Originally published in Cebu Daily News
By Cris Evert Lato
March 3, 2008
Working in two different industries, sitting as a board trustee in two organizations and being the hands-on wife and mother may seem too much for a woman in her 40s.
But not for Melanie Ng, executive vice president (EVP) of Ng Khai Development Corp. and general manager of Premium Concepts International Inc.
“If it’s hard to work things out, I beg off. I choose the activities or the causes which I feel very strongly about,” Melanie said on how she manages her time among her different “job titles.”
Melanie sits as executive committee member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress-Visayas and as board treasurer of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
An addition to her titles, Melanie is also the wife of Wilson Ng, a two-time Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awardee.
Melanie handles the daily operations of Ng Khai, while serving as the “creative shopper” of Premium Concepts.
“These are two different industries but they complement in the sense that IT (information technology) business is very stressful. We always have to keep up with what is coming out in the market. We make sure we are offering the right product and update them for our customers,” she said.
“Premium Concepts, which is on the lifestyle and retail side, involves beautiful things. These items are less stressful. IT and retail provide the right mix for me,” Melanie added.
Melanie admitted working in different industries is hard but noted that existing opportunities should not be taken for granted.
“IT is growing and it has a lot of potentials. We should pay attention. Cebu has a booming, growing and very positive retail market place. In order to be part of it, we have to be in it also,” she said.
Melanie said being meticulous, a natural characteristic of a woman, enables her to perform her responsibilities well.
“We (women) place much attention to details. Men usually set direction to attain objectives but we do the step by step processes,” she said.
The help of her husband is also very instrumental as she carries out her duties.
“Wilson always stresses the importance of systems and processes. Even if we have plenty and diversified businesses, so long as you have the systems and processes, operations will be effective,” she said.
A graduate of BS Biology and a mother of three boys, Melanie said employing the right people made them successful in business.
“Fortunately, we have the right people at the right places. They’re very deeply committed to their brands and products,” she said.
Melanie said gender is not an issue in the industries she’s involved with. An example is the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
“It’s fair treatment in the chamber. You’re treated as equal so long as you’re capable, you’re trustworthy, reliable and you have time,” she said.
Melanie pointed out that men and women should not compete but complement each other.
“In our case, any endeavor which involves men and women should not be treated as a contest because there are certain things that men can do better than women and vice versa,” she said.
For entrepreneurs and business persons alike, Melanie said: “We should always try to achieve and pursue our dreams regardless of our gender. If you do everything you can to pursue your dreams, sooner or later you will get there.”
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The Women in Business section will come out every Monday this month to mark Women’s month. It will feature women, who made their mark in the business sector.