Dr Chung Tang-Fong William (Executive Program 1988)
It is not common for businessmen to become academics, but Dr Chung Tang-Fong, William (钟腾芳博士) is an extraordinary example. The Chairman and Managing Director of Xi-Hong Enterprise, Dr Chung operates international trading and logistics management companies in both Singapore and China, has a Doctorate in Business Administration and is also a Research Scholar at the School of Economics at Peking University.
Fostering closer ties between China and NUS Business School
After completing the NUS Business School’s Executive Education “Modern Management Course” in 1988, Dr Chung and his batch of classmates decided that an alumni association would be beneficial to everyone concerned, strengthening links between the school, lecturers, and students. The NUS Business School Mandarin Alumni was inaugurated four years later.
Since its founding in 1992, Dr Chung has served the alumni association in a number of capacities and was elected as its President twice between 2008 and 2012.
Apart from helping to set up the alumni association, Dr Chung also personally launched several fund-raising activities that raised more than S$350,000 for the “Mandarin Alumni MBA Gold Medal” in 1997, the “Mandarin Alumni International MBA Leadership Award” in 2005, and the “Mandarin Alumni Undergraduate Bursary” in 2009. These awards and grants continue to be given every year to outstanding MBA students and Business School undergraduates.
Dr Chung has also been active in promoting NUS Business School in China. In 2010, he persuaded NUS Business School to hold forums entitled “China in the Post-Crisis Global Economy” and the “NUS Business School South China Summit”, as well as other activities at Foshan City, China.
He was also responsibility for setting up the groundwork behind the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the People’s Government of Nanhai District, Foshan City, and NUS Business School. Thanks to his MOU, more than 50 business executives and high-ranking officials from the People’s Government of Nanhai District attended the Chinese Executive Management and Executive MBA courses at NUS Business School.
A continuous quest for knowledge
Dr Chung has always been a big believer in the importance of education. “One must sharpen his tools in order to do a great job – this is the philosophy that I strongly believe in, as a business leader,” said Dr Chung.
He worked for 10 years before going back to the school to continue his education at an advanced level, where he could “earn” and “learn” at the same time. This was within his career plan to fulfill the key objectives of increasing his knowledge and building his network. Keeping this in mind, he focused on choosing the right school with the right course, as attending a school for the “knowledge” instead of the “certificate” is what is important.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Administration from Ottawa University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from Temasek Polytechnic, a Master of Business in International Marketing from Curtin University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Victoria University. He was admitted as a Fellow in the Chartered Management Institute, UK and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. Two years ago, he successfully completed his Post-Doctoral Professional Studies with Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, UK.
In 1998, he was also awarded a scholarship from the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS), which was supported by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to study in Yokohama, Japan. Dr Chung was elected as President of the AOTS Alumni Society of Singapore from 2006 to 2012, and was conferred the Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation (Group) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan in 2011.
In recognition of his dedication to continuous learning and improvement, Dr Chung received the Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s “Lifelong Learner Award” from His Excellency, S.R. Nathan, then-President of Singapore in 2006.
Looking at similarities instead of differences
It is obvious that China looms large in Dr Chung’s thinking. “At present, the US, EU, Japan and other countries are experiencing uncertain economic conditions,” noted Dr Chung. “China is the new force overtaking Japan to become the world’s second largest economy, just after US. It is a country with large developmental space, full of vigor and business opportunities are everywhere,” believes Dr Chung.
“Seventy-five percent of the population in Singapore is Chinese, our languages, cultures, customs, and other traits are fairly similar and interlinked to China. This government of both countries have also established a good partnership. Personally, I feel that Singaporean companies will enjoy a lot of benefits if they expand their business into China,” relates Dr Chung.
Serving the community in many ways
Apart from his business activities, Dr Chung is also an active community leader. He is also a Licensed Solemnizer cum Deputy Registrar of Marriages. It is a job that Dr Chung takes very seriously. “I think it is a supremely divine mission to be able to witness the happiness of others. In the past nine years, I have performed nuptials and blessed over one thousand couples,” acknowledges Dr Chung.
Volunteer solemnizers typically receive a “red packet” as a token of appreciation for their efforts. Dr Chung donated over S$60,000 from all the red packets he has received to communities, schools, and medical institutions to help those in need.
Dr Chung believes that giving back to the community is very important. As a beneficiary of bursaries, skill development funds, and scholarships, he recognizes that if he had not received the “love” and “care” from society, a poor child like him would be unable to get to where he is today. It is with a grateful heart that I hope to do my part for the society and others in different areas,” reflects Dr Chung.
He was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) in 2004 and the Public Service Star (BBM) in 2008. He was also conferred with the “Youwei” Award for Outstanding Achievement (南海有为奖) by the People’s Government of Nanhai, Foshan City, China in 2010.
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