Interviews
17/07/2015
適勢創新天Adapt and Innovate for a Brighter Future ---- interviewing Wah Fung Knitters Chairman Mrs. Nyleptha Shiu
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Adapt and Innovate for a Brighter Future

-------interviewing Wah Fung Knitters Chairman Mrs. Nyleptha Shiu

 

Hong Kong Wah Fung Knitters (referred as “Wah Fung” hereafter) was founded in 1967. The company’s development can be seen as one of the example of successful business at the foot of Lion Rock.

 

 

Rose from Hardship,  Developed through Endeavor

Mr. Lo Kwok Choi, founder of Wah Fung, was faced with difficulties of capital shortage and lack of experience at the start of his business. With a resolute will and industrious effort, Mr. Lo started from processing business in a family workshop by setting the production site in an old building and shared half the rent for a knitting machine. As the rapid development of the knitting industry, Wah Fung expanded gradually.

 

Since Mr. Lo was an expert technician in the industry, Wah Fung was positioned as specialized in high-end technical products. Advanced knitting production machinery was introduced from France, and synthetic fibre was replaced by fine cotton as main production material in order to stick close to market demand. The jacquard knitted fabric produced by Wah Fung achieved its fame across the industry.

 

 

During the 1980s, the reform and opening up policy was put into effect in Mainland China. Wah Fung invested in Guangdong Province and joint ventured with Guangdong Knitting Company and Shanghai Eighth Spinning Company to form Meida Knitting Company. Later, solely owned Guangzhou Wah Fung Knitting Factory was established and all the production facilities of Wah Fung were moved to Guangzhou. In 1989, Wah Fung acquired Guangzhou Meiye Knitting, Printing and Dyeing Factory Company. A production chain with “one stop service” of knitting, dyeing and finishing was completed, which contributed for better quality control. Started from 1990s, Wah Fung carried out direct sales business, improved service quality and strengthened collaboration with customers. Many renowned overseas brands certified Wah Fung as their supplier.

 

 

Emphasize on Environment Protection  and Quality for Competitiveness

After 20 years of fast economic development, the district where Wah Fung’s production site was stationed has become urban area. As a result, possibility for further production expansion was limited. Wah Fung maneuvered accordingly and promoted upgrade, transformation and product innovation.

 

 

In 2006, Wah Fung became the first knitted fabric manufacturer using European Cold Pad Batch technology in production. Compared with traditional exhaust dyeing methodology, Cold Pad Batch dyeing consumes less water, energy and chemical. What’s more, it has the capability of continuous production. The hand-feeling and sheen of fabric surface is greatly improve, while number of fabric defect is largely reduced. This enabled Wah Fung to provide products in “European quality produced in Asia”, which was greatly welcome by customers.

 

 

In 2007, Mr. Lo, founder of Wah Fung, retired and former vice chairman Mrs. Nyleptha Shiu succeeded as chairman of the company. In 2008, Wah Fung acquired a new production site--TAZ (Zhuhai)--from Toray Industries. Relocation of production from Guangzhou to Zhuhai also started.

 

 

In recent years, business environment has become more difficult for printing and dyeing companies. Should they go overseas to search for better opportunity, or should they stay? Mrs. Nyleptha Shiu visited industry peers in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, U.S. and Korea to investigate, and decided to remain Wah Fung’s production in Mainland China. Cutting edge machinery and technology were brought in to restructure the production site in Zhuhai. Production automation, staff streamline and process optimization were gradually realized to improve efficiency and service quality, as well as shorten delivery time.

 

According to Mrs. Nyleptha Shiu, as great importance is attached to environmental protection and corporate social responsibility (CRM) worldwide, Wah Fung will continue to fulfill its CRM and duty of environmental protection on the path of development, in order to strive with industry peers to contribute to the society.

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