Li's daughter, Ho Minfong, was born in Yangon in 1951. 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". ), or to check out his house, but because of his latest book,Â, Ho Rih Hwa, and those of you from Singapore Management University (SMU) would likely recognise his name, from the university'sÂ. “It’s our strategy for capturing different markets, so each brand needs to be distinct in order to relate to the target segment. In other words, it’s great for my father, husband, boyfriend, or son to do NS, but not me. In other words, it’s great for my father, husband, boyfriend, or son to do NS, but not me. Chiang grew up in a two-room flat in the Little India district with her parents and five elder brothers. (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 … The father of two is married to Jacqueline, and sits on the board of trustees of the Singapore Management University and Chinese Development Assistance Council. In 2004, it launched the first resort‑based marine lab in the Maldives, which hosts visiting experts and helps to raise awareness of the importance of marine conservation. He is also the founding and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Management University and Chairman of … © 2020 Tatler Asia Limited. 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 … We want to be a business that stewards the resources we are given in a responsible way, and we want to create value in the communities we work with.”, (Related: Millennials Are Our Force Of Change, Says Banyan Tree's Claire Chiang), To that end, the company’s Stay for Good programme invites guests to donate US$2 for each night of their stay. He joined the family business in 1981. "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. 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 … Photo courtesy of Banyan Tree Holdings. We rushed her to the hospital; three days later, she died. Enrique K. Razon Jr. Chairman and President. 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. This prompts another joke, this time from her father: “You’re becoming the boss, and we’re becoming the retirees. It is those that flank Ho's decades-old home — what is arguably the mother of the Banyan Tree resorts Ho started in so many different countries all over (including Austria, Cuba, Mexico, Seychelles and Mauritius). I see that in the actions of my parents when they go to our properties. Later, Li helped her father set up tapioca factories and other food-related ventures. As a habit, the late Nathan would always send handwritten letters of thanks to his friends and volunteers. 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”. Another poignant moment in our conversation came when Ho talked about his late father's affliction by a series of debilitating strokes in his later years. Ho explains that "asking why" is a habit he actively encourages in his children and his grandchild. She was Singapore’s Woman of the Year in 1999, and a former nominated member of parliament. Later, Li helped her father set up tapioca factories and other food-related ventures. Married to Ho Kwon Ping, president of the Wah Chang/Thai Wah group of companies, she is executive director of Banyan Tree Gallery. They soon found out that the land was sold cheap for a reason—it had been polluted by tin mining, and that the cobalt colour was caused by acidic chemicals. 13 At the time, Ho was about to take up a job at INSEAD, a business school in Fontainbleau, France. Our dream was really to write, study, and talk about development issues—social development and economic development. “I think giving people an unprecedented access to nature in such a small and highly urban state is probably going to be an experience that’s quite unparalleled in the rest of the world,” says Ho. Source: Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, National Archives Online. “I felt a little bit foolish,” Ho admits with a candid grin. A conservation lab in Bintan, to protect biodiversity, followed in 2007. He is also the founding and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Management University and Chairman of The Singapore Summit. But that’s not the case anymore. ", 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. Ho Kwon Ping is the founder of Banyan Tree, a worldwide chain of luxury resorts based in Asia. That dream seemed to end in 1980, when he left journalism to join Wah Chang Group, a business conglomerate owned by his family. 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. We had a really good time and we were talking about death... and without morbidity at all. Since 2006, it has been publishing annual sustainability reports to highlight its environmental efforts. Ho Kwon Ping We turned instead, to his personal life, family and introspection for what he's started calling the last third of his life (he's 66 now, and plans to live "at least till 99"). In order to provide you with the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. And then she just died like that.". Take the opportunity to do so. “So regardless of the profitability of the business itself, we match our guests’ contributions,” says Ho. He is also the founding and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Management University and Chairman of The Singapore Summit. “Our dream was really to write, study, and talk about development issues—social development and economic development,” he tells us. “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. “When it opens, guests will have a glimpse of a world that’s truly immersive.”, Indeed, a brave new world awaits, not just in the tropical wilderness of Singapore, but perhaps also in the self-perception of this homegrown brand as it starts a new chapter. Jeanette Tan ", founded luxury chain Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts in 1984. “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. “We were in that era of what we called ‘the rugged society.’” Soon after they got married in 1977, they moved to Hong Kong’s Lamma Island, where they lived in a village named Yung Shue Wan—Cantonese for Banyan Tree Bay, and the inspiration for the name of the hospitality company they would launch years later. 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. 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. 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. started his career as a broadcast and financial journalist before joining his family business in 1981. “Huh? Since 2018, she has also been the vice president of Brand HQ, the unit responsible for brand development, alignment and strategy. In a commentary, Mr Ho Kwon Ping discussed how the world will change when the Covid-19 pandemic passes. | Sign up for our newsletters to get all our top stories delivered. Javascript is disabled!common.-_please_enable_js, As Banyan Tree Holdings celebrates its 25th anniversary, the entrepreneurial family shares how sustainability guides the company’s past, present and future. The three elephants in the room for the next fifty years of Singapore. Ho shares that he was able to immerse himself in his late father's life by reflecting upon what he read and drawing parallels to his own life: "I noticed his notations in his diaries — about my being born, and then my son being born, his comment about his own health at a certain age, and my health, his comment about me joining the business. Like Ho, his dad led a rich and eclectic life — he was a businessman, and refused to accept a salary when he was appointed Singapore's Ambassador to several countries such as Thailand, Belgium and Germany. In the conclusion of his biography, Ho wrote that he looks forward to the final one-third of his life "with excitement, though tempered by wisdom and adversities". For someone now running a large multinational company, Ho Kwon Ping's early career is perhaps surprising. In 2010, it chose advisory group EarthCheck as a strategic partner for obtaining external sustainability certification. 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. Travel Kwon Ping grew up and studied in Thailand. It also operates integrated resorts by subsidiary Laguna Resorts & Hotels. Mr Ho was born into a wealthy family. We now encounter guests with different needs and desires, and we need to have the capacity and empathy to understand how to adapt to them and create the experiences they would like to have. Background of founder Ho Kwon Ping. “In addition, we will support 25 local schools across different regions in capacity building.”  “We don’t approach this as philanthropy,” she adds. In September, special recognition events for associates will also be a key part of the anniversary gala celebrations. Our chat overruns, and Ho excuses himself, heads off to Chiang's birthday lunch and leaves us to see ourselves out. And for some odd reason, we talked about death. Why embark on significant growth now? 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. IPS-Nathan Lectures Singapore: The Next Fifty Years - Lecture III: Security and Sustainability by Ho Kwon Ping. Ho Ren Hua; Non-Executive and Non-Independent Director; Mr Ho was appointed Director on 6 May 2020. Ho Kwon Ping is one of Singapore's most prominent businessmen. By DestinAsian - September 8, 2020. started his career as a broadcast and financial journalist before joining his family business in 1981. “Expressing a brand today is multidimensional—there are so many different touchpoints, both internally and externally. "I read stuff that I had written over 40 years ago to him — in aerogrammes and birthday greetings — and they were very warm and emotional letters which I'm glad that at that time he read all the emotional things I said about him... Ho describes his late father as "very kind and very close" to him, but not outwardly or physically emotional. “We are a brand known for well-being and sustainability. Like many youths of the period, they wanted to do their part to help create a better life for people in this part of the world. He worked as a broadcast and financial journalist and was the Economics Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Web design by Yu Sheng & Yu Siang. #Tatlergram: Where Do Our Society Friends Go for a Hotel Staycation in Singapore? October 12, 2018, 11:30 AM. In 2005, Banyan Tree became a founding member of the United Nations Global Compact Network—billed as the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative—in Singapore. | Being a bit less headstrong and opinionated, to begin with — to avoid trouble, he says with a chuckle. 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. | 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. The power couple behind Banyan Tree Holdings have started preparing for succession planning. “And it’s also something you earn by demonstrating your ability, not something that you are able to just take up whenever you want.” She returned to the fold in 2016 because “I felt the timing was right. Ho Kwon Ping (b. Source: Institute of Policy Studies Facebook. 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? Multi-what?” Ho asks, with some amusement. Advertise with us Li's daughter, Ho Minfong, was born in Yangon in 1951. We want to be a business that stewards the resources we are given in a responsible way, and we want to create value in the communities we work with. I came back, and then we worked together for another 10-over years, but over that period of time he was already beginning to deteriorate and he had quite a number of mini-strokes before he began to lapse into a coma for a number of years, so he had a very long dragged-out illness. However, as the eldest son, he felt it was his duty to take over the reins of his family business. “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 came to realise that what Asia lacked was brands,” he explains. But at the same time it makes you much more sanguine about aging, because you do realise there's a really much greater awareness about the cycle of life.". Ho Kwon Ping, the executive chairman of this hospitality group, is also the founding chairman of the Singapore Management University. As the eldest son, it was his duty to carry on the Wah Chang group of companies. Factories were staffed by what was then described as thousands of nimble Asian fingers, assembling small electronic parts or sewing things—cheap labour making cheap things for Western markets. And as both of them enjoyed drinking, they often drank together too. Cloud hosting by Vodien. His father, Ho Rih Hwa, was the former ambassador to Thailand, but also ran the family business for a period. He was designated Executive Chairman on 1 March 2004 and was last re-elected on 24 April 2019. “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. Web development by Ripplewerkz. Ho KwonPing; Executive Chairman; The founder of Banyan Tree Group, Mr Ho is responsible for its overall management and operations. But people in Banyan Tree know what our celebrations are like. Mr Yong Pung How, SMU Chancellor 2011–15. There’s more synergy and we can work together as a team”. After a year in Taiwan, he left for Stanford University in the United States. These years was the former ambassador to Thailand, but not me and sustainability by Ho Kwon Ping president. Rih Hwa, a Singapore-based premium hospitality brand with global business interests on him discussed how the world change! 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