When launching a new business in a competitive industry, one must remember to be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a great deal of time and effort to build a robust reputation in any given marketplace.
Eddy Tang understands this challenge well. He established Union Medical Healthcare (UMH) in 2005 and has worked incredibly hard over a 12-year period to cement the company’s spot in Hong Kong’s aesthetic medical service space. “We served our time, and today we are able to maintain a leading position in our industry,” he says proudly.
“The successful listing of UMH on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was definitely our key milestone over the past 12 years. It enabled us to give full play to our competitive strengths and to lead our company into a new stage of development. We have grown by consolidating competitors and building upon our value chain.”
At UMH, client satisfaction is key to success
UMH is the largest group of its kind in Hong Kong’s health and beauty medical scene, with 46 locations and 50 registered practitioners on its books (as of 30 September 2017). It offers a range of aesthetic medical treatments and procedures including BOTOX®, Restylane®, JUVÉDERM® and TEOSYAL®, as well as dental, chiropractic and health-management services. Its aim is to provide a high standard in professionalism and safety, while also pursuing innovative marketing and branding strategies.
Eddy, who is the group CEO and Executive Director, says that client satisfaction has been the key to its success. “We have strong brand recognition and a fast-growing and loyal customer base,” he notes. “We offer a superior, tailor-made client experience. We take meticulous care in setting stringent standards for the service quality of our staff, establishing state-of-the-art service centres and clinics, and implementing policies and procedures that enhance client satisfaction. The effectiveness of treatments and loyalty of customers go hand in hand.”
He adds that the professional and diversified management team running the group also sets it apart from its competitors. “Our CIO, Ben Luk, spent more than 12 years with Google, while our COO, Gabriel Lee, was with Cathay Pacific for 14 years,” he says. “Then there’s Vam Cheng, General Manager of the Medical Department, who has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having worked in Allergan.”
Eddy Tang brings knowledge, vision & passion to the table
Eddy brings his fair share of experience to the table too. Prior to founding UMH, his plan was to work in the medical sector. He studied for an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree at the University of Hong Kong before realising that it wasn’t the right path for him.
He went on to work in sales management at two beauty chains in the city and then, in 2004, he joined a well-known company, Sau San Tong, listed on the GEM board, as its sales director. His mandate there was to establish beauty centres, develop marketing strategies, and operate sales channels.
“The extensive knowledge and substantial experience that I gained from that geared me up for the operation and management of UMH,” he notes. “But while working in the beauty product and service industry, I noticed that the quality of the operators varied greatly, and this presented me with a business idea. Professionalism and safety are my two top priorities, so I decided that I would combine those with excellent professional services and products to pioneer a new brand in the medical field. My knowledge of, and passion and vision for, the aesthetic medical industry are what inspired me to establish the group in 2005.”
An “effective, efficient and open-minded” leadership style
Eddy leads UMH with what he describes as an “effective, efficient and open-minded” leadership style. This approach – combined with his commitment to professionalism and safety – extends to the relationships the group has with its principal suppliers and business partners. “We are in a close relationship with our existing suppliers, as well as a number of other suppliers who send us product information from time to time,” he comments.
“We have stringent policies for selecting our suppliers, and our procurement department conducts research and appraisal when relevant. We consider, among other factors, the supplier’s reputation, safety record, track record of performance, quality of goods supplied, price competitiveness, punctuality of delivery, certification and credentials provided, service quality, and product offerings. We regularly review and assess our suppliers’ performance, their qualifications and applicable licenses, if any, and update our approved supplier list accordingly.”
Turning Hong Kong into a hub for aesthetic medical services
Ultimately, Eddy is dedicated to developing the city of Hong Kong into a regional hub for aesthetic medical services, aided by the growth of UMH. His plan for the group is threefold: expand geographically, broaden the product offering, and enhance operations.
We will evaluate acquisition and joint-venture opportunities to scale up.
“In Hong Kong, we will expand the service floor area and continue to broaden the scope of our services, including the development of other medical disciplines,” he shares.
“We will create a presence in greater China, where we will focus on Tier 1 cities, recruiting local doctors who will be supported by our CEPA-registered Hong Kong doctors. We will focus on minimally invasive and energy-based procedures there, all performed by doctors. Further, for APAC, we will evaluate acquisition and joint-venture opportunities to scale up. We will continue to advance our IT infrastructure, and standardise operations by enhancing our customised mobile app and business intelligence system.”
With the hard yards put in over the past decade, combined with Eddy’s strong commitment to building a client-centric organisation that values professionalism and safety, UMH’s streak of success looks set to continue.