Home' A Plus Magazine : Dec 2012 Contents December 2012 33
Despite such innovative solutions, the global
financial crisis has inevitably affected VTech.
"In the past two or three years, raw materials
were the real cost drivers," says Tong.
On top of that, the labour supply in China
is notoriously tight. "If you want to retain and
hire good people, we need to raise salaries
and provide a very good working environ-
ment," she adds. These factors have driven
Fortunately, the electronic products in-
dustry is not as labour intensive as other
industries, such as garments, where many
brands have had to move manufacturing
from China to cheaper Southeast Asian
VTech isn't planning to source outside
China, however. "We need to consider where
we are getting our supplies" with a view to im-
proving operational effeciency, she says.
In the future, VTech will continue to
transform adult gadgets into child-friendly
products, says Tong. "Children always want
to use the products used by their parents so
that's the line we will be taking."
The company says new versions of the In-
noTab, MobiGo and Storio product lines are
in the pipeline, while the group is also aim-
ing to expand its presence in China. Sales of
its electronic learning products have grown
steadily there already, although VTech start-
ed selling AT&T-branded phones in China
only in the fourth quarter of this year and
sees potential for growth there.
Like VTech, Tong herself has had a strat-
egy in place. Since Tong was a young girl, she
laid out a path and followed it stringently.
Degree after degree allowed her to climb
the ranks in a male-dominated technology
industry. Today, she oversees a team of 680
people in the Hong Kong office alone.
She has no plans to slow down and says
if she was to go back and do it all again, she
would follow the same path with the same
attitude. "If you work without any continu-
ous learning, you're going to get stuck in the
same position," she advises. "Keep learn-
ing -- that's very important," is the advice she
would give her 16-year-old self.
Even today, Tong is constantly feeding her
curious mind by teaching herself new things
on the Internet in order to stay on top of her
game. Her hands slice the air as she says that,
giving the impression that no matter what
challenge is thrown at her or VTech, even to-
day, she can take it on.
want to use the
products used by
their parents so
that's the line we
will be taking."
The number of
products VTech has
shipped in 2012
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