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Chan Yuen Shan, Clara
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Lee Kee Holdings Limited (HKEx Stock Code: 637)

The Lee Kee Group Limited and its subsidiaries is the largest zinc alloy importer in the PRC. The market capitalization of Lee Kee Holdings Limited is over HK$2B.

Lee Kee was founded in 1947. Ms. Chan joined the Group in November, 1995 after attending high school in Australia and college in Vancouver, Canada. When Clara joined the company she started out rotating through lower level positions in various departments such as warehousing and payment collections. At that time Lee Kee was a local trading company in non-ferrous metals. Under Ms. Chan's 15 years of exceptional management, the traditional small company has been successfully transformed into a modernized and computerized corporation with more than 300 employees. She is now responsible for the overall management and daily operations of the Group: developing and implementing company policies and procedures; negotiating with suppliers and customers on major contracts; and formulating pricing strategies to respond to market changes.

Soon after Clara joined the company, "I was thinking -- with the internet, and the higher educational standards of customers, could we go directly to the suppliers? How could we add value to the producer side and the customer side? The die casting industry serves twenty different industries, such as automotive, bath and toys. They all have difficulties with training workers on the production side, and with retaining workers. Most customers focus on just one product. Because we see so many different industries, we see techniques which can be shared -- so we as suppliers have an advantage. So I set-up a technical support department to help customers on molds, and plant operations -- so we could transfer knowledge to them. For example, with toy manufacturers, we can help to minimize the costs of their molds, and thus expand their customer base to other industries."

"In 2000, metal costs became more important, and our customers were not aware of what impacted these metal costs. We are very familiar with this issue. So in 2005 we created a market intelligence department to issue daily price reports and forecasts. We targeted not only our customers but also their customers like Ikea, and Wal Mart. With this information, the end buyers could do a better job with purchase planning and inventory management. In this way we are helping our customers by understanding their buyers' ordering trends."

Listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
"It was a major turning point for us to be listed on the stock exchange in 2006. Our company is over 60 years old and I am fourth generation. Traditionally family businesses are not listed. China is a very big and growing market. For us to move further, we needed more resources -- money, expertise and exposure."

"After becoming listed, we acquired a production plant and a stainless steel plant, and expanded our office in China -- so that we are serving China from a domestic center rather than from Hong Kong. We plan to move more inward in China and to Viet Nam, India and other Asian markets.

Ms. Chan is the daughter of Mr. Chan Pak Chung and Ms. Ma Siu Tao. The company was started by her great-grandfather in 1947. Clara's father is Chairman of the Board and still comes into the office on a regular basis. Clara's mother also serves in a strategic role. Clara has a brother in the busness who focuses on joint ventures, and a sister who handles purchasing.

Clara Chan was awarded the Young Industrialist Award of Hong Kong in 2008 by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries. She is also currently the honorary Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Diecasting and Foundry Association and the Founding Member and Chairman of the Lee Sang Charity Foundation Co. Ltd.

Ms. Chan was nominated for the "10 Under 40" Award by Kevin Au.

Family Business Wiki Town Square Profile: Clara Chan

Categories: 10 Under 40 Award