Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa (2016)
Like his father before him, Mr David Mong has earned and maintained a strong connection with one of the major Japanese technological companies in our age, the Matsushita Electrical Industrial Company, so that the company both of them have represented as CEOs at different periods of their lifetimes—now known as the Shun Hing Group—has been the exclusive regional representative of the National, Panasonic and Technics brands. It is both a matter of company pride and family honour that over these many decades there has never been a written contractual agreement with Panasonic, since the relationship between companies was settled years ago on the basis of trust, symbolized in a handshake.
Mr David Mong’s cultural preparations for taking up his father’s post have been thorough and formative. Having completed an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA at another California institution, Santa Clara University, Mr David Mong has also lived for four years in Japan as a young adult (from 1985 to 1989), learning by immersion not only about Japanese businesses in their technological innovation, manufacturing processes, and management organization, but also developing a thorough appreciation for Japanese cultural etiquette. Competent in four languages and broadly experienced in business management, Mr David Mong has continued to build on his father’s heritage, and has extended the range of electronic appliances promoted by the Shun Hing Group to include accessories from notable brands in Australia and Europe. Choices made regarding the international companies with which to cooperate, and the particular items to market and develop for the perceived needs of Hong Kong residents and people elsewhere, involve not only an immense amount of technical know-how, but also important cultural insights that help to maintain and transform the cross-cultural relationships with company executives and representatives from a widening range of national and technological corporations. As a consequence, the Shun Hing Group has continued into its sixth decade of robust growth, to the point that Shun Hing remains a household name synonymous with credibility and value for one’s money.
Volunteer service is a required dimension of work life in the Shun Hing company, and Mr Mong leads by being a fine example of it. Not only does this embody an attitude of thankfulness and care to those in the community where Shun Hing has been so successful, it also creates an attitude among workers that life is more than their work, and their sharing in lived situations adds to their motivations when they are at work. Notably, while taking in more than twenty interns each year to encourage young talent, Mr Mong also requires them as part of their internship to be involved with voluntary service projects. Beyond this, Mr Mong has advocated a stronger concern for workplace safety as well as health among all professional service workers in Hong Kong, and so has promoted a high standard among companies. To achieve this aim, he has had to gain support not only from local companies, but also from a wide variety of agencies and government departments, such as the Construction Industry Council, the Occupational Safety and Health Council, and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. His energetic efforts have had a lasting positive impact on the lives of countless workers, raising a standard for work and life that is as honourable and humane as it is wise. While some might argue that the costs are prohibitive, his response is built on a wider economic vision: a safer environment for work enhances worker’s attitudes, and when workers are happy, customers will also be happy.
Because of his family’s and his own extensive experiences in Japan, Mr Mong has taken on the added responsibility of being the President of the Japan Society of Hong Kong, and continues to seek to increase communication and exchanges between people in Hong Kong and Japan.
Being the Chairman of Shun Hing Education and Charity Fund, Mr Mong has supported numerous projects in education, medical services, sports, community services, cultural events, and the arts, and done so not only in Hong Kong, but also internationally. In this realm he has already served as a member of the University Council, the Board of Governors, and the Entrepreneur Committee of the Hong Kong Baptist University Foundation.
It is therefore with immense appreciation for Mr David Mong’s culturally-informed and innovative business leadership, and his enthusiasm for supporting important causes internationally within the PRC, within our great city, as well as within HKBU, that we honour him today as being worthy of the award of Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa.