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Published on Friday, 25 Jul 2014
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Liquid asset
Published on Saturday, 19 Jul 2014
Pierre Coppéré
Photo: Gary Mak

Pierre Coppéré, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia, keeps business moving fluidly.

Pierre Coppéré likes to define his lifelong career in the beverage industry in terms of liquids. A quick glance at his background and career history explains why that makes sense. Growing up in Lyon, in France’s Burgundy wine region, he spent his childhood surrounded by wine. Later, as a business student specialising in marketing at the ESCP Europe business school in Paris, he did an internship with French food and beverage company Danone, and was assigned to work at one of its water affiliates, Evian. After graduating, he decided he wanted to pursued an international career and in 1977 moved to the US after joining Sopexa, a French partly state-owned entity whose mission is to promote French food and wines abroad.

He spent three months in Texas, and also worked in Austin, Chicago and New York during his one-year stay in the country. When he returned to France after a year to do his obligatory military service, a different world awaited him with the Chasseurs Alpins – or “alpine hunters” – an elite infantry brigade that trains in the mountains. Once out of the army, he compiled a short list of the companies he wanted to work for and sent them his résumé. His stint in the Alps had forged a lifelong love of the mountains and for a time he seriously considered a career in the skiing industry.

“I sent my résumé to a very, very limited number of companies, all having international business either in wine and spirits or skiing,” he recalls. Wine and spirits won out in the end, when he was offered a job with Pernod Ricard, the company where he spend the rest of his career. “It’s [been] a working life spent in liquid,” he says. “From water to wine, and then to wine and spirits. I celebrated 35 years with Pernod Ricard on 15 July this year.”

When he joined the company in 1979, Pernod Ricard was focused on extending its global reach. Coppéré moved from marketing to become area export manager in charge of exports for several countries. The company was expanding, in size and breadth, and opportunities for a versatile and determined graduate were abundant. “We managed to acquire businesses in different countries,” he explains. “That’s how our business changed from export to international, and that sort of changed the spectrum.”

Coppéré worked in different departments and countries, becoming managing director of Pernod Ricard Southeast Asia in 1996, and moving back to Europe a year later to become managing director for Austria and South Central Europe, and later the Netherlands. He became chairman and CEO of Pernod SA in 2002, and moved back to Asia in 2009 to take up his current role.

Along the way, he has benefited from mentoring within the company. “I was lucky enough to come to work with Pierre Pringuet, the [now] CEO of Pernod Ricard, and it’s fair to say we got along very well,” he says. “We had a good understanding of the business. I worked for him, reporting directly to him for many years. To a certain extent, that accelerated my career within Pernod Ricard.”

From the start, Coppéré was fully committed to Pernod Ricard and did not feel the need to explore possible careers in other firms or industries. It was not a case of making a conscious decision to stay with one company and work his way to the top – if anything, it was the other way round, he explains.

“I never thought I wouldn’t stay with Pernod Ricard,” he says. “I did find in Pernod Ricard everything that kept me excited for all those years. That’s the reason why I’m still here. I never got bored, never.”

In his current position, Coppéré’s first responsibility is for the company’s bottom and top lines in Asia – a demanding task, given that the region’s contribution to the company has grown tenfold in the past 10 years. He explains that his role has expanded from a narrower management style based on a certain expertise, to a more holistic position that focuses on people management. In this capacity, he says his primary aim is to inspire.

“[The bottom line] is a key driver of Pernod Ricard’s growth, but this is achieved via and with the team, and therefore managing the team, managing the people is absolutely key,” he says. “I love it. It’s very rewarding.”

One of the ways that staff are engaged is by taking part in the company’s efforts to combat underage drinking and other forms of irresponsible alcohol consumption, which forms the centrepiece of Pernod Ricard’s CSR efforts. “What we’ve agreed as an industry is to fight it,” Coppéré says.

The annual Pernod Ricard Responsib’All Day, for example, sees the company’s 19,000 employees around the world focus for one day on encouraging responsible drinking. This includes highlighting Pernod Ricard’s responsible-drinking initiatives, such as the launch of an app earlier this year that helps users calculate how many units of alcohol they have consumed. 

With responsibility for a region that extends from the Gulf to Japan, Coppéré spends much of his time travelling to meet his core teams in different countries. In a typical year, he spends more than 200 days out of Hong Kong. “Fortunately, I like travelling, otherwise that would be an issue with my current job,” he says. During his free time, he takes advantage of being based in Hong Kong and has visited most countries in Asia during the past five years.

The father of a son and three daughters – who he says help to keep him and his thinking young – Coppéré has been married for 33 years and has always kept his work and home life separate. “I know some people come back home and have a need to tell what they’ve done during the day. I’ve never, ever done that,” he says.

He also likes to ski, scuba dive and read. “Usually I can do three things at the same time: I can read a book while listening to music – pop-rock music, classical or opera – and sip a glass of Ricard.”

 


POURING OUT PROFESSIONAL POINTERS

Pierre Coppéré explains what he thinks are four keys to being a good leader:

Feel the future  “Inspiring means being visionary, and leading by example.”
Listen to others  “It’s important to have your own convictions, but you have to listen to what other people have to say, and take that into account moving forward.”
Be courageous  “Challenge the status quo. Take risks.”
Keep things fresh  “It’s easy to fall into routine things, so changing the status quo, even towards yourself – that is important.”


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2014書展攻略:職場進階必讀
Published on Monday, 14 Jul 2014
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How self-mediation resolved an office conflict
Published on Saturday, 12 Jul 2014
Cindy Fong
Brian Ng

The background
Most people spend at least a third of their lives in the workplace. Whether we like it or not, we have to return to the same place every day and communicate with the same people while trying to get our work done. Sometimes, dealing with colleagues can be a serious headache. Interpersonal relationships that go wrong at work can be disruptive and even lead to a loss of business. 

When faced with a conflict, you fight for your right, ignore the problem, or simply go to HR department to complain. You will feel very exhausted to handle these conflicts. But have you ever thought of an alternative way of dealing with workplace disputes gracefully?

The case
Samantha was a junior event planner at an event management and PR firm. Young and talented, she had handled nearly 20 events since in the nine months since she joined and was one of the most popular newcomers in the industry. 

A new administrative manager, Mavis, later came on board. Mavis used to work as a personal secretary in a private company, serving its human resources director who managed a team of eight staff. Mavis acted relatively low-key and didn’t say much in the office. Nobody in the company, except Samantha, knew that Mavis was a close friend of her boss. 

Mavis’s first assignment was to lead the team at an international conference to be held three months later. As project manager, she was responsible for planning the whole event and assigning the various tasks. 

In the first meeting, Mavis did not discuss the project much before assigning tasks to the team members. Samantha was given some simple, yet tedious, clerical work to do. She wasn’t happy with the arrangement, but hoped she’d be able to take up a more important role later.

As the project proceeded, nothing much changed for Samantha and she was assigned more clerical work. She considered herself very good at communicating with vendors, but Mavis assigned Mandy, a fresh graduate who was on board for one month, to handle all the communication work.

During project meetings, Samantha tried to raise some ideas, but was stopped by Mavis. She felt disrespected and frustrated. Worse still, she heard Mavis had been complaining about her behind her back. Samantha, a rising star before Mavis joined, was suddenly seen as an underperformer. 

She thought about quitting, but loved her job too much. She decided to try self-mediation, which she had learnt about in a seminar. She invited Mavis to a private meeting and persuaded her to agree to some ground rules.

First, the meeting would not be about finding fault. Both parties would focus on finding a mutually acceptable resolution. Second, there would be no power plays, such as raised voices, aggressive body language or emotional outbursts. Power plays will further damage relationships and hurt feelings. 

Third, there would be no leaving the meeting until it was over. Walking away would leave the conflict unresolved and issues unaddressed. The meeting would be conducted respectfully and with an open mind. Any arguing or finger-pointing would break the atmosphere and not facilitate a solution.

At the meeting, Samantha started to share how she felt about her assigned roles, but Mavis interjected to complain about her poor performance and uncooperative attitude, accusing her of challenging her decisions in front of other team members. 

Samantha nearly broke into tears, but took a deep breath and reminded Mavis of the ground rules. Whenever possible, she would acknowledge Mavis’s point of view in a positive manner and thank her for her contribution. The discussion continued more smoothly. 

Knowing Mavis was new to the company, Samantha shared her experience in previous projects. Mavis accepted her suggestions and agreed to assign her tasks that fitted her skill set. 

The Conclusion
Increasingly highly competitive work environments are leading to increased conflicts between colleagues. Failing to address these can have serious consequences, including poor employee attitudes, low morale, low productivity and excessive turnover. 
Samantha and Mavis used self-mediation to resolve their problem. They not only succeeded, but strengthened cooperation among the team, and improved their friendship. 
Samantha and Mavis decided to use self-mediation to resolve any future disputes. How about you?


Cindy Fong and Brian Ng are members of the General Mediation Interest Group under the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre’s Hong Kong Mediation Council

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10 healthy desserts to treat your weekends
Published on Thursday, 10 Jul 2014
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Open season
Published on Saturday, 05 Jul 2014
Philippines lenders headquartered in Metro Manila are being wooed by foreign suitors ahead of legislation allowing them to own local banks.
Photo:iStockphoto

Aplanned law allowing foreign firms to take full control of Philippine lenders is drawing eager suitors to the sector, including Japan's Mitsubishi and Malaysia's CIMB, bankers familiar with the matter say.

The Philippines' is one of Southeast Asia's fastest-growing economies, with sharply boosted personal incomes and demand for loans, while the banking sector is highly fragmented, underdeveloped and ripe for consolidation.

Others looking at acquisition opportunities are private equity firms such as TPG and Taiwanese banks, say the bankers, who declined to be identified as negotiations are confidential.

"The Philippines' banking sector is an attractive market for foreign banks and PE funds because it offers the perfect mix of fast growth in individual wealth and investability," says Keith Pogson, Asia financial services leader at accounting and consultancy firm EY.

While China, Indonesia and Malaysia limit foreign investment in banks, the Philippine law will replace a cap of 60 per cent on foreign ownership and abolish previous rules that allow just 10 foreign banks in the country. Already passed by congress, the law awaits the approval of President Benigno Aquino, who indicated it is likely to come soon.

It is one of a slew of economic reforms following the Philippines long-sought-for investment-grade credit rating last year, and brings it in line with countries such as Australia and Japan, which allow banks to be wholly owned by foreign firms.

Gaining full control of a local bank will make it easier for foreign banks to capitalise on regional trade flows and serve companies in their home countries that want to invest in the Philippines. The latter motivation is particularly true of Japanese banks like Mitsubishi, banking sources says.

"All the heavy industries and construction companies from Japan see a huge amount of infrastructure spending in the Philippines," says an M&A banker at a European bank. "The Japanese banks want to be there ... so they can fund these companies. There is also a strong political desire on the part of the Japanese leadership to have strong ties with Asean."

A Japanese bank executive says his company was looking to acquire a Philippine lender, but added it had yet to narrow down any targets. The planned law was also discussed by Aquino and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Aquino's trip to Japan last month, with Abe expressing approval.

The potential for growth in retail banking may appeal to foreign banks. Over the past 10 years, the growth rate for individual wealth has averaged 12 per cent - Asia's highest, according to EY and Credit Suisse data, yet 80 per cent of Filipino households still do not have a bank account.

Malaysia's CIMB said in May it was looking at mid-tier banks after efforts to buy 60 per cent of San Miguel's unlisted banking unit fell through. Singapore's DBS is also considering opportunities in the Philippines. Last year, it walked away from Indonesia's PT Bank Danamon after changes in ownership limits prevented it taking majority control.

TPG and CVC Capital Partners are among buyout firms looking at potential acquisitions, bankers say.

The outlook for loan demand in the Philippines is robust, accounting for the industry's forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio of 14, the highest among banks in Asia-Pacific. Aggregate bank loans are expected to climb by 10 to 15 per cent this year. Central bank data shows loans for producing goods and project financing were up 19 per cent in May from a year earlier. Consumer loans were up 11 per cent.

But the industry in its entirety is small. Singapore's DBS has nearly 1.5 times more assets than the combined assets held by the Philippine banking sector. It is also overcrowded with 700 banks. Indonesia, with more than twice the population, has 120. And many lenders are truly minnows, with the top seven of 36 commercial banks controlling two-thirds of the industry's assets.

That has made a compelling case for consolidation, which has the backing of the central bank. "We've been sending the signal that if you are below a certain scale, sub-scale or your operations are not economical and competitive … either you level up or you combine or you sell out," says central bank deputy governor Nestor Espenilla.

The government is selling United Coconut Planters Bank, attracting interest from Philippine National Bank and may attract foreign bidders. Ranked 12th in the Philippines, it has assets of about 265 billion pesos (US$6 billion). But bankers note that the most appealing targets are less likely to accept a full takeover, although they may be open to selling a stake.

Two of the most attractive targets for foreign suitors may be Philippine National Bank, the country's fifth largest lender, and Rizal Commercial Banking (RCBC), ranked eighth, says Unicapital Securities equity research head Lexter Azurin. The two Philippine banks trade at price-to-book ratios of 1.4 and 1.1 respectively, cheaper than the industry average of 1.7.

Reuters

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抓緊Click Moment!
Published on Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014

「成功須苦幹」、「成功靠才能」、「成功靠人脈」及「成家靠家業」這些說話,大家都可能聽過無數人講過無數次。

不過有業務分析師研究過不少成功人士的個案後,認為這些都是當事人得到成功之後自圓其說的解釋,而且每每過度肯定這些理由的重要性。有時「隨意」才是主導成敗的最大力量。

好些人可能會對這種論調潑冷水,認為那只是懶人繼續躲懶的藉口。不過專家指出,「隨意」不等如「乜都唔使做」。其實人應該就所有情況隨機應變,即使那些情況跟你原來想象的不同,也不用以為全軍覆沒成功無望。重中之重是能夠抓住突如其來的幸運機會,是成功的轉捩點。

點解大家唔想太隨意?
很多人都不敢提出「隨意」對生活的意義,因為聽起來太不實在。如果一個成功人士跟你說他是靠運氣才成功的話,你會覺得不夠說服力,因為人通常喜歡將成功和某些因素連繫起來,覺得只要我也有這些因素,也可以成功。我們習慣了追求有形的意義,睇套戲都要勁喺套戲裡面尋找意義,否則會覺得無意思。

愛上隨意!
人們通常在出問題的時候才會接受「隨意」的存在。「咁啱搞錯咗囉」是我們常常掛在口邊的理由。不過也有例外的情況,戀愛就是最佳例子。愛情小說或者是愛情電影都強調各種浪漫事情是「隨意」和預計之外的。不過如果我們能夠接受愛情甚至婚姻這種人生大事都是由隨意而來的結果,為甚麼我們不能接受生命裡其他成功也可以是「隨意」的結果呢?

隨著世界全球化和網絡化,隨意發生的事和人際關係會愈來愈多。例如你今天排隊買早餐時,可能已經在Facebook post了幾張相,看了200個post和回了朋友幾個P.M.。這些在一瞬之間發生事可能包含一些能夠改變你生命的‘click moment’。

不要怕 儘管試
但是怎樣從每日成千上萬的訊息中,分辨出那些「堅」的click moment?主要還是要靠好奇心和直覺。例如你看到一個post宣傳某個live band show,突然腦海有個gut feeling:「雖然我唔知佢哋會玩乜嘢歌,但唔知點解我又好想去。 」就是這個feeling了。

從別人的成功經驗中學習的確有用處,但別人的的成功卻沒法完全複製過來。所謂「第一個做的是天才,第二個做的是庸才,第三個(和以後)做的是蠢材」,要成功就要與別不同;一個與別不同的點子,就能夠點石成金。最重要是在這些意念出現時能夠抓緊它,並且盡快把它實踐出來。

這樣做事不是很「求其」嗎?專家說其實「隨意」也是一種「看不到的力量」。有時未必要事事都計畫周詳。我們對「隨意」的忌諱使我們覺得「無plan就做一定會有問題」。其實即使事事都plan好,也不保證會完全無問題。只要肯試,可以得出很多可能性。樣樣都「死估估」,相信事情一定係咁咁咁,那麼生得唔靚就一定無人要?不是讀書材料就做注定乞兒?其實現實世界是沒有「一定」的,而「隨意」就是打破「一定」的關鍵!

一些從「隨意」而來的成功例子:
‧作家Stephanie Meyer做夢看到年輕吸血鬼的故事,醒來立即動筆,寫出《Twilight》這個best seller系列。
‧賣咖啡機和咖啡豆的小店東主Howard Schultz 到意大利米蘭出席一個家品會議,在街上看到意大利人的espresso bar文化,覺得美國也可以有這樣的店子,於是開設Starbucks咖啡店。
‧維珍航空創辦人Richard Branson在開設公司之前完全沒有經營航空業的經驗
‧電視劇《迷》( Lost ) 的編劇之前完全沒有編劇經驗

今時今日,要成功不只靠經驗,還須要有抓緊機會和提出新意的能力。即使你不打算做國際巨星或億萬富豪,「隨意」仍然對你有用。它會帶你到從未去過的新地方,遇上意想不到的人,讓你找到一份新工作,甚至是創出自己的事業。你要做的就是勇於嘗試。在這個網絡世界中,只要抓緊「隨意」帶來的機會,就可以擁有不一樣的人生!


如何找出Click Moment

1. 漫無目的做點事:間中抽點時間做一些無目的的事,例如閑逛及坐在咖啡室看街等,一些「隨意」發生的事件可能會找上你。

2. 換個新環境:如果你每日都到某間快餐店午飯或每天都坐同一班車返工返學的話,不妨嘗試另一家店或改坐別的交通工具。認識一些來自完全不同行業或生活圈子的人,可以給你帶來新靈感。

3. 增長見識:旅行例牌去台北三天遊?平日有時間不妨多看各式各樣的旅遊生活節目或到圖書館找一些平時不會碰的雜誌看看,認識世界各地的新奇事物。記下一些你覺得有趣的東西,然後計畫親身去看一看,讓直覺帶你到一個新天地。

4. 把意料之外變成意想不到:學習在意外事件中尋找樂趣。錯過了一班車,不要忙著打電話給朋友大吐苦水,借這個機會停下來觀察四周的事情。

5. 回顧成功過程:想想以前作出重要決定的經過。有哪些成功例子是從頭到尾細心策畫的結果?有哪些是由一些隨意事件引發的?深入了解過後,你會更了明白「隨意」的意義。


 

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Social Media Has Evolved into an Essential Mainstream Marketing Tool
Published on Monday, 30 Jun 2014
Businesses are leveraging social media in a quest for marketing success (PRNewsFoto/Frost & Sullivan)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Businesses across various industries have altered their marketing focus from traditional mass marketing to targeted marketing, to increase response rates and drive sales. Customers have control of their corporate relationships through social media and as a result companies are now driven to find ways to enable customer engagement on a customized basis. Consequently, social media has rapidly emerged as an ideal marketing tool.

Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, From Mass Marketing to Social Marketing, finds that social media is helping businesses transform their unidirectional marketing approach to a bidirectional customer engagement model. Social media has become a viable targeted-marketing channel, enabling businesses to gather customers' self-reported personal information and use the data in personalized campaigns and offers.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit: http://bit.ly/1soNbA0. 

"Businesses are no longer satisfied with simply being present on popular social media sites and are now striving to gain an edge through social media marketing," said Frost & Sullivan Contact Centers Industry Analyst Brendan Read. "Therefore, they are evolving their social marketing focus from brand awareness to customer engagement and lead generation. This is exemplified by the widespread use of hashtags and popular social site logos in every medium."

With the proliferation of social sites tailored to niche interests, customers expect a high degree of content relevancy, authenticity and quality from companies that market to them. However, many firms do not budget adequate resources to execute suitable social media marketing programs. Some attempt to cut corners by limiting the number of sites they monitor and avoiding newer sites despite the evident relevancy they may have to their customers.

Although a business may successfully obtain a large user base and strong social community activity, this does not necessarily translate to sales. Despite establishing customer loyalty and satisfaction, these results cannot be directly correlated to their social media investments. A resolution to this issue can be addressed by connecting social media with the appropriate sales channels, which will in turn allow businesses to define, bolster and track return on investment.

"In addition, with social media presenting a large, fast-changing stream of unstructured data, companies must employ analytics to pick up the most pertinent posts that can be used to shape and refine marketing programs," advised Read. "As short social conversations may not tell the entire story, analytics can be deployed to source other relevant social and off-line data."

Creating customized, high-quality and relevant content, as well as enhancing social site monitoring, tracking, analysis and engagement will help businesses leverage social media in the quest for marketing success.

From Mass Marketing to Social Marketing is part of the Contact Centers & CRM (http://www.contactcenter.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related studies include: Analyzing Customers' Social Voices, Integrating Social Media into CRM, Collaborating Socially to EnhanceBig Data Applications in the Contact Center: Opportunities and Challenges, and from IVR to Automated Customer Interaction. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

Our "Growth Partnership" supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

•The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation. 
•The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.
For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

Home > Top Employers > Maybank Hong Kong > Why Maybank?
Why Maybank?
Published on Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014

Any aspiration can come true with the right opportunity. At Maybank, we set our sights on selecting the brightest minds to be a part of our team. The search is on for inspired individuals who are ready to grow and dare to create the next big thing with us. We offer you opportunities for growth and excellence to achieve our aspirations with Asia's leading financial services provider.

Home > Top Employers > Maybank Hong Kong > Becoming a Maybanker
Becoming a Maybanker
Published on Thursday, 26 Jun 2014
Photo source: http://www.maybank.com/

Becoming a Maybanker

Embarking on a career with Maybank means being part of Malaysia's leading financial services provider and a Fortune Global 500 company. We are looking for professionals who are able to bring skills, ideas and innovation to work with the best minds to help us achieve regional leadership.
 

  • We are on the lookout for talents who share the following values and qualities:
  • Able to formulate strategic plans and practical value-driven initiatives
  • Engages through effective communication and creates an environment for continuous learning to deliver business objectives
  • Determined to achieve results and displays a sense of urgency to meet our business goals
  • Seeks to understand expectations and maintains strategic relationships with our stakeholders and external clients
  • Understand the expectations of customers, and strives to meet and exceed customer needs
  • Embraces and values innovation and creativity at work
     

What are we offering
 

  • Our Total Rewards Philosophy aims to recognise and reward talents through monetary and non-monetary returns.
  • Development: We are dedicated to develop our talents through development programmes and international opportunities.
  • Environment: We encourage an environment for the development of creativity and innovation.
  • Rewards: Our total compensation framework ensures that increment and bonus are paid at competitive compensation levels to attract, retain, motivate and reward key talents.

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