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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

helps you in your leadership.

 

Cheers,

Jonno White

7 Questions with Fai Poon
7 Questions with Fai Poon

Name: H. Fai Poon

Current title: President

Current organisation: Quacell Biotechnology Company Limited

Dr. Poon is currently the President of Quacell Biotech Ltd. He previously worked for Hisun Biopharm, Merck (SAFC), Roskamp Institute in the USA. He completed his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at University of Kentucky, and MBA from University of South Florida. He has years of experience in the field of biological therapeutics, analytical research, bioinformatics and proteomics. He has more than 10 years of cell culture experience with focus on biopharmaceutical products.
He published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, and contributes to more than 5 book chapters. He is currently the managing editor for biomedical and pharmacology journal ; associate Editor for Journal of Chemistry, Biochemistry; and Molecular Biology, Band Journal of Bioinformatics and Biometrics.

7 Questions with Fai Poon

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?

The most challenging is how many hats you have to wear as a leader in an SME. Since the resource is limited, most leaders are in charge of several functions in the company, so learning different functions and roles in a company very quickly, is very critical to the company's growth.

2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?

After working in leadership roles in two public biopharma companies , I feel like there is a good opportunity for biopharm critical raw material in China: cell line & culture media. After I expressed my thoughts to a couple of my colleagues, they liked my idea, and hence we co-found Quacell. We grow from 5 employees to more than 100 employees within 3 years. I guess since I am the guy who came up with the idea, they listen a little better.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I usually get up 5:40 am, and then put in about 1 hrs workout, and get the kids ready for school. I usually at work around 8am after I drop the kids to school. I schedule most of my meeting in the morning, and paper work in the afternoon. I go to work around 7 pm. After 7 pm, I don't usually answer my phone or message. I spent this time with my family. I will response some message around 10, and will try to go to bed around 11pm.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

The lesson is to be patient with the people you work with. In a big company, I usually am pretty good at being patient with others. In an SME, the company is growing very quickly, and sometimes, the leaders' capability, including myself, are not growing as fast as the company. It is furasting, but you will just have to be patient to help people to grow into their roles.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The Mormon Way of Doing Business: Leadership and Success Through Faith and Family. It may not be what the MBA must read but it gives you a lot of examples to follow. The book examines the professional lives of seven prominent religious businessmen to see what makes them successful.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?

We found it early on that some of the staff does not have the leadership capacity to grow into their future role. So, we have emphasized the leadership quality: inspire, competent, self-aware, and appreciation. We invite other leaders from different backgrounds to give talks and training for our staff to have potential.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?

One of the stories that come to mind is our Quality manage is coming from a manufacturing background while our team have R&D background. So, to implement the quality and documentation system is troublesome and labor intensive. So we are resistant to the quality system, after several conversations with our clients, I realize the resistance to change is wrong, and ask the quality manager to implement the quality system. I think as a leader, we need to admit we are wrong and help everyone to be the best of yourself.