Dr. Christopher Au: A Tic Expert, Ensuring The Safety Of People & Environment

Dr. Christopher Au: A Tic Expert, Ensuring The Safety Of People & Environment

Dr.Christopher Au, Managing Director

Dr.Christopher Au

Managing Director

The Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) sector is a major contributor to the global economy and the quality of daily life around the world. The industry ensures good practices and products that meet regulations, protect people, and reduce environmental impacts. Due to its importance, the industry requires highly skilled senior-level talents to continue to drive it forward. Dr. Christopher Au (Managing Director, Hohenstein Laboratories, Greater China) is one such highly-skilled leader who began his career in 2002 as a chemist in the TIC industry. His association with Hohenstein began in the year 2011 when he helped build a laboratory and a team in Hong Kong. Currently, he is spearheading the responsibility of Hohenstein’s China operations and has been helping customers successfully bring their products to the market of Greater China while ensuring that their products meet the regulatory standards related to quality, technical safety, and performance.

What drives Christopher is the closeness within the global Hohenstein family that truly lives up to the internal motto ‘One Team, One Company, One Family’. As the Managing Director in the Greater China region, he is leveraging his rich leadership skills to nurture a strong manager-employee relationship, and high-performing teams, and create a sense of belonging and commitment that fuels team success.

Let’s hear it from the industry leader as he talks about his strategies to drive change, and align people in the company over different levels.

Tell us about the unique experiences you had at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

In 2014, I had the opportunity to join the Executive MBA program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This program provided a highly balanced program between theories and practice, local and international cultures, and networking. I met a great variety of peers from different industries and at different management positions. The class benefitted greatly from the field study to Silicon Valley and gained insights from the in-depth exchanges with executives from Google, Tesla, and Meta (formerly Facebook). The program dedicated a proportion of its courses to traditional Chinese culture and its applications towards management roles. These courses also allowed me to gain insights from classical Chinese philosophies such as I-Ching and apply them to business cases and everyday scenarios.

How would you define Hohenstein Laboratories as an organization?

Rooted in our academic and research background, Hohenstein brings a unique perspective and expertise to the market. We are recognized for providing premium services to our customers, and our current position in the market can be defined by three key qualities: integrity, agility, and partnership. We hold honesty and integrity in the highest regard. We deliver reliable results through a direct and solution-oriented approach to help our customers optimize the processes and make sure that our customers

products are marketable. We target sustainability, and the legality of products and make sure that our customers are able to use our testing results, and our certification as part of the product rollouts. We also put a lot of focus on agility; we look at each customer individually to be able to respond to them in a flexible manner making sure that their needs are met with tailor-made solutions. We value our partnership with customers and use our expertise to serve them and act in a partnership so that we both grow together.

We look at each customer individually to be able to respond to them in a flexible manner making sure that their needs are met with tailor-made solutions

Tell us about your leadership approach.

My leadership approach is to foster an environment where my colleagues can perform and contribute their abilities to the common goals of the organization. Through training, practice, and feedback, we can all realize where our talents and abilities lie, whether it is in technical expertise, marketing and sales savviness, or operational excellence. I also believe that empathy plays an important role in the workplace. Through realizing our own and our colleagues’ needs, we can create a supportive and inclusive work culture where everyone feels valued and motivated to give their best. In terms of decision-making, I value a collaborative approach. I believe that diverse perspective and inputs from team members can lead to better and more well-rounded decisions.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

I would like to continue to contribute towards furthering Hohenstein’s developments in the region and its presence in the market. As a team, we want to be able to provide our customers with peace of mind when they market their items and help them thread through the different needs of the market. We want to help the environment by complying with the different regulations to put an end to using toxic chemicals. By doing so, we would be able to reduce pollution and contribute our part in building a sustainable society.

What would be your advice for budding indus­try leaders?

As industry leaders, it is crucial to recognize the true value of our work in addressing the evolving demands of the market. We support our direct customers, including brands, retailers, and manufacturers while understanding that our ultimate responsibility lies in safeguarding the well-being of end consumers. With that in mind, I encourage budding industry leaders to remain adaptable and open to change, embrace innovation, stay informed about industry developments, and be willing to explore new approaches and opportunities.

Dr. Christopher Au, Managing Director, Greater China, Hohenstein Laboratories

Having an Executive MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wollongong, and extensive experience in the TIC industry, Christopher is spearheading Hohenstein's business in Greater China, which belongs to a testing, certification, and research organization that holds 75+ years of specialization and premium service.

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