The Hong Kong Australia Business Association honours successful Hong Kong-Australian businessman Henry Ngai.
At the 2012 Hong Kong Federation of Hong Kong Worldwide Businesses, the Success Story Award for the Asian Pacific Region was won by Mr Henry Ngai.
This prestigious award recognizes individual associates for effective use of the Hong Kong business platform for business expansion.
Henry’s story began at the young age of nine when he started working in his father’s small shop, keeping watch over the shop as well as doing his homework there. That small shop supported the livelihood of the 12 members in the family.
Henry started his business ventures in the early ‘70s. Young and naïve, he went through a lot of hardship and learned to deal with dishonest people the hard way. During the process he developed precious business acumen and a determination to succeed.
He was fortunate to have a wife who provided him with full support. She took the children to school, answered phone calls in the office, took orders, did the shopping and the cooking, and supervised the children’s homework. In this way they both gradually opened up a new road.
In 1985 Henry and his family migrated to Australia, having to confront another pioneering challenge to open up a market.
In 1986 he established ABC Tissue Products Pty Ltd. However, as a newcomer to Australia he faced many obstacles. Many wholesalers did not accept new suppliers, and after a number of challenges, Henry began to make inroads into the market. But the difficulties didn’t stop there. Local suppliers queued up to resist his business attempts. And the CEOs of five serviette factories complained that he was selling products too cheaply and that he was breaking the code of ethics in the industry.
He continued to expand his business, opening factories in New Zealand in 1998, in Brisbane in 2002 and Perth in 2011, and most recently in Melbourne in 2013.
In the last seven years, ABC Tissue has ranked in the BRW’s top 200 companies. Mr Ngai was awarded the 2010 Australian Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Over 40 odd years of turmoil, and from Hong Kong to Australia, Henry has been through a lot of rough and tumble to arrive at today’s state of affairs.
In recent years, with his children now working in the business, Henry has begun to engage in charity work. The lucky recipients of his generosity include the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Fairfield Hospital, Cyclone Larry Appeal and the China Disaster Preparedness Project (A Red Cross initiative).
*Pictured right: Mr Henry Ngai is the winner of the 2012 Hong Kong Federation of Hong Kong Worldwide Businesses, Success Story Award for the Asian Pacific Region.
Over the past 10 or more years his charity work has progressed steadily under the support and encouragement of his friends and community associates.
In 2012 ABC Tissue donated money and materials to China, Cambodia and Vietnam.
ABC Tissue Vision Express was also established to assist 14 eye hospitals in China and Cambodia to perform cataract operations free of charge. Between October 2009 to today, 32,000 cataract operations have been performed through Henry’s charity work. Henry and his friends hope to accomplish 100,000 cataract operations by the end of 2022.
In 2012 Henry and his friends donated 35,400 hearing aids, 70,000 parkas, 35,000 pairs of sunglasses and 20,000 pairs of presbyopia glasses to the hospitals of China and Cambodia.
“My friends and I went to different places to donate gifts and assisted the patients to wear their hearing aids. The hearty smiles on their faces made us forget the hard work we had gone through, and gave us more energy to help more people,” says Henry.
“After we realized that 30 million people are in need of hearing aids, my friends and I have decided to further donate 120,000 hearing aids to China and Cambodia in 2013.”
“I have only done what I always like doing and it cannot be said to be a great achievement. If it has been an achievement, it could not have been accomplished without support and encouragement, so the achievement really belongs to all of us.” ■
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