In her 30-year journey from an Audit Assistant at PricewaterhouseCoopers to CFO at WTT, Almira has undertaken a wide array of responsibilities, including accounting & finance, investor relations and building access for fibre network rollout. Almira oversees JOS’s transformation in Beyond Hong Kong as she drives teams to work agilely and silo-free to deliver value and innovation, whilst focusing on many incredible new opportunities to serve enterprises across Asia.
Integrating for success through a silo-less corporate culture
Our Culture Matters
Often in corporate mergers and acquisitions, companies put their focus on the “synergy” of products, technology, expertise and geographic presence. But for us, “synergy” is measured first by how well Talents get along and immerse in HKBN culture. Like what we’ve done in all our mergers and acquisitions prior to JOS, we aimed for full integration which was kick-started by cultural unity.
We run HKBN for our Core Purpose. We put together the best-of-breed qualities and build an elite sports team to “Make our Home a Better Place to Live”. To understand more about the HKBN culture, please check out our recently updated HKBN Culture Statement. Each of the principles described therein highlights how we, through our unique ways, empower and align Talents with our 1-HKBN goals.
At HKBN, we believe the best way to build a strong bridge is to get the builders to live underneath it. For us, “skin-in-the-game” Co-Ownership – whereby we invite Talents to invest their savings in HKBN and reward them only after a long-term common KPI is achieved – is one of the most effective ways we create stakeholder alignment.
Including me, there are over 900 Co-Owners in HKBN. We are running this company on Talents’ family savings. We are cautiously aggressive and extra passionate to walk in customers’ shoes, understand their pain points and deliver solutions. Only if our customers and partners grow can we grow together.
Our original plan was to explore selling Beyond Hong Kong business after the completion of acquisition, because the business of each entity was average and sub-scale in the local area. The turning point was the pain/GAIN programme launched to align goals. We received overwhelming response with majority of our managerial-and-above-level Talents invested between 2 to 24 months of salary upfront. Meeting a common cumulative Adjusted Free Cash Flow (“AFF”) target, these Co-Owners will gain a multiple of their investment. This is a united commitment from Talents of Beyond Hong Kong - either we make a change to grow the Beyond Hong Kong business into a strong, dynamic and scalable regional team, or we gradually die out in the fibre-speed ICT era. Our Talents dare to make a change because we want to live, and “GO BIG” is the only way out.
When everyone else in the market plans short-term budget and measures annual profits, we are looking forward to an infinite game. We can think in blocks of five years and beyond, as this is our “Legal Unfair Competitive Advantage” (LUCA). In the short term, we can afford a J-curve, but in the long term, we will stand out investing for the future and by doing so, we will always be five years ahead of others who are planning for just one year.
HKBN is an elite sports team. We are not family members who give unconditional love but we do very much care for our Talents. Health and family are the top priorities that we want our Talents to treasure. Transparency and trust are prerequisites to a long-term and sustainable relationship. We give a corporate credit card to around 30% of our 6,000 Talents. We trust that our Talents will spend the money in the best interest of the Company.
Every year, we exit the bottommost 5% of our workforce in order to set the stage for high performers. We talk flat, daring to “tell the emperor when he has no clothes”. Love us or hate us, but don’t stay and grumble on. HKBN is a fast-growing company, join us if you like us.