Year” in 1996 and 1998, and the “Outstanding QC Manager of the Year” in 2001.
He was appointed by PSCOE (The Public Service Centre for Organisational Excellence, Singapore) as the subject matter expert in “Strategy Formulation and Implementation” in 2003. Together with his subsequent development and successful implementation of a series of proprietary management systems (HIMSTM, SDMSTM and HOCITM) along with its contribution to the industry and society, on 25th September 2010, he was received by the Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of China and awarded the “The World Outstanding Chinese Innovative Person (世界杰出华人创新人物奖)” and “The Most Promising Innovation Enterprise in China (中国最具成长性创新企业奖)”. On 29th May 2011, he was further awarded “The World Top Ten Outstanding Leader (全球十大杰出领军人物奖)” and “The World Top Ten Outstanding Excellent Consulting Enterprise (世界十大杰出优秀咨询企业奖)” in Beijing, China.
Though with these honours, he does not rest on his past achievements. He eyes the future and always looks for challenges. He firmly believes, “A successful person always works relentlessly to achieve his goal. When he achieves it, he may not have the interest to work further. To offset this ceiling effect, he needs to set a more challenging goal.”
“Lastly, a happy family is an impetus for business success and the foundation of all achievements,” he added.


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