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Case study

Yew Kai Chong, ACMA

Site Research Country Manager Tesco Malaysia

Case study Yew Kai Chong, ACMA Site Research Country Manager Tesco Malaysia
Case study Yew Kai Chong, ACMA Site Research Country Manager Tesco Malaysia

Case study Tesco Malaysia

Yew Kai

‘I knew that CIMA would to give me a real insight into businesses worked and
‘I knew
that
CIMA
would
to give
me
a
real
insight
into
businesses
worked
and how
how
to
analyse
the
a numbers
help
improve
company’s
performance.’

Chong

Since the mid-90s, Tesco has been investing in new markets overseas, seeking out new opportunities for growth and ways of generating long term returns for shareholders.

Today the group operates in 11 markets outside the UK, in Europe and Asia. Over 100,000 employees work in their international operations, serving over 15 million customers and generating over £11 billion sales and over £560 million profit. Over half of group space is now outside the UK.

Following the first moves overseas into Central Europe, Tesco launched its Asian business through the acquisition of the Lotus chain in Thailand in 1998. Today over eight million customers every week shop in 636 stores across Asia: in China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand.

Tesco is developing a very good market position in Malaysia, with plans to add a further 22% of space next year.

Yew Kai Chong When Yew Kai Chong joined Tesco Malaysia in 2002 he had his work cut out. Not only was the up-and-coming accountant starting his first managerial role but he’d also decided to complete the final - and most difficult part - of his CIMA studies. ‘It sounds a bit crazy now,’ he says, ‘but at the time it made sense to me. I’d taken some time out from studying to get more experience in the business world. Then, when I started at Tesco, it made sense to complete the course because my studies would help my job and vice versa.

Chong’s plan has worked well. Five years on, he has played a key role in Tesco’s rapid expansion across Malaysia. In his role as Finance Manager – Appraisal, Analysis and Reporting, Chong was responsible for helping to assess how each of Tesco’s stores is performing as well as ensuring that the right returns are given to the company’s shareholders. ‘It’s a very exciting and challenging job,’ he says. ‘It’s great helping to drive the company by understanding the competition and finding the right places for new stores. It’s a really dynamic market and Tesco is looking to gain a lot more space.

Chong’s CIMA qualification has played an important role in his career development. ‘When I was studying accountancy at college we had the choice of four qualifications,’ he says. ‘But it quickly became clear to me that CIMA was the only one that has the business perspective I was looking for,’ he continues. ‘If I’d chosen one of the others, I probably would have ended up doing a lot of auditing.

I knew that CIMA would give me a real insight into how businesses worked and how to analyse the numbers to help improve a company’s performance.

Such skills are vital to Tesco’s programme of expansion. ‘My CIMA training definitely made me a more attractive proposition for Tesco,’ Chong says. ‘They were looking for someone with analytical skills to help the company make better decisions. CIMA has

a very strong thread of analysis running

through the syllabus and it’s tailor-made for a highly competitive sector like retail where you need to measure performance

all the time and look for new ways to make efficiencies.

Chong joined the company one year after Tesco moved into the Malaysian market. He’d already spend four years with rival supermarket chain Carrefour but his learning curve increased dramatically after joining Tesco. The company has now risen to number two in the retail market. In the past year, it has achieved a 50%

sales growth and a near-doubling of retail space following the acquisition of Makro

cash and carry stores in the region.

known that I wanted to be in business since I was at high school when I used to read a lot of management books,’ Chong recalls. ‘It’s a dream come true to work

for a dynamic company like Tesco and it’s

a great achievement for the company to

have reached its current position in such a short period of time.

I’ve

Chong has also progressed. He has just been promoted to the role of Site Research Country Manager. This is a double achievement as Chong believes he

He has just been promoted to the role of Site Research Country Manager. This is a

Yew Kai Chong, ACMA

Site Research Country Manager Tesco Malaysia

is the first Malaysian to hold this position. ‘I know I’m ready to take on this particular challenge,’ he says. ‘I will continue to draw on all of the experience gained through

Looking back, Chong believes that his CIMA studies have enhanced his ability to see the bigger picture outside the finance function. ‘CIMA has helped me to become

the finance function. ‘ CIMA has helped me to become ‘CIMA has a very strong thread

‘CIMA has a very strong thread of analysis running through the syllabus and it’s tailor-made for a highly competitive sector like retail where you need to measure performance all the time and look for new ways to make efficiencies.’

all the time and look for new ways to make efficiencies.’ my work and my CIMA

my work and my CIMA studies to help the company grow. Tesco is aiming to become number one very soon and the main focus is driving the business expansion programme,’ he adds.

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a forward-looking person,’ he explains.

Because of my training, I always make sure

I study the overall picture before I make

any decisions. It has given me analytical skills so that I can look at a particular

For general enquiries please contact:

CIMA Contact team The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 26 Chapter Street London SW1P 4NP

T.

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E.

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department or understand a particular area and how it affects the business as a whole.

Five years after joining Tesco, Chong still has his work cut out – but he’s loving every minute of it. ‘We’ve come so far and now we’re working hard on achieving even more,’ he says. ‘Being a CIMA member also means that I can keep up with all the latest developments in management accountancy, so I can stay ahead of the game.’ And what does such a dedicated management accountant do in his spare time to relax? ‘I really don’t have much time to relax at the moment, ‘ he laughs. ‘Maybe next year when I’ve settled into my

new job.

have much time to relax at the moment, ‘ he laughs. ‘ Maybe next year when