By Howard Lee. Brands that drive emotional responses will be the ones that last. So, there’s a relief and gratitude that we are thriving and continuing to grow,” he qualified. But, say Mr Ho Kwon Ping and his wife Claire Chiang, unlike in … He tells us about his and his wife's last visit to Nathan at his home — they chatted with him for over two hours, enjoying Mrs Nathan's samosas. This is the largest donation to the SMU School of Law to date. The company initiates and supports a variety of education and humanitarian initiatives in the places where it operates, such as setting up the accredited Laguna Phuket Kindergarten and establishing the Phuket Tsunami Recovery Fund in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Indeed, what at first seemed like a brief idyll actually had a profound influence on their lives. That’s something that is really on my mind.”. | | Jeanette Tan “It’s about how we are all in this together, I think that’s the whole point,” says Ho of this choice. 13 At the time, Ho was about to take up a job at INSEAD, a business school in Fontainbleau, France. Ho Ren Yung. Kwon Ping grew up and studied in Thailand. Glancing around, we wondered why the trees in the vicinity were palms and other smaller varieties, until Ho turned our attention to beyond the windowed wall behind the couch we were seated on — three Banyan trees overlapped one another, which he and Chiang planted for each of their children. "I … In the 1980s, along with Ho’s brother, architect Ho Kwon Cjan, the couple bought a piece of land in Phuket, Thailand, at a pretty affordable price. “Customers today want experiences they have a personal connection with, and that make them see their own lives in a different way. We believe exceptional customer experiences start with our associates, so we are spending a lot of time building that strong foundation of service culture and leadership from within.”, Another priority is improving the digital capacities of Banyan Tree brands. There, as well as in speaking to us, Ho exhorted young people "never to put off seeing your loved ones, because you never know when it might be the last time". These contributions are then matched by Banyan Tree and disbursed to various sustainability initiatives through the Banyan Tree Global Foundation, the group’s non-profit arm. Banyan Tree Founders, Ho Kwon Ping And Claire Chiang, Together With Daughter, Ho Ren Yung Talk About Their Entrepreneurial Journey As A Family, Executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings; married to Claire Chiang, Senior vice president of Banyan Tree Holdings; married to Ho Kwon Ping, Fellow of the SR Nathan Lecture Series at the Institute of Policy Studies. The power couple behind Banyan Tree Holdings have started preparing for succession planning. Ho Kwon Ping: Early life. "I understand from his daughter (Lee Wei Ling), not from him, that after seeing him, he also made an advance medical directive (AMD), that if it ever happened to him, he didn't want to be saved. At this point, he goes into naggy-uncle mode, reiterating what would be the first of two lessons he has for young people: "All the people that you know — whether it's your parents, your grandparents, your uncles, your aunties, your teachers, you really don't know when is the last time you might see them. Founder, K11 Group. Ho Kwon Ping's foray into the business world came several years later when he decided to join the family business after his father suffered a stroke. We're sitting with him in his living room, with tall windows all around the standalone structure in his home. “Expressing a brand today is multidimensional—there are so many different touchpoints, both internally and externally. It was very touching for me (to read) how happy he was that I was going to come home finally and this and that, and then he had his stroke. When it comes to erudite business families, the couple behind Banyan Tree Holdings is about as good as it gets. Take the opportunity to do so. “Previously, we would have a set of standards and created quite a uniform experience. Ho Kwon Ping (Chinese: 何光平; born 24 August 1952) is a Singaporean businessman. We will be looking into unexpected travel destinations and delivering specialised experiences that are anchored by strong narratives.". (From left) Associate Professor Annie Koh, moderator; Mr Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and chairman of Singapore Management University (SMU); Dr … Brands that drive emotional responses will be the ones that last. We’ve left the home bank, but we haven’t reached the safety of the far shore. During their three years in Hong Kong, the couple travelled to many rural areas, seeing first-hand how tourism impacted local communities. Slated to open in Mandai in 2023, the eco‑friendly resort will be owned by Mandai Park Holdings and will number among the attractions designed for the northern precinct’s new incarnation as an ecotourism hub. In other words, it’s great for my father, husband, boyfriend, or son to do NS, but not me. “It’s a natural alignment between Mandai Park Holdings and Banyan Tree in terms of like‑minded values regarding the protection of nature,” says Chiang. A world that looks to transcend bottom-lines will be one of collaboration, mentorship, and the … The new properties will add to the group’s current total of 47 hotels and resorts, 64 spas, 76 retail galleries and three golf courses in 23 countries. All rights reserved. He opined that the pandemic is throwing up digital winners and losers, and intensifying US-China rivalry that will force regions like Asean to rethink their economic strategies. Married to Ho Kwon Ping, president of the Wah Chang/Thai Wah group of companies, she is executive director of Banyan Tree Gallery. The founder and executive chairman of the Singapore-based hospitality group speaks about the road to recovery and sustainability’s key role in his future plans. Digital decoupling, climate change loom larger than Covid: Ho Kwon Ping. Ho's dad is the late Ho Rih Hwa, and those of you from Singapore Management University (SMU) would likely recognise his name, from the university's Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia Public Lecture Series. In 2010, it chose advisory group EarthCheck as a strategic partner for obtaining external sustainability certification. Most recently, after two years of research, it committed to sustainably sourced packaging and ingredients for all the reformulated products used in its spas and sold through its retail platforms. But people in Banyan Tree know what our celebrations are like. The Straits Times, 2 May 2020. ... Ho’s shift into the business world came several years later when he decided to join the family business after his father suffered a stroke in 1981. Main photo: Former SMU Chancellor Mr Yong Pung (2nd from left) standing next to his official portrait which will be hung in the SMU Boardroom, together with (left to right) SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping, SMU Chancellor Mr J Y Pillay and SMU President Prof Arnoud De Meyer. Mr. Ho Kwon Ping is the Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, a Singapore-based premium hospitality brand with global business interests. As the late Lee Kuan Yew was friendly with the Hos, Ho shared that he had gone to visit Ho's family when his father died. Ho explains that "asking why" is a habit he actively encourages in his children and his grandchild. He was educated in Thailand, Taiwan, USA and Singapore. “I think we were always brought up with the sense that this is an opportunity we can personally take on if we feel it fits our personal purpose,” says Ren Yung of the Banyan Tree business. It’s very exciting, but dangerous too.”  Ever the optimist, Chiang extends the analogy to new terrain. He joined the family business in 1981. This prompts another joke, this time from her father: “You’re becoming the boss, and we’re becoming the retirees. Background of founder Ho Kwon Ping. However, as the eldest son, he felt it was his duty to take over the reins of his family business. Ho Kwon Ping was born in Hong Kong in 1952 although his father, Ho Rih Hwa, a businessman and diplomat, was born in Singapore. He went on to Tunghai University in Taiwan where the exposure to Chinese culture left a deep impact on him. Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia Public Lecture Series. He was even invited to tea (yes, that tea), and almost found himself being fielded on the People's Action Party's slate of candidates in the 1984 General Election. Inspired by the work of women’s rights activist Shirin Fozdar, Chiang conceived retail arm Banyan Tree Gallery as a showcase for items created by rural craftswomen. How do we extend that brand presence in our guests’ lives beyond their stay at our properties? If you’ve ever wanted to shoot your shot at being an influencer, now’s your chance. Ho Kwon Ping was born in Hong Kong in 1952 although his father, Ho Rih Hwa, a businessman and diplomat, was born in Singapore. I see that in the actions of my parents when they go to our properties. So, there’s a relief and gratitude that we are thriving and continuing to grow,” he qualified. “I would say that I probably aspire to that as well.” A graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE), where she wrote her thesis on social entrepreneurship, Ren Yung has co-founded a number of businesses, most notably clothing label Matter, which focuses on collaboration with artisans and sustainable practices. The three elephants in the room for the next fifty years of Singapore. It was found sealed on his table by his family, who passed it on to Ho. 4 October 1951, Singapore–) is a social activist, entrepreneur and author. Ho Kwon Ping's foray into the business world came several years later when he decided to join the family business after his father suffered a stroke. In May 2000, Ho Kwon Ping was conferred an honorary doctorate by Johnson & Wales University, and later received the London Business School 2005 Entrepreneurship Award. If there is just one conclusion we can draw from all this, it's absolutely that Ho did not sleepwalk through life. Creating a brand was about moving up the value chain.”, (Related: Banyan Tree Has Their Eye On The World). In 1994, he launched Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Management University. Banyan Tree was born from this entrepreneurial zeal, and shaped by the ideals of the couple’s youth, not to mention a dash of bad luck. October 12, 2018, 11:30 AM. “We will plant 25,000 trees this year, which means that by the end of 2019, our group would have planted half a million trees,” says Chiang. Father Ho Kwon Ping, a former journalist who took over the reins at his own dad's manufacturing business before starting Banyan Tree, is now … Ho Kwon Ping. He went on to Tunghai University in Taiwan where the exposure to Chinese culture left a deep impact on him. And protecting the environment is only one aspect of the group’s conception of sustainability. And for some odd reason, we talked about death. Ho cites the unprecedented tourism boom fuelled by the burgeoning middle-class in the non-Western world. “For various reasons, we’ve reduced our burn rate, we’ve negotiated bank loans. For one, the founder of Banyan Tree Holdings, Ho Kwon Ping, is a Singaporean national who was once a prisoner. ), or to check out his house, but because of his latest book, Asking Why — a compilation of speeches, writing and essays piled behind a 48-page-short autobiography he wrote — released some months ago. Our chat overruns, and Ho excuses himself, heads off to Chiang's birthday lunch and leaves us to see ourselves out. “At that time, it was about building a foundation for Singapore, about education and jobs,” says Chiang. And we're toasting each other, and I toasted her and say, 'may you live long', and she said, 'Yeah, but you know you're going to die too', and I said 'you are going to die too, just live life with meaning' and all that... and she said, there's only a good way to go, not a good time to go. She’s been exposed to the workings of the family business since she was a child, and today heads the group’s integral spa and retail units. ", In this caption from Asking Why, Ho writes that his biggest regret in life is not getting to know his father better in his prime. Source: Institute of Policy Studies Facebook. And then she just died like that.". The views expressed in this podcast can be attributed to the named participant(s) only. But they resolved to make the best of it, and started an extensive years-long rehabilitation process for this blighted wasteland. "The other perspective, I suppose, is you do begin to see your own mortality. Travel For one, the founder of Banyan Tree Holdings, Ho Kwon Ping, is a Singaporean national who was once a prisoner. The other key element is about empowering communities. About Executive Chairman. “Nevertheless, I think the past 25 years have been very entrepreneurial, and the next 25 years will be about consolidating existing resources, strengthening and deepening the infrastructure, as well as looking at brand delivery—in order to cross the river and look at new pastures.”, (Related: Why Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou Is A Must-Visit For Nature Lovers), Close Up It's not did I become rich, did I become famous, but did I really live a life of purpose, of excitement, of meaning for myself — or did I just sleepwalk through it, kind of not knowing what I wanted to do, and then sort of wake up one day and (realise) you haven't done anything with your life? For someone now running a large multinational company, Ho Kwon Ping's early career is perhaps surprising. Her father was an accountant while her mother did various odd jobs. Trade Talk: Ho Kwon Ping of Banyan Tree Holdings. One highlight among the slew of new brands and hotels coming up over the next few years is the first Singapore resort operated by Banyan Tree. … is certainly the next question one should ask, as "it opens the world to you to create the world that you want to do". “It’s a yin and yang thing—we’re not just about embracing the environment and saving endangered species. Claire Chiang Roshni Nadar Malhotra. So it’s quite funny to hear Ho slip into a more colloquial register at one point during this conversation—when daughter Ren Yung (the second of their three children) mentions the word “multi-hyphenate”. Banyan Tree's Ho Kwon Ping On The AirAsia Phenomenon And Rainbow Tourism, first resort‑based marine lab in the Maldives, Millennials Are Our Force Of Change, Says Banyan Tree's Claire Chiang, Why Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou Is A Must-Visit For Nature Lovers, From Japan to Switzerland: Luxury City Hotels to Book When it's Safe to Travel Again, David Prior Shares 5 Secret Boutique Hotels to Fuel Your Travel Dreams in 2021, Singapore to Allow Entry for Business Travellers From All Countries in January 2021, Tatler Tours: Violet Oon Takes Us Around Katong | The Best Food, Activities and Spots, Meet Asia’s Most Influential: The Impact List 2020, The Best Christmas Markets to Visit in Singapore for 2020, Where to Celebrate Christmas in Singapore This December 2020. “We had to get scientists and other domain experts involved, to understand the topography and soil condition,” Chiang remembers. Mr Ho Ren Hua is a director and CEO of Thai Wah Public Company Limited and a director of Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited. That's particularly easy to do in an affluent society.". Mr Ho. Flights to nowhere > Flights to somewhere. So I do regret — that's one of my biggest regrets, that we weren't able to really be father and son in a much more... collegial and best-friend sort of way. Her son, Ho Kwon Ping, was born in Hong Kong in 1952 and later became a businessman. Over thirty years ago, back in 1984, Singaporean couple Ho Kwon Ping (65) and Claire Chiang (66) chanced upon a vast expanse of coastal land in Phuket, Thailand, that used to be a tin mine. We had a really good time and we were talking about death... and without morbidity at all. The first Banyan Tree resort opened on this Phuket site in 1994, and environmental sustainability was enshrined as a cornerstone of the new brand’s ethos. In our latest conversation with him last week, though, we learned that he is all the above, but also in equal parts romantic, sentimental and nostalgic. “Huh? As the eldest son, it was his duty to carry on the Wah Chang group of companies. “From how guests interact with our website, to their preferences during their stay, there are a million touchpoints we want to capture and understand better,” she says. I particularly enjoy watching Monisha (Nathan's granddaughter) in conversation with you.". By DestinAsian - September 8, 2020. Here's what he told us about his final night and conversations with his mum: "It was on a Friday. The total number of cases in Singapore stands at 57,915. Just as the influence of Ho Kwon Ping sparked our approach to this editorial, so too will the experienced leaders of the previous generation embolden the Millennial vision of this one. It is about thanking and celebrating our dedicated associates.”, With this new world, of course, comes new expectations. He also hopes to continue having an interest in the world, but ultimately, apart from the certainty of grandfatherhood — he will be a granddad of three by the end of this year — he admits he "really (doesn't) know". Li has another son, Kwon Cjan, who is also involved in business. By Luke Clark | Oct 05, 2020 | Hybrid world as Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder, WiT, live on stage interviewed a virtual Ho Kwong Ping on Day 4 of WiT Experience Week at Marina Bay Sands Hybrid Broadcast Studio. Over thirty years ago, back in 1984, Singaporean couple Ho Kwon Ping (65) and Claire Chiang (66) chanced upon a vast expanse of coastal land in Phuket, Thailand, that used to be a tin mine. Banyan Tree Holdings is a Singapore-based leisure business group , which owns both listed and private companies engaged in the development, ownership and operation of exclusive luxury hotels, resorts, spa, residential homes and retail galleries based in Asia. 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