Our frontline heroes ensure Life Is On in our local communities
“Business is picking up again since early April” said Ken, one of the frontline heroes of Lee Man Electrical in Hong Kong. This is a sentiment that was shared amongst the electrical shop owners that I had a chance to visit last week.
It is fulfilling to see the optimism return after these businesses endured weeks of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is remarkable to see how resilient these small business shop owners are in keeping their doors open as they provide critical essential products and services to our communities.
These are the stories of the many “frontline heroes” who exhibited endurance, commitment, and inspiration in supporting many small electricians’ lives and livelihoods during this challenging period.
“Business is back.” – Ken and Cheung from Lee Man Electrical
Welcome to Shanghai Street in Mongkok, a popular place to go for all Hong Kong tradesman and consumers alike looking to renovate a home or working on building constructions. It is May 29th and it is hard to believe that it has only been four months since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong.
Seeing how the streets in this market were packed with streams of electricians was great and a true testament to Hongkongers’ agility and work ethic. As the saying goes “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” This is the Hong Kong spirit.
“Our distributors have done a great job in helping us manage our inventory during the crisis.” – Mr. Lao from Taily Electrical
Our next stop took us to Taily Electrical. The first thing that stood out was the size of the store and how small and compact it is. With little room, every inch of shelf space counts.
When business slowed down a few months ago, Mr. Lao highlighted that collaboration with our distributors were ever more crucial to ensure that essential stock can be had and replenished quickly.
These critical partnerships provided his business with inventory efficiency and much needed cash flow to fulfill customer requests. We were thrilled to hear that in early May, Mr. Lao landed some residential projects thanks to the launch of our new color variant offer of AvatarOn.
This serves as a good reminder that new innovations continue to play a critical role for our customers, even during a soft market environment.
“Ecommerce is booming.” – Derek Wu from Future Lighting
“Ecommerce is booming, and we want to take full advantage of that” says Derek Wu, CEO of Future Lighting. The pandemic has undoubtedly made the World more digital and recognizing this, Derek saw an opportunity to accelerate his business’s digital initiatives by establishing local partnerships to promote and sell his products online.
The shift was successful as Derek seeks to further strengthen the business’s digital capabilities. Derek showed us how we can identify opportunities in times of uncertainties and come out stronger than ever.
“Customers today know Schneider Electric, and some still affectionately calls it Merlin Gerin or Clipsal.” – Angela and Mr. Wong Wan-Pui from Sheung Kwong Electrical
The last visit was a special moment. As one of the longest legacy wholesalers that was founded in 1922 and serves over 200 dealers in Hong Kong, Sheung Kwong Electrical has witnessed first-hand the evolution of Schneider Electric’s brand and its impact on the business.
We were honored to be greeted by Angela, the fourth-generation manager, and her dad Mr. Wong Wan-Pui, the third-generation manager who now retains his role as a special Senior Advisor to The Hong Kong and Kowloon Electric Trade Association.
The two shared that while most of their customers today recognize the Schneider Electric brand, a lot of our partners still hold affectionate, nostalgic sentiments with Merlin Gerin (acquired by Schneider Electric in 1992) and Clipsal (acquired by Schneider Electric in 2004).
I am a brand builder at heart. I believe that a strong brand is one that has a long-lasting relationship to the hearts and minds of its customers, going beyond the name, the logo, and the box that it is printed on.
Building an All Digital All Electric world together with our frontline heroes
Mr. Wong Wan-Pui and Angela will be celebrating Sheung Kwong Electrical’s 100-year anniversary in two years’ time. Schneider Electric is honored and privileged to serve with them over the years towards the development of Hong Kong.
It is hard to imagine how a backwater fisherman village in the 19th century is now a world acclaimed metropolitan urban city.
We are proud to play our little role in the development of this city that could not have been possible without partners such as Ken, Cheung, Mr. Lao Chi Kun, Derek, Angela, Mr. Wong Wan-Pui, and thousands more alike in Hong Kong.
Together, we ensure safety and reliability in where you live, where you work, and where you play. Our next frontier together for the coming 98 years’ is how we ensure sustainability through electrification, thanks to digitization that offers many efficiency solutions.
As we enter the new normal, the post-COVID world, we are committed to supporting our frontline heroes, an ecosystem of electrical partners from over 100 countries, in providing business continuity to critical infrastructures.
At the heart of Schneider, we privilege partners and partnerships in everything we do. Here is to many more 100-year anniversaries for Sheung Kwong Electrical and its likes around the world. Thank you for your commitment, professionalism, and passion in advancing this 141-year-old industry and we look forward to building together with you the next All Digital All Electric world. #LifeIsOn