Intertek unveiled its new brand to the world in March 2017, redefining traditional testing and certification services as “Total Quality. Assured.” With more than 130 years of history, Intertek is one of the world’s largest testing and certification companies, with more than 1,000 laboratories and offices in over 100 countries, and with over 42,000 employees. Intertek entered the Hong Kong market in 1973, at a time when most of its business was related to providing testing services for textiles, the economy’s pillar industry. Since then, the company has seen major expansion in its business scope to include toys, electronics, food, and other product segments.
The new brand identity concept was inspired by one of the group’s founders, Thomas Edison, who over 100 years ago established a lamp testing centre which enabled him to patent the incandescent light bulb and subsequently became ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories). The logo of ETL has been used ever since. The inspiration for Intertek’s new brand design thus dates from the historic moment when Edison invented the light bulb.
The dot above letter “i” in the new Intertek logo implies inspiration and innovation, which is the brightest and most prominent element. The yellow tone used in the new logo is also inspired by a light bulb and the warm glow of the sun, says Intertek’s North East Asia Chief Executive Christina S.M. Law.
From managing money to managing business
Law, who has a financial background, joined Intertek 28 years ago. She says the highlight of her career was when she helped the group successfully list on the London stock market in 2002, when she was Chief Financial Officer, Global Consumer Goods. She continued to rise through the ranks in the company to become the Chief Executive for Northeast Asia.
“The biggest difference between financial management and business management is that the former is more about flexibly deploying funds and financial operations in line with the direction of the company,” Law says. “Managing business development is about formulating the company’s future direction and strategy, and leading the team to climb over mountains, which requires more in-depth and long-term vision.”
She is no stranger to challenges, having taken up this senior role when the company was facing a number of difficulties, and steering it back on track through transformation and innovation, which she attributes to strong team work and cohesion.
“I am grateful for the trust the company has placed in me, because this gives me the freedom to plan and execute my ideas and read the thoughts and needs of my team,” she says. “However, as a leader, I must make decisive decisions however difficult they may be.”
Reaching new heights through innovation and self-improvement
As the company celebrates its 45th anniversary in Hong Kong, Law says they have to keep a close eye on the market and encourage colleagues to use their expertise and insights to develop innovative ideas in order to maintain a competitive advantage in a very dynamic and competitive marketplace.
“Innovation is important for a company’s development. Through continuously broadening our service scope and optimizing our operations and services, we can provide a full range of quality assurance services that make our customers feel at ease and thus treat us as a partner,” she says.
The company also takes the initiative to use its professional knowledge and technical expertise to help customers solve problems they may be encountering, and even foresee problems, and makes recommendations to help their customers avoid them.
Staff training is not only essential for a testing and certification company, but also necessary for delivering professional service beyond customers’ expectations. Although colleges and universities’ testing and certification courses help to inject new blood into this industry, Law thinks that young professionals must understand different areas of specialization more clearly, which in itself will help them develop a rewarding career path in the industry. To enable them to achieve this, she set up a three-year New Generation Leadership Programme in the company a number of years ago for the purposes of developing staff with potential into outstanding professionals. To date, 100 Next Generation Leaders have been trained up from the initial 20 staff.
“For people in this sector, we can see that the testing and certification industry is not just about being stuck in a laboratory replicating tests. It is a challenging and promising career,” Law says.
To further establish its talent pool, Intertek has now launched its Alpha Leadership Programme, which provides tailor-made training for its management teams and nurtures them into future senior management leaders.
Law says she believes that a leading professional testing and certification institution must continue to innovate and keep reaching for new heights, and that her experience accumulated from different positions within the company puts her in an ideal position to formulate long-term strategies and develop strategic direction.
Company: Intertek Testing Services Hong Kong Ltd
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