1 Sept 2001
Triumph Through Teamwork(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2001)
Triumph Through Teamwork
Strength In Diversity
Waddy Jewellery Co Ltd
|Waddy Jewellery Co Ltd is a full-service manufacturer creating an array of fine jewellery in 9-22K gold and platinum using diamonds, precious and semiprecious gemstones.|
ESTABLISHED by brothers Addy and Patrick Wong in 1988, Waddy Jewellery Co Ltd has thrived through sibling teamwork. Addy had worked 16 years as a goldsmith while Patrick contributed skills as an accomplished salesman. The synergy worked, with Waddy now employing 200 people to export fine jewellery worldwide.
Much of the growth may be due to Patrick Wong's customer-oriented philosophy. "Business requires co-operation between us and our clients with whom we must work well to produce good results," he says.
Waddy is a full-service manufacturer capable of producing any type of fine jewellery in 9-22K gold and platinum using diamonds, precious and semiprecious gemstones and priced at US$50-30,000 FOB Hong Kong.
"We aim to provide the best quality products at the most reasonable prices. Along with our standard products, we accept orders from customers to suit all their needs," says Wong.
Among the company's best sellers are diamond rings and other items priced at US$300-500. Wong sees customers shifting away from requesting these in white gold in favour of yellow later this year.
Finding a specialization is important in Hong Kong's competitive jewellery industry. For the past two years, Waddy has worked at perfecting invisible setting pieces.
"Invisible setting is our favourite work," says Wong, animatedly discussing the popular but complicated technique of allowing diamonds to be set directly next to each other without visible supporting metal.
"Not many Hong Kong companies can do it since you need special machines for manufacturing and cutting and you need to carefully train the workers. But we made the effort, and our costs are low compared to other companies [including competitors in Thailand]," says Wong.
Waddy participates at international jewellery shows in Hong Kong, the US, Europe and the Middle East. In April, the company exhibited at Basel in Switzerland for the second consecutive year, an experience Wong found useful.
"As we meet new customers, I can see we need to change our designs for the European market. The gold content is more, thicker and heavier, but designs are slimmer," he says.
Europe offers Waddy the most potential, while the US remains its largest market with the most substantial sales growth in the past year. Sales to Asia and the Middle East are also important.
Quality is a priority at the company's factories in Panyu (on the Chinese mainland) and in Hong Kong. The 150-worker Panyu factory opened last year.
"Our factories handle each step of production from waxes and stone-setting to polishing and finishing, so we can pay special attention to details and quality," says Wong.
Waddy is poised for more growth. "In this potentially slow market, we have a good chance to expand our business. Other companies do not want to expand now, but we do. We are very keen to find new customers and to grow with them," Wong says.
Waddy Jewellery Co Ltd
Rm 204, Tower 2, Harbour Centre,
8 Hok Cheung St, Hunghom,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2766-0183
Fax: (852) 2334-4954
Sanwa Pearl Trading Ltd
|More than merely a pearl-trader, Sanwa Pearl Trading Ltd stresses the need to adjust to changes in demand while providing superior customer service.|
REPUTEDLY, the jewellery business is the first to suffer amid economic difficulties and the last to recover when conditions improve. Therefore, diversification and flexibility are vital to any gemstone trading enterprise because such traits enhance the ability to respond rapidly to market demands.
Sanwa Pearl Trading Ltd is much more than a mabe-pearl trading endeavour, says managing director Henry Fung, who stresses the company's ability to change with the times.
Imitation opals created in Japan provide Sanwa Pearl's highest sales volume. "These are a special item and steady in the markets," Fung says.
Most of the company's imitation opals go to the US as loose cabochons and beads. The high-quality imitation opals range in price from US$0.20 FOB Hong Kong for a 2mm cabochon to US$200 for a full necklace.
The South China Opal brand registered by Sanwa Pearl is popular with customers and now accounts for up to 50% of the company's business.
"The market constantly changes so it is good for us to be diversified," says Fung.
"We always stress customer service. After gaining customers, we try to keep them forever. That means always providing any product we have traded, even if not a 'hot' item."
Established in 1990, Sanwa Pearl merged with its manufacturing arm, Polfung Brothers Enterprise Co, in 1995. Close co-operation enabled both enterprises to grow steadily.
Shell and mabe products, as well as imitation pearls, made from an ocean-shell nucleus base coated with a chemical pearl liquid, remain important. A 300-person workforce at the company's factory on the Chinese mainland and in Japan produces plenty of colour and quality.
Strands of 2-16mm imitation pearls are good sellers. The most popular imitate South Sea cultured pearls, measure 10-14mm and have a wide variety of colours. Fung is proud of the quality.
"They look more realistic than other imitation pearls, and our customers are very pleased and enjoy them," he says.
Over the years, coral provided much of Sanwa Pearl's business, notably with Europe. South China coral, known in Europe as sponge coral, is a 100% natural product from the South China Sea. Although once popular, it endures lagging demand, yet Fung carries stock because customers sometimes like it.
The good days for sponge-coral trading are gone, Fung says, yet he demonstrates strong commitment to service by always providing coral upon request.
More superior service arises from Sanwa Pearl's pricing structures. Amid wide exchange-rate fluctuations, especially affecting the Japanese yen, prices proved too erratic for many customers. Fung responded by fixing prices at constant levels and ignoring fluctuations in the cost to achieve high quality.
Confidence is crucial in customer relationships, Fung says. By such actions, he strives to build trust in Sanwa Pearl.
WRITTEN BY JOHNNY EDISON
Sanwa Pearl Trading Ltd
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