Interview with Dr Gordon YEN

Dr Gordon YEN
Dr Gordon YEN
Executive Director
Fountain Set (Holdings) Limited -FSHL
Fountain Set (Holdings) Limited -FSHL

Fountain Set (Holdings) Limited -FSHL is the world’s largest circular knitted fabric manufacturer having production facilities in China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, with marketing and representative offices in 8 countries and a global staff force of approximately 22,000. Headquartered in Hong Kong, catering to global market through its vertically integrated operations in spinning, knitting, dyeing, printing and finishing, the Group also deals into dyed yarns, sewing threads and garments. Fountain Set is a major fabric supplier to garment manufacturers that are located in 40 countries and supplying the FSHL’s fabrics further to internationally renowned retail brands. The Group embarked worldwide sales of HK$7.13 billion (US$919 million) in the financial year 2006, and is listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. Dr Gordon YEN, Executive Director of FSHL, holds business development and corporate planning of the Group under his purview. He joined the Group in 1999 as the Assistant to Chairman and was promoted to his current post in 2004. He is the Chairman of The Hong Kong Association of Textile Bleachers, Dyers, Printers and Finishers; a Vice Chairman of Textile Council of Hong Kong; a Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong General Chamber of Textiles; a Vice Director General of China Knitting Industry Association; a Director of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel Limited; a Director of Clothing Technology Demonstration Centre Company Limited; a Board Member of Supply-Chain Council Greater China Chapter (SCC-GCC) and a Member of the Election Committee for the Chief Executive of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Dr YEN is also an Independent Non-executive Director of Hopewell Highway Infrastructure Limited, a Hong Kong listed company. He holds a Bachelor degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University, USA; a Master degree in Business Administration from McGill University, Canada; and a Doctorate degree in Business Administration from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Speaking with Face2Face team, Dr YEN divulges strategies to maintain market supremacy and draws a word picture of the Chinese and world fabric market.

From a dyeing house to the largest circular knitted fabric manufacturer, FSHL milestones have been many a memorable ones. Can you recount them all?

  • 1969-Mr HA Chung Fong, the Fountain Set Group's Chairman, co-founded the Globe Dyeing Factory in Hong Kong
  • 1988-Listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK:420) in April with US$18 million fund raised
  • 1989 -Established first fabric mill in China-Dongguan Fuan Textiles Limited
  • 1993 -Set up first overseas office-Fountain Set Textiles (B.C.) Limited in Vancouver
  • 1996-Founded Ocean Lanka (Private) Limited, first fabric mill outside of Hong Kong and China
  • 1998-The Group completed the relocation of the remaining production lines in Hong Kong to China
  • 2002-Lauded by Forbes magazine as 'Best under a billion, Forbes Global's 200 best small companies in the world' and awarded 'No.1 best small company in Hong Kong' from Asiamoney magazine
  • 2004-Obtained '2004 Hong Kong Awards for Industry-Export Marketing Grand Award' from Hong Kong Productivity Council
  • 2006-Accredited 'No.1 Turnover in Textile Knitting Industry in China in 2005-2006', 'No.1 Export in Textile and Garment Industry in China in 2005-2006' and ranked no.18 in 'Top 100 in Turnover in Textile and Garment Industry in China in 2005-2006' by China National Textile & Apparel Council Statistic Center
  • Which market and clientele do you cater services to?

    As a major fabric supplier to garment manufacturers in over 40 countries that supply to internationally renowned retail brands, the Group's major products export to the US and the EU markets. Our products and services are trusted and used by high-profile brands and retailers. Numerous popular, medium and luxury brands, fashion mailing catalogs and department stores are also our distinguished clientele which include Abercrombie & Fitch, adidas, Calvin Klein, Columbia, Fast Retailing, GAP, JCPenney, Kohl's, Land's End, Liz Claiborne, L.L.Bean, Marks & Spencer, Mango, Nautica, Next, Nike, Ralph Lauren Polo, Sears, Tesco, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret, Wal-Mart and more.

    How has FSHL been able to maintain its market supremacy in the crowded Chinese market?

    Currently, over 90% of our products are being shipped outside of China. As the world's largest circular knitted fabric producer, the Group is able to enjoy economies of scale with large production capacity, good quality assurance system, strong customer base, broad product offering, extensive global network and dedicated R&D.

    Economies of scale: Fountain Set is one of the largest global purchasers of yarn with extensive supplier network and highly vertically-integrated manufacturer with streamlined operation from yarn spinning to fabric production. The Group has low-cost production by operating state-of-the-art machinery and equipments.

    Large production capacity: Fountain Set has advanced production facilities in China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia and its global staff force is approximately 20,000. As a major fabric supplier to garment manufacturers in over 40 countries that supply to internationally renowned retail brands, Fountain Set's worldwide sales reached US$919 million in the financial year 2006.

    Good quality assurance system: Fountain Set ensures the highest of quality through a number of different Quality Assurance channels. The Group has achieved TQM and ISO certification.

    Strong customer base: For over 37 years, Fountain Set has established great customer relationships with internationally renowned retailers and brands.

    Broad product offering: The Group offers dazzling range of products and services of dyed yarn, fabric, garments around the world.

    Extensive global network: As the largest 100% cotton knitted fabric manufacturer in China and Sri Lanka, Fountain Set has established nine marketing and representative offices in eight countries which can provide quick response service of global fabric industry trends to the Group.

    Dedicated R&D department: The R&D department researches on high value-added products, introduces new technologies and use new variety of raw materials for Fountain Set's knitted fabric.

    Published on: 11/06/2007

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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