Interview with Alex Arena

Group Managing DirectorHKT Ltd.

"It’s hard to see the global economy doing anything other than going sideways in the next 12 months or so. Over the next three years, if one is optimistic and we avoid some sort of major financial event, maybe there’s some light at the end of the tunnel."

"When things are tough you have an opportunity to revisit some things: cost efficiency, for instance, is always there in business, but it takes a new priority when things are tough. Also we are rebuilding the brand, retooling the staff in terms of skill sets; looking at the products and services we have to offer."

"From an investment perspective, rebuilding a lot of the things that we offer consumers is important to us. We’re forever reaching deeper into consumers’ homes. So we are developing innovations around smart living and integrating services within the consumer’s home."

"We’ve come off twenty something years of trade liberalisation. Are we going to see trade protectionism come back into the picture? That would be a backward step for the world and for the development of China, as well as for developed economies like the US and Europe."

"We take disaster recovery not as a box that you tick, in terms of doing your risk assessments, but as a real risk. So we’ve actually split our operations, so that if we have a failure in one part, whether due to health crises or electricity or communications breakdowns, it won’t bring our business crashing down."

"The process of learning how to cope with change, and adapt to change, and use it to our advantage just constantly continues."

"The biggest stakeholder challenge has actually been from our customers. ...Twenty years ago we were network centric; now we’re consumer centric and we build the network around the consumers’ needs. So, we have to have a lot more understanding of what our consumers want."

"’s about being open and available, and able to listen and respond quickly. ...So communicating, using tools like social media is particularly important in staying connected to our customers and actually conversing with them."

"We are focusing on social responsibility because it is important. It is not only important to us, but it is important to our various stakeholders, some of whom will not invest unless you adopt certain ethical practices. Putting that aside, it is a good thing to do."


As part of PwC's 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Alex Arena, Group Managing Director of HKT Ltd. In this short video, Alex talks about improving operational effectiveness, and the importance of being able to adapt to constant change.

Alex was appointed Group Managing Director of HKT Ltd. and HKT Management Ltd. and the trustee-manager of the HKT Trust in 2011. He is also a member of HKT's Executive Committee and the Non-Executive Director of Pacific Century Regional Developments Ltd. Prior to 2011, Alex held various positions within PCCW Ltd: Executive Director, Group Managing Director, Group Chief Financial Officer, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee and member of the Regulatory Compliance Committee.

Alex holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia and a MBA degree at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He has been a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers since 2001.
  These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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