WCD Signatory: Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN)

Jun 20, 2014 | English, Singapore, TheColumnist, World Company Day

In this series we feature World Company Day (WCD) Signatories from around the world. We hope that these stories will encourage you, that you too can make a difference in your daily work. WCD gets in touch with Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) to find out about what they are doing to shape the world.

World Company Day (WCD): What do you do as a company?

Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN): As the owner and operator of one of the biggest fiber optic networks in Hong Kong, HKBN provides premier telecommunications services to both business and residential markets.  HKBN is a leading broadband service provider with most residential highspeed broadband subscriptions (100Mbps and above) in Hong Kong, offering a diversified portfolio of innovative products in fibre broadband and Wi-Fi access, communication and entertainment to over 1.4 million subscribers. Taking advantage of the Fibre-To-The-Office (FTTO) technology, HKBN caters to the telecommunications needs of corporate customers with a diversified portfolio of innovative business solutions, including 1000Mbps fibre business broadband, Premium Dedicated Internet Access, IP-based Enterprise SIP Trunk, Infinite Voice and Enterprise Wi-Fi Solutions.

WCD: What is your purpose as a company and why is it important?

HKBN: HKBN’s core purpose: Make our Hong Kong a better place to live.

HKBN’s executives visited participants of Kliptown Youth Program, South Africa in 2013

HKBN’s executives visited participants of Kliptown Youth Program, South Africa in 2013

WCD: Can you give an example of how a product or a service provided by you is making an impact in shaping a better world?

HKBN: We invested HK$4 billion to build our own fiber network to challenge the incumbent, and are the first to provide 1,000Mbps Fibre-to-the-Home service in Hong Kong in 2005. HKBN is regarded as a speed leader, and we are proud to lead Hong Kong to a global leadership position, with our city rated as the highest Average Peak Connection Speed destination in the World in Akamai Technologies’ State of the Internet Report for Q4 2013. Hong Kong is rated at 65Mbps and for reference, HKBN at 87Mbps, US at 44Mbps and global at 23 Mbps.

We are always looking ways to enhance our services and provide the best for our customers at a reasonable price. As part of our commitment to the Hong Kong community, we cap the price of our entry-level symmetric 100Mbps service to 1% of Hong Kong’s median household income, which currently stands at HK$220 (US$28).

Our other initiatives for a better world include taking the initiative to break market norms and enhance service levels continuously. For example, we went beyond regulatory requirements by initiating 14-day cooling off periods to both corporate and residential customers after contract signing. We also offered free-to-go service plans on top of long-term-contract binding plans in the market. This has led to us winning awards such as the Telecom Asia Award: Best Broadband Carrier (2014) and The Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business’s Best SME Partner Award (2014).

WCD: Can you share a story that best describe the culture of your company?

HKBN: There are plenty of stories about our culture! Let us share with you a story which can reflect our Talents Culture – we take inspiring and developing Talents as our top priority and we make our best efforts to groom them. This is done through our ‘CXO of the Future’ Management Trainee Program and has made a 25-year-old HKBN Co-Owner, Kiana Shek, be elected as the youngest Board Director of the Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council Asia Pacific. Kiana was one of the two trainees selected from over 1,000 university-graduate applicants worldwide.

She is currently a Senior Manager – Corporate Relations, taking up account servicing of VIP corporates, carriers and channel partners in order to grow our Enterprise businesses.

We would also like to highlight our Co-Ownership which is one of the key differentiations of HKBN.

HKBN Co-Owners at the Management Buy-out launch party in August, 2012.  To our 91 Co-Owners, a job is more than a job.  It’s their own business.

HKBN Co-Owners at the Management Buy-out launch party in August, 2012.  To our 91 Co-Owners, a job is more than a job.  It’s their own business.

In May 2012, HKBN underwent a management buy-out and is now majority owned by funds advised by CVC Capital Partners and 91 HKBN Co-Owners. The 91 Co-Owners are Talents of middle to senior management level, who come from diverse professional backgrounds. They have all full confidence in the prospect of HKBN and they are willing to invest their time and money to have a good return of their investment. Every Co-Owner invest 1 to 2 years’ salary to become a Co-Owner.

WCD: Tell us a special moment when a customer gave you a feedback that helped you understand the difference that you are making for them and for a better world.

HKBN: We have been receiving many compliments from our customers on the service attitude and the professional knowledge of our Certified Professional Engineers, who take care of the broadband service installation in customers’ premises.

Our consistently strong business growth and low churn rate tells us that customers are happy with our service and we are making the world better. For example, some indicators are that we reached new heights in service revenue, EBITDA and subscription numbers, and our monthly churn rate consistently remains below 1%.

WCD: What does your company believe in and why?

HKBN: We believe in the team power of our Talents and that’s why we have been extremely focused on inspiring and developing our Talents and ensuring that all of us embrace our TREE values.

We take great pride in developing its 2,500-strong Talent force into a competitive advantage, who is committed to living by “TREE”: our four core values which are:

  • Trustworthy”: be honest and genuine, keeping promises without compromising
  • Responsive”: be visionary and receptive, responding aptly and promptly
  • Entrepreneurial”: be responsible and unyielding, striving for excellence
  • Engaging”: be devoted and considerate, attracting others to follow suit

Also, we believe we can challenge the dominant position of the incumbent in the market, and have successfully challenged their position in the residential broadband market, and our market share in Hong Kong has already climbed to 33%. Proudly we can tell the world we are one of the major players in the market.

For the corporate market, we have recently increased our headcount by 50% and aim at becoming a significant player in the corporate enterprise solutions market. This move will also give the corporate clients one more valuable choice when they choose their telecom service provider.

HKBN's management has annual experiential trips to explore the world and get inspired together.

HKBN’s management has annual experiential trips to explore the world and get inspired together.

WCD: Why is World Company Day important?

HKBNFor the companies that are not yet aware of the importance of building a better world, it’s good for them to see what the ‘role models’ are doing.

For the companies that are already taking initiatives to build a better world, it’s good for them to stand tall and share with the others what they have accomplished and how they managed to make all those accomplishments.

When more companies join forces together, there would be synergies, and we will have a better world!

WCD: How do you know if your company has contributed towards shaping a better world?

HKBN: At this point, we are very focused on the Hong Kong market as we see it as a blue ocean with huge potential for us to grow. If we keep doing the right things, we will have more customers and we can keep improving our service levels (including the speed criteria). The objective key performance indicators indeed can tell whether we are shaping a better world in a quantifiable way.

We do health check for our brand and survey customers regularly. These are good exercises to tell us how our customers and the public think of HKBN and our services. We also constantly monitor the performance of our frontline staff (customer service team and CPE team) to know we are doing better and better in meeting customers’ expectations.

One example: in our recent customer survey, a high percentage of our new customers (78%) expressed that they would recommend friends or relatives to use our services, and that tells us that we are doing well.

The lively spirit of HKBN Talents

The lively spirit of HKBN Talents

World Company Day was officially launched on 15 August 2013 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as a world-wide initiative by Shape the World Conference. Today, companies shape every aspect of our lives. From creating opportunities, influencing choices, managing resources of the earth, the way business is conducted can and should be for the greater good. This is why it is important to have an annual day to celebrate the good that companies are doing all around the world and encourage others to do the same. We invite all companies to join us and henceforth commit to building companies that will shape a better world and to advocate the United Nations to set aside 15th of August as World Company Day. More details and pledge here: www.worldcompanyday.org

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