Past Event: Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong

Breakfast, Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Speaker Series:
HO, KWON PING, Founder & Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd.

How Getting Kicked Out of Stanford Was the Best Thing That Happened to Me:  KP Ho’s journey from student rebel to hotel industry revolutionary, creating Banyan Tree’s Sanctuary of the Senses

8:00 am to 10:00 am
The American Club, Town Club, 48th Floor, Clipper Room
2 Exchange Square, Central, Hong Kong

Event Details:
The Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong welcomed more than 70 pre-registered guests to a breakfast presentation by KP Ho, Founder & Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, who shared his insights and lessons.

KP built his first hotel more than 25 years ago on the site of an abandoned tin mine in Phuket discovered when searching for a plot on which to build a family summer home. At the time, Phuket was barely on the international tourism map. Worse, the mine site was one of the most challenging environmental clean-up challenges in the history of Asian tourism. KP named the venture after Banyan Tree Bay in Hong Kong’s Lamma Island, where he and his wife had spent three years when he was a young journalist, and designed it with his architect brother, Kwon Cjan. Rehabilitating the abandoned mine site, cleansing the soil and planning more than 7,000 trees, KP Ho pioneered environmental development and anchored his economic model in sourcing both staff and materials from the local communities as much as possible where his projects were based. Along the way, KP created the gold standard of the modern tropical hotel, redefining lodging event from a need into an unforgettable experience.

From these beginnings, Banyan Tree and Angsana have grown to close to 30 resorts and hotels, with 20 more in development, 60 spas, 80 retail galleries (where spa and lifestyle products are sold) and 3 golf courses.  Separately, the Group has also pioneered use of third party capital through dedicated funds to support its growth in both Vietnam and China, and has redefined the branded residence concept along the way.

It was not obvious that a family manufacturing company (Wah Chang Corp), making everything from shoes to televisions, would give birth under KP’s leadership to one of the world’s most important luxury hotel businesses.  From holding the unique distinction of being one of the few students to ever be kicked out of Stanford, to acting as Economic Editor of the Far Eastern Review, KP’s personal journey has been no less extraordinary.

Speaker's Bio: HO, Kwon Ping
Founder & Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Resorts

Mr Ho is Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Resorts. In addition to these duties, he also serves as Chairman of Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited, Chairman of Thai Wah Food Products Public Company Limited, Chairman of Singapore Management University and Chairman of MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. Mr Ho previously served as a Director of Singapore Airlines Limited and Standard Chartered PLC. He began his career at the Far Eastern Economic Review, where he rose to Economics Editor.

In the non-profit sector, Mr. Ho serves as a member of the Asia-Pacific Council of The Nature Conservancy; of the International Council of the Asia Society; of the Regional Advisory Board of London Business School; of INSEAD’s International Council; and of the Singapore-US Business Council and serves on the Management Board of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from the University of Singapore and has studied at both Stanford University and Tunghai University in Taiwan. He holds an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University and was named CEO of the Year in 2008 at the Singapore Corporate Awards. In 2011 he was named Real Estate Personality of the Year at the South East Asia Property Awards and received the American Creativity Association’s Lifetime Creative Achievement Award in 2010.

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