The opportunity that brings More

From London to Hong Kong; From Finance to eCommerce – get to know Nelson’s story

Nelson Ho

Finance | Retail | eCommerce | Social Media Ambassador

Hong Kong HQ

New team, new role, new places, new challenges – a fruitful 12-months spent at A.S. Watson. A lot of unanticipated and diverse opportunities – from taking on a new role in eCommerce; participating in a talent development programme and now sharing with people the real life of ASW on social media.

It was about two years ago I was offered the big opportunity to transfer from Financial Controls and Systems London team to the Hong Kong office. It was a difficult decision, but I got the support and encouragement from family, friends and colleagues from both offices.

LEARNING THE SPEED OF CHANGE IN RETAIL 

The nature of my role changed just about a year ago. I was offered the opportunity to join the Regional eCommerce team with a mission to accelerate eCommerce growth across Asia and Eastern Europe.   

eCommerce is really the future of retail and being a part of the radical change is fascinating, it’s a big leap to me and I am lucky enough to learn something new everyday - just recently, I learned the ‘secret’ to getting a high ranking from a Google search and the different cutting edge developments of AI technology. I also got the opportunity to head over to Taiwan for an eCommerce workshop and back home to England to learn from our colleagues in eLab, our internal digital studio. 

The team was new when I joined - just me and my boss; and now, one year on, we have 7 team members! It’s been a refreshing and challenging experience in establishing the team, liaising with other functions, creating structure, ground-rules and segregating work – I often remind myself that ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’’.  

It’s worth to point out that my eCommerce experience was limited to me being an avid online shopper (and seller) since eBay was at its peak when I was still a teenager at home in Coventry. It’s fair to say, given the size of the company, you are not restricted to a single role. As long as you have the desire and the will, there are plenty of opportunities around. You have to create your own opportunities. 

Hong Kong HQ

At the beginning of the year, just in time to support the development needs of my current role, I was selected to join the Commercial Management Development Programme along with 24 other high potential managers from across Asia.   

We have learned many new things including creativity and skills to give impactful speeches, which I personally felt I had the most room for improvement. I also learned more about our businesses in different countries and different group departments and appreciate how much it takes to make and sustain a successful business.

It has also been valuable to interact with other participants and it has given me a chance to work and play with my Thai and Filipino colleagues.  Looking ahead, our graduation is in October, and I’ve been asked to co-MC the event, in front of an audience of 100 plus that includes our Group Management team. What a daunting and stressful task for someone that shies away from public speaking and the spotlight!

Obviously, the course hasn't ended yet (which included a surprise trip to Sai Kung) and I've not gone through my social media responsibilities yet ,free Swiss ice-cream anyone?

I look forward to sharing more with you next time!

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