1 Aug 2003
Feet First(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2003)
Vol 2, 2003
Dr Kong Footcare Ltd
|Dr Kong's 3Dimensions Control foot care products combine reinforced arch support, hard heel counter and ball control to create comfortable, economical and healthy footwear|
There is nothing like footwear company Dr Kong anywhere in the world, claims founder and managing director Raymong Ng proudly. "Our mission is to bring economical, lasting foot relief to customers through a range of primary foot care products and services delivered in a unique retail-based setting," he explains.
According to Ng, Dr Kong is the first company to completely amalgamate foot orthotics, sports biomechanics, material science and computer science to develop and support professional footwear and foot care products and services for infants, children, adults and the elderly.
"We cater for everyone from pediatrics to geriatrics and believe prevention is better than cure," says Ng. "We want to achieve maximum foot and posture correction, while ensuring the greatest comfort for our customers, by using the latest and most innovative medical and computerised technology and the highest quality materials."
A certified prosthetist and orthotist with nearly 30 years' experience, Ng spent much of that time developing a successful foot treatment that maintains the foot's static and dynamic alignment.
He then translated this concept into the development of Dr Kong's 3Dimensions Control foot care products, which combine reinforced arch support, hard heel counter and ball control in a range of footwear styles and widths to create comfortable, economical and healthy footwear.
Established in 1999, Dr Kong has grown rapidly to include an orthotic and physiotherapy centre for specialised foot treatment and consultation; a specialist clinic to provide physiotherapy treatment, gait analysis, tailor-made insoles and specialised shoe requirements for the disabled; and 19 retail outlets strategically positioned throughout Hong Kong.
The latter sell a range of Dr Kong sandals and sports, uniform and comfort shoes plus a wide selection of silicon gel foot care accessories, insoles and tools such as splints and arch rollers.
These have been jointly developed and tested by local and international universities specialising in foot technology, including the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the National Yang-Ming University of Taiwan and the University of Ghent in Belgium. "Costs are kept down by processing on the southern Chinese mainland, using leather imported from Europe and soles from Italy," Ng adds.
A key element in the company's concept is its dedication to customer service. "One of our unique characteristics is our free foot assessment and consultation services for customers at every retail outlet," says Ng.
Sophisticated foot assessment equipment, including static podometers, dynamic RS foot scans, computerised hindfoot measurement systems and conventional footprint equipment, assess foot pressure, alignment and other problems.
"An integral part of our service is our Customer Relations Management System, which keeps computerised records of customers' foot assessments and treatment at each store," Ng adds.
"This enables our trained staff to recommend the best footwear for optimal health and to monitor any resultant changes. Where necessary, we may also refer customers to specialist doctors or physiotherapists for treatment."
Dr Kong started out focusing on children's shoes but due to demand quickly expanded to supply all age groups. Indeed, the company's uniform shoes have become so popular that it now supplies shoes and insoles to such corporate clients as Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and the Hong Kong Police Force.
As another example of its rapid response to customer needs, Dr Kong introduced ergonomically designed school bags in June 2003. "Available in three sizes and five optional colours, our bags have a strong spine shell to minimise the weight spread of heavy books, plus an additional chest and pelvic strap for healthy, easy carrying," says Ng. "We have also introduced small portable scales so parents can measure the weight of their children's bags every morning."
The company has also begun expanding overseas, opening two test stores on the southern mainland and attending the 2003 GDS footwear fair in Germany. "We exhibited at Dusseldorf for the first time and received numerous inquiries from around the world, not only for exports but also for franchise opportunities," Ng notes.
Ng says Dr Kong has targetted sales of US$10m for 2004 by strengthening focus on its new school bag lines, extending its corporate client accounts and developing overseas markets such as Europe and the US. "We will also explore franchising our business so we can expand our unique concept of healthy foot care worldwide," he concludes.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Dr Kong Footcare Ltd
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