The producer’s takeover:
HKBU Distinguished Alumnus Siu Chiu-shun recounts his journey of making a lifelong good show
Under the fifty shades of grey from his hair to his shoes, Patrick Siu Chiu-shun, or Boy Siu as he is widely known in the multimedia industry where he is a veteran producer of mega performances and popular TV shows, has a star-studded world filled with a great variety of classic productions that have warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide. Recently honoured with the HKBU Distinguished Alumni Award and a current DBA student at the School of Business, Siu tells his behind-the-scenes stories from being a producer, to a businessman, to the founder of a social enterprise.
A first-mover, a record-breaker
With over 30 years’ experience in the multimedia industry, Siu Chiu-shun is the brain behind many talk-of-the-town productions, including Splendid Motherland, Miss Hong Kong Pageant, Jacky Cheung’s world tour concerts A Classic Tour, and Sam Hui and Alan Tam’s Happy Together Concert etc.
Siu started young in filmmaking, knowing exactly what his passion was.
“I remember my first time turning in a roll of film for a course assignment, back then when I was still in my junior secondary year. It was a film about the film industry in Hong Kong,” recalled the renowned producer. Those were the days when Siu was the only one in his class to go beyond the paper format.
Having been in the multimedia industry for over 30 years, Siu is a close friend to many popstars. (First row, second and third from left: Leon Lai and Cally Kwong)
Siu was said to be an “AC Hall Major” not without reason. He signed himself up as a student helper for the HKBU AC Hall (Academic Community Hall) on the very first day in college. He spent uncountable days and nights on stage and backstage to acquire the production 101, which formed a strong foundation for his production dream to grow and prosper.
His first taste of la-la land happened when he championed a fundraising concert for the HKBU Geography Department, in which he secured to feature legendary popstars including Leslie Cheung (Gor Gor). The show made history for being the first-ever student-led concert broadcast live by the Commercial Radio Hong Kong.
Siu was the leader of the sub-working group of “We are BUddies” alumni show during HKBU’s 60th anniversary, harnessing his creativity and expertise in multimedia productions to create a spectacular performance.
Aim high, start small and keep going
Siu worked at TVB for over a decade right after graduating from HKBU, where he came across his lifelong mentor, James Wong Jim (Uncle Jim), the cross-media creative legend of Hong Kong popular culture. They worked together on one of the very popular TV shows in his then capacity as Executive Producer of the TVB Variety Show Department.
“I always knew being bold and creative is the all-time recipe for successful productions, but I didn’t apply that thinking to my own career. It wasn’t until Uncle Jim encouraged and supported me to think big and step out of my comfort zone.”
Quickly after the founding of Wellfit Productions, the producer-turned-businessman recognised that the flexibility to create and explore outweighed everything else. TV programmes, world tour concerts, mega events and the final farewell of public figures – you name it.
Siu’s production house became part of a publicly listed company in less than 10 years, with many of its creative works acquired by TV stations in Hong Kong and beyond.
“Looking back, it would be my biggest regret if I didn’t think big and start the business.”
Uncle Jim encouraged Siu to think big and step out of his comfort zone, so he established his own production house, which became part of a publicly listed company in less than 10 years.
Sounds good, do great
With all these years inside the hall of fame, some people asked Siu if he wanted to be in the spotlight. “I said thanks, but no thanks.” Unlike many who struggle between “do what you’re good at” or “do what you love”, Siu nailed both, all the time. He just didn’t stop there.
Sounds Great is a new enterprise established by Siu and his like-minded partners. It all started with a blend of two good causes: feeding the silver hair market’s needs for entertainment, and building an oral history archive of Chinese art and culture.
With support from the Home Affairs Department, Siu founded Sounds Great for the silver hair community.
In only a few years, the young company has already put together more than 25 audiobooks involving numerous all you-can-name artists, featuring Chinese literature classics, Cantonese opera, artists’ autobiographies and broadcast history.
“Knowing my mom and many others at her similar age could enjoy their day easily and free them from common age-related eye problems – that’s my daily dose of blessing before I go to work every day.”
Last year Siu decided to take one further step to pursue a Doctorate’s degree in Business Management at the HKBU School of Business to satisfy his craving for more sophisticated knowledge to support the years of experience he has gained from the multimedia industry, and refresh inspirations for his future work.
“Keep doing more of what you are good at doing with a good heart, you can’t go wrong.”
Siu has brought this to life. The butterfly effect of a good cause didn’t take long to surprise more. For its unique impact, Sounds Great attracted massive support from the HKSAR government and other sponsors, and is now registered as a social enterprise. More than 100 organisations and 20,000 people have benefited to date.
Sounds Great is supported by leaders from different sectors in society, including Dr. William Leung Wing Cheung, Dr. Ko Wing Man, Mr. Lawrence Cheng Dan Shui, Ms. Rebecca Chan Hoi Yan and Mr. Natalis Chan Pak Cheung, among many others.
In recognition of his achievements in the multimedia industry and the community at large, HKBU presented its fifth Distinguished Alumni Award to Siu Chiu-shun on 9 March 2018, along with another three outstanding alumni. (From left: Chairman Cheng Yan-kee, Mr. Siu Chiu-shun and President Roland Chin)
Upping the giving game to another level – H.W. Chan, co-founder of Dream Impact Hong Kong
Having been in the commercial world as an entrepreneur for over 40 years, many would have retired, or at least, been planning to retire, and try to flip over a new page to enjoy life. However, “Retire is not an option,” said H.W. Chan, an alumna of MSc in Strategic Human Resources Management programme of the HKBU School of Business, who has recently co-founded a co-working space dedicated to social enterprises. For H.W., being an entrepreneur is more than making money, it is about giving back and enabling others to grow and develop sustainably.
Founder of an award-winning optical company – both in design and corporate social responsibility sectors – in Hong Kong, H.W.’s business philosophy is ‘integrity first’, and she understands well the importance of people management for a sustainable business. That was one of the reasons for her to pursue her postgraduate study in the human resources field at the HKBU School of Business, when she felt the urge to refresh herself with new knowledge and catch up with current trends.
“There’s no conflict between making profit and being ethical at the same time. Over the past four decades of experience I’ve gained in the business world, I have learnt that we can always strike a balance and achieve a win-win-win situation – the company, our employees and the society are all benefited,” said the seasoned entrepreneur.
With a long list of experience of partnering with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – Orbis, YMCA, Caritas, just to name a few, via different formats, be it direct donations, charity sales, sponsorships or voluntary work etc., not only has H.W. been doing this herself, she has also introduced the world of voluntary work to her employees.
“While we have a set of staff benefits in place to enable our employees to have a work-life balance lifestyle, we also encourage and lead them to contribute back to the society with their own professions,” said H.W., “they actually have gained a higher sense of job satisfaction towards their career, and are even more motivated and willing to excel in their job, because they realise the work they are doing is of actual help to the people in need. This, therefore, makes our business sustainable as well.”
As a caring leader with aspirations and motivations, H.W. thinks it is about time to push her efforts on corporate-social responsibility to another level this year. She has opened Dream Impact, a co-working space for socially minded entrepreneurs who share the same vision in creating collective social impact through their businesses. Social enterprises are offered with affordable prices for renting the space for different kinds of activities relevant to social causes. It has received enthusiastic interest since the opening.
“I am a blindly-optimistic person as different test results show,” described H.W., “so I always tend to go for the ideas whenever I feel like it’s the right time and the right thing to do. I am happy that my passion and profession happen to meet at some point where I can contribute to the society and provide aid to people with less resources. It is a blessing to be able to give.”
From being a receiver to a giver – Kennie Lo, Managing Partner of SMG Digital
Passing on knowledge and opportunities is like an understated tradition of the alumni circles of the HKBU School of Business. Now a managing director and practitioner in the digital marketing, Kennie Lo, a graduate of BBA Marketing of the School of Business, is one of the best representatives to tell a story about his journey.
Thanks to the active alumni culture and networks of the School of Business, Kennie got referred to different types of opportunities, for example, summer jobs and internships, back in his university days. For marketing students, “actual work experience is crucial to their CV for future career development,” said Kennie.
It was during the SARS period when Kennie graduated from the university. It was a difficult time for many people, including fresh graduates who were looking for their first graduate job. Kenny was one of the lucky ones that landed a place on the trainee programme at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, where he was exposed to a number of notable events involving big corporations like the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Adidas and Coca-Cola etc., and this eventually led him to the next job in an event management company. During all these years, Kennie constantly went back to the alma mater as an alumnus to share his experience, support the School’s and University’s initiatives, and even refer career opportunities to his junior fellows whenever available. “I started my career at a rather difficult time, so I understand well how important it is for students to have support from familiar networks, for both personal growth and career prospects.”
The support and influence from alumni, however, are not limited to students. Kennie was looking for a career change in 2009, when another alumnus of the School was looking for a suitable candidate for a marketing communications role at his company. With the established network among the School’s alumni, the alumnus found Kennie’s portfolio ideal for the role.
“This has become a milestone of my career journey full of exciting and fruitful moments. I have gained invaluable experience, knowledge and confidence in these 6 years, enabling me to move on to advance my career now to build my own business. In a rather small community like HKBU, the supportive alumni culture is an important factor to empower students, alumni and the University to succeed in different aspects."
Alumni run mock interviews for future accountants
As the second part of the “Gateway to Big Four” series organised by the HKBU School of Business Alumni Association (HKBUSBAA), a mock interview session was arranged on 12 November 2017 for students with career aspiration in accounting to learn from alumni from the industry.
For six consecutive years, HKBUSBAA has organised the “Gateway to Big Four” series for HKBU students who are interested to work in Big Four accounting firms. Following the seminar held in October where over 100 highly motivated students attended, seven alumni spent a Sunday on HKBU campus to pass on their knowledge and experience to their junior fellows and help incubate our future accountants.
Alumni offer insider tips to ace Big Four interviews
HKBU School of Business Alumni Association (HKBUSBAA) organised the “Gateway to Big Four” seminar, providing students with insider tips from alumni who are current or former employees at the four accounting giants. Ten school alumni from the Big Four accounting firms, namely PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, and KPMG, came to share with over 100 highly motivated students on Sunday, 17 September 2017.
Apart from introducing the hiring process of each firm, alumni shared their first-hand experience from preparing for their job application to landing on their dream career eventually. They also shared how typical day-to-day Big Four life is like, and how they manage to achieve work-life balance in the hectic work life.
The seminar is part one of the yearly signature event “Gateway to Big Four” series, aiming to introduce the accounting industry to students who aspire to develop their career in the accounting and professional service sector. Part two will be a rigorous mock interview session to be held in October, enabling students to rehearse and experience the tension while receive fruitful comments from alumni for improvement, equipping them with competitive edge during their interviews.
Winners of HKBUSBAA Simulated Investment Competition well recognised
The award ceremony of the 2016-17 HKBUSBAA Simulated Investment Competition was held on 21 August 2017. Kong Hoi Ming, William (BBA – Applied Economics, Year 4) and Cheng Kiu Fung, Keith (BBA – Finance, alumnus, 2017), Champion and First Runner-up of the Competition respectively, received their certificates at the Interactive Brokers (IB) office, co-organiser and trading platform provider for the Competition. The winners were recognised for their excellent performance by the officiators, HKBUSBAA Chairman Bernard Wu (right), HKBUSBAA President Mr. Franklin Fong (second from left) and Interactive Brokers’ Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Mr. David Friedland (third from right).
Dr. Frank CAI, Assistant Professor of Management at the Shanghai University, and Dr. James SHI, Head of Department of Management at Macau University of Science and Technology were invited to share with research postgraduate students their valuable experience on how to prepare for their job hunting for an Assistant Professorship. details