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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Punctuality and reliability wins the reace

Launched in 1994, Zchron Interior Design has over 20 years of history in Hong Kong. Though in some industries that might be comparatively young, in the interior design world in Hong Kong, it’s more than two lifetimes. Hong Kong is a city where there is no shortage of demand for new homes that are most certainly remodeled after every move. Many result in disputes and end up in arbitration court.

Embroiled in legal trouble and often operating on a tight margin, many interior design companies don’t last more than two years. Not only has Zchron stood the test of time, this is its tenth consecutive year winning the Hong Kong Business High Flyers Award.

An affluent society
“The most significant factor I can reflect from the last 10 years is that Hong Kong is a very affluent society,” explains Managing Director Nison Chan. “Housing is expensive, but on the flip side, there aren’t a lot of interior decorators dedicated to high-end homes. You have big names in a lot of other industries, such as HSBC for banking or Park n Shop for supermarkets, but a design house? There isn’t one that comes to people’s minds.”

Chan further states: “That’s because a lot of independent designers end up closing down after two years and in particular when it comes to contracts for opulent homes. A lot of the times there are disputes and many wind up in court. This happens quite a lot.”

Design and build
The company’s mission statement is simple: ‘design and build’ and it’s what Chan lives by. He shares what he thinks is the secret to the success of Zchron: “We’ve been around for 20 years and honored with winning this award for 10 years. We pride ourselves in honesty and professionalism. We don’t change our prices once a client signs a contract. Actually we insist the quote remains the same and most importantly we finish the job on time. I feel that’s why we’ve been able to last as long as we have and our popularity has been steadily rising.”

Chan also acknowledges that providing such thorough service could not be achieved by his direction alone, and only possible by hiring the right staff.

“We require someone who has a professional attitude and focus. There is no formal training available for the project management side of design, so we provide on-the-job training and teach the most important values such as the importance of punctuality. At Zchron we actually have more than 100 types of checklists for a whole project, so this will help them complete tasks.”

Of course, for a design house, aesthetics and flair is the key factor and with so many beautiful homes and premium office spaces at their disposal, the ideas for design must be fresh. Chan proudly facilitates a creative environment in his company. “We encourage our designers to get exposure to the latest design fair and exhibitions as possible and we are happy to sponsor these trips for them.”

The demands for punctuality and not letting a project runaway on costs are definitely traits that are easily said than done. Zchron’s insistence on these qualities could well pave the way for at least another 20 years in the industry.



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