Meet the Board: Mrs Merianna Lok
快樂永不老, 健康才是寶 - Happiness will never get old, health is wealth
It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Merianna Lok to our H&H Group Board in March 2020 and straight away it was evident that her contribution to the Group would be a highly valuable one.
A strategic human resources leader with over 30 years’ experience, Merianna’s career has held key positions at organisations such as HSBC, AXA Asia and JP Morgan Chase. Her last position was with MetLife Asia as Regional Head of Human Resources, where she led a team of 100+ HR professionals across the region to build and drive people agenda. During that time, she has also made a great contribution to society through voluntary commitments, including a 20-year tenure as treasurer of the 10th Tai Po Scout Group. She was also a director of the board and chairman of human resources committee of Heep Hong Society, a leading children’s education and rehabilitation organisation committed to helping children and youth of diverse needs.
We were keen to find out more about the person behind Merianna’s impressive credentials, so we sat down to discuss her interests and her approach to business, her hopes and vision for H&H Group and global wellness, and to understand more about her passion for sustainability.
What attracted you to H&H Group?
One of my key beliefs is “快樂永不老, 健康才是寶” - “Happiness will never get old, health is wealth” and I always remind my friends and family the importance of staying healthy and happy. Thus, I was first attracted by H&H Group’s name. After getting to know more about the company’s mission to create a healthier and happier future for millions of people, I believe our values are fully aligned. Being an HR professional and an advocate of Diversity and Inclusion, there is much I can contribute to H&H Group to support its vision and strategic direction.
What is your vision for the future of H&H Group?
H&H Group is fast-growing organisation with a commitment to the development of global wellness. With the rapid changes and challenges we are all facing, I see H&H Group playing an even more significant role in driving innovation and promoting health and wellness, and creating a more positive impact globally to make people healthier and happier.
What does “inspiring wellness” mean to you?
Wellness goes beyond individual achievement. I believe we need to inspire others to understand what “wellness” means – mentally, physically, financially, individually, amongst family, within an organisation and society. Personally, I enjoy coaching and mentoring young people and executives in organisations to help them realise and develop their potential, and to understand the balance of life. I also dedicate my time to various voluntary work with NGOs, especially those which focus on helping children with special needs.
What do you see as being some of the biggest challenges for businesses with regards to sustainability?
Organisations need to survive and be profitable before they can make significant contributions to sustainability and environmental health. Thus, I believe the key challenge is striking a balance between achieving profitable business growth while promoting sustainability, including making a contribution to the environment, driving a culture of wellness amongst staff and customers, and making a positive impact on society. The challenge is to stay focused, keep things simple, and ensure the culture of sustainability is clearly articulated for everyone to understand and commit to, while at the same time continue to drive business growth.
As a successful businesswoman, what advice would you give your younger self?
To be successful, I first needed to have strong self-awareness: what is my core value, what do I want to achieve, what are my strengths, what are my development needs and what is my career plan? Without a clear understanding of my own self, it would be difficult to develop the proper goals and action plans needed for my future development.
For me, the keys to success are to stay humble, embrace continuous learning and development, seek help when needed, show empathy to others and find a good mentor(s). The business world is extremely complicated and, whether one accepts it or not, it is more challenging for women to be successful even in today’s environment. We need to stay resilient, have the courage to embrace changes and have confidence in ourselves – we can achieve more than we believe we can!