“2019 conference allows Leaders to experience HK’s hustle, cuisine and nightlife”

written by Wayne Brown

Descending on Hong Kong…

Having recently spent a week in HK with 350 leaders of our organization, it reminded me not to take our surroundings for granted. Living here in Asia at this moment in history is a true blessing. Surrounded by countries that are desperately trying to establish and rebrand themselves from the label of developing nations, is spurring innovation and helping industries like ours thrive.

View from the deck of the 12 month old, 5 star Kerry Hotel, in Hung Hom Bay, on Kowloon side of Hong Kong.

This was home for us during the Leadership conference.

For the majority of participants, the event was a rare opportunity to relax a little, away from the rigors of daily business. To network with colleagues and listen to our Leaders speak about performance and future direction.

Those of us that call the region home (from AP), it was an opportunity to showcase our developments during the past 12 months. Mostly through digital technology and mostly state of the art, best practice for our company and perhaps industry.

Rapidly changing world around us…

The world is certainly changing rapidly, driven by technological developments and the threat from converging platforms in areas such as IoT, 5G, quantum computing, Internet 3.0 and AI. Convergence and integration of these systems which may only be months or worst case 2-3 years, away will certainly reshape our lives and the way we do business.

Whilst our industry for the most part does not operate with leading edge technology, there is great likelihood that significant change will occur in the preceding years. Predicting exactly what that looks is outside of my skill set and best left for those disruptors directly involved, however it’s clear that standing still and waiting to see the outcome, simple isn’t an option. It takes time to set direction and gear up, to steer the change required through-out an organization, with our people, their mindsets, to systems and our processes.

For the Boomers and Generation X among us, we carry the burden of an additional challenge, that is to stay current with equipment, terminology and our way of working. 

What does the near future hold for us …

Our industry is heavily invested in this already and it’s exciting to think what traditional functions such as Manufacturing, Installation, Service and even modernization might look like in the short space of 5 years from now.

For anyone wanting to know more, then our Innovators blogs are helpful and a close friend Pierre Njeim who is deep in the topic would be happy to hear from you. Check out his blog https://amentorscouch.com/2019/02/03/elevator-4-0-not-only-a-box-that-goes-up-and-down/. Another interesting source is through Peter Diamandis and his “Abundance Insider” blog – peter@diamandis.com

Let the adventure begin…

Let’s step back to our conference participants – they came from across the globe to experience our hospitality and HK didn’t disappoint. Moderate temperatures greeted everyone as they stepped off their flight, weary but expectant. Eager to seek out what Hong Kong was waiting to offer.

The experience typically begins with the narrow and crowded sidewalks and bustling streets, dwarfed amongst the towering buildings.

Hawkers offerings massages at every turn and on both sides of the Victoria Harbour.

On one side is Tsim Sha Tsui or TST as it is known locally, at the tip of Kowloon (joined to China mainland) and staring across to the famous skyline on the Hong Kong island.

Many of the Kowloon locals take the opportunity to travel frequently across the border into Shenzhen, China , an equally bustling mega city but with a marginally cheaper cost of living. Shenzhen boosts the largest production and supply of electronic components in the world.

But for the short-term visitor, Hong Kong offers ample to occupy your days and entertain you at nights. The magnificent and abundant views available when sitting on one of the Star ferries as they criss-cross every 10 minutes between the wharves of Admiralty and Wan Chai on the island and TST, Kowloon are not to be missed.

And so it was, that many of our overseas visitors found their way from the Kerry Hotel down through the crowded streets of TST and onto the Star Ferries across to Central.

Along the way enjoying the local sights, shopping, hordes of people, street hawkers and clear skies (for the most part).

Once reaching Central it was only a short stroll through more narrow, crowded streets and onto a number of additional must visit locations ….

Ascend the hillside by cable car to Victoria Peak or the Peak as it is referred to offers fantastic views of the surrounding high-value residential properties and down to Central , Lamma Island and other surrounding islands.

Naturally much of this exploration was conducted at night given our day time conference schedule, therefore sampling the nightlife (bars) in Lan Kwai Fong or the selection of restaurants via the mid-level escalators became is a treat for any one with a sense of adventure and desire to experience the local way of living. Some more so than others as the staggered back to the hotel as the sun was starting to rise over the hills. Wanting to learn more about the nightlife ?

The more family oriented among us are not left out either and have plenty to keep you occupied with two world class amusement parks on your doorstep. Disneyland & Ocean Park. And of course there is the food. Hong Kong of course is famous for it’s variety – local specialties together with almost every other cuisine you could imagine.

All in all a tiny compact location in the heart of Asia…

In most cases the challenge is not what to see but which sight to see first. For this you’re best served to grab a local colleague and set sail. Just remember to come back with head in the game for the next days activities.

It was a great week, socializing and learning, establishing a broader perspective on the ways of life from across the globe. Hope everyone enjoyed the visit and we look forward to welcoming you back for the next holiday with friends and family.

And so to the elevator-escalator diehards…

According To CTBUH study Hong Kong is ranked #1 in China, Asia and globally for the most buildings exceeding a height of 150 metres. In fact, 353 of them with 1 more presently under construction. Of these 6 exceed 300 metres with the tallest of them being the 108 floor International Commerce Centre topping off at 484 metres.

With approximately 65,000 units under maintenance and with an average age of 17-18 years, 75% of which are residential, Hong Kong is a city of mega modernization potential – both for buildings and elevator/escalators.

Key landmarks projects

The 5 tallest buildings:

  1. 484m, 112 floor International Commerce Centre – 83 elevators with fastest @ 9m/s
  2. 412m, 94 floor Two International Finance Centre – 62 elevators with fastest @ 10.6m/s
  3. 374m, 81 floor Central Plaza – 39 elevators
  4. 367m, 76 floor Bank of China Tower – 49 elevators
  5. 346m, 76 floor The Centre – 41 elevators with fastest @ 12m/s

Other significant projects:

  1. Hong Kong International airport – with large combination of elevators and escalators
  2. Mid-level escalators – climbing some 106 metres
  3. Numerous large shopping centre complexes on Island and Kowloon sides 

And to my wrap up and take-aways …

Until next time, stay safe and keep learning