Singapore Volume 9

4 6 | S U P E R B R A N D S V O L U M E I X MARKET When it comes to health and wellness, Hockhua Tonic Singapore (‘Hockhua’) stands out as a leader in the import, distribution, production, and cultivation of specialised traditional Chinese medicine (‘TCM’) products. The company has successfully developed greater awareness and promoted the value of alternative therapies by providing quality products at affordable prices. The product and price ranges are so broad that consumers include everyone from the average student to the high-income businessman. Hockhua’s main products include Chinese herbs such as ginseng and cordyceps, bird’s nest, abalone, dried seafood, manuka honey, herbal tea, red wine, as well as health supplements. Its target market includes those who, on average, are more health conscious and want a better quality of life for themselves and their loved ones. Judging by the turnover of the last financial year, which totalled S$140 million, the support from the community continues to demonstrate positive growth. ACHIEVEMENTS One of the biggest accolades a company can receive is the achievement of Superbrands status, and this is the 11th consecutive year Hockhua has reached that pinnacle. It also won the Top 100 Singapore Excellence Award in 2012 and was conferred a Silver Award, from AVA (Agri- Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore), recognising the 10th consecutive year of achieving Grade ‘A’ status for excellence in food hygiene, sanitation and processing. Hockhua was the first company in Singapore to set up a Chinese medical hall that specialised in selling ginseng and bird’s nest. It also helped change the perception of Chinese medical halls to be more than a Chinese Practitioner dispensing herbs. Since inception, Hockhua has added more than a thousand different product varieties in its outlets, and in 1991 became the first medical hall in Singapore to start a point accumulation system. As a result, customers earn points based on purchases, and those points can be redeemed for gift items at the end of the year. The rewards programme currently has more than 440,000 registered members. HISTORY Hockhua was founded by Mr Chan Tiong Cheng in 1986. It was started as a small business, with his mother Madam Lee Ang Cho, importing American Ginseng from Canada. The business expanded in 1987 to a wholesale company, distributing the same product with three other partners. As the business grew, and the demand increased for traditional Chinese health foods, they set up Hockhua Ginseng Birdsnest Trading Enterprise in 1989 and began to import quality bird’s nest for its first retail shop in Hougang. The popularity of the first outlet led to further expansion between 1990 and 1995. By 1992, Hockhua was already a comprehensive traditional health food chain. The expansion of the retail chain prompted the company’s management to venture into direct import and set up SHW Trading Enterprise in 1996. This enabled the company to cut operational costs, maintain lower retail prices, and achieve greater quality control. By 2000, there were 30 retail shops and Hockhua also opened its first Oriental Herbal Tea store. It began to upgrade and improve the quality of its imports by establishing six different subsidiary companies, each specialising in one of its major products, which included ginseng, bird’s nest, Chinese herbs, agri-food, seafood and traditional medicine. In 2003, Hockhua Holdings moved to its present headquarters at Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park and centralised its administration and operations to increase productivity and professionalism. The company was restructured a year later, and Hockhua Ginseng Birdnest Trading Enterprise was renamed Hockhua Tonic Pte Ltd, in order to more accurately reflect the scope of its business. In 2007, the company expanded again and opened its first two retail outlets in Kuala Lumpur. As of 2008, Hockhua owned six major import and distribution firms and was operating three food and pharmaceutical