Ms Eileen Tsui Li
Honorary University Fellow (2021)
It is most unusual to see tears in the eyes of Ms Eileen Tsui, a highly successful career woman in the male-dominated cargo and logistics industry. But when she shared her encounter with a smart young lady, whose education in Qingyuan she had funded many years ago, she could not control her tears.
The small, shy girl from the very deprived rural area had grown up to be a mature and cheerful lady, and she was now pursuing her undergraduate studies in her chosen discipline. She gratefully thanked Ms Tsui for her support and the opportunity to change her fate, and at that precise moment, Ms Tsui felt that all the time, effort and money that she had committed to education had paid off.
Ms Tsui is a very well-known and respectable philanthropist in Hong Kong and mainland China. She has contributed significantly to the advancement of education and social progress in Hong Kong and China, and she has a long history of distinguished public and community service. This includes serving on the Hong Kong Correctional Services’ Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders since 2015, and the Vice President of the All-China Women’s Federation Hong Kong Delegates Association Ltd since 2009. She has also been a Member of the Standing Committee, 9th to 12th Jilin Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, since 2002. In recognition of her contributions, she was named as a Justice of the Peace by the HKSAR Government in 2015, and she was awarded a Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2020.
Among her various philanthropic endeavours, she cares the most for education and the development of the younger generation. To Ms Tsui, the future of Hong Kong, our nation, and even the world, depends on a proper education for our young people. As a result, since the 1990s, she has funded the construction of schools on the Mainland, sponsored students to travel abroad to see the world for themselves, and lined up internships for university students.
Hong Kong Baptist University has been one of the beneficiaries. Over the past few years, Ms Tsui has made generous donations towards the development of the University, including for the establishment of the Eileen L. Tsui International Student Exchange Scholarship, and she also supported Project SEED (Student Engagement, Enrichment and Development).
Ms Tsui is keen to offer opportunities to the young. To her, an opportunity is always a turning point, and a lucky break can sometimes lead to miracles. Having graduated from Toyo University in Japan with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in the mid-1980s, she was offered the chance to work at Nankai Express Co. Ltd. This was an unusual move, as over 90% of the employees were Japanese men at the time.
Grateful for the trust placed in her, she worked extremely hard to prove herself at the company. Within five years, she was promoted to the Managing Director position in Nankai Transport International (Hong Kong) Company Limited, which is a company record. Under her leadership, the business has developed a comprehensive network of branches on the Mainland, obtained an A-Grade International Forwarding Licence in Shanghai in 2004, and established itself as the first Japanese freight forwarding company to handle worldwide cargo logistics services to and from China. She has had a huge impact on the company and the sector, and she has been named the “Most Outstanding Leader” by the headquarters year after year. In fact, Ms Tsui has created two enviable records: reaching the Managing Director position within five years, and taking up a leading position in a male-dominated sector.
The success of Ms Tsui is attributable to her attitude towards work and her vision, in addition to the opportunities she has grasped along the way. Persistent and disciplined, she treats obstacles as stepping stones on her way to success. She often comes up with creative solutions, learns from setbacks and stays positive during the hard times, and she never stops until she has achieved her goal. Ms Tsui was far-sighted enough in the 1980s to see the enormous opportunities brought about by the opening up of China, and she took the lead in setting up branches in various provinces. According to her, the Mainland’s best days are yet to come, and she reminds graduates to treasure and tap the abundant development opportunities in our mother country.
Boasting a serving heart, Ms Tsui is keen to ensure that her company is socially responsible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nankai Transport International (Hong Kong) Company Limited, under her leadership, has been a key player in the smooth and speedy transportation of masks and vaccines from China to the needy places around the world when they are badly needed for survival and well-being during the pandemic.
Ms Tsui is also a long-standing supporter of HKBU. In addition to providing financial support for the University’s various endeavours, she has offered wise counsel on the governance and development of the University by serving as an Honorary Court Member of the University and a Member of the HKBU Foundation’s Entrepreneur Committee. At a time when Hong Kong is gearing up for the future after a period of unrest, Ms Tsui is ready to devote more time and effort to coaching and counselling our students, the pillars of tomorrow.