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Published on Friday, 26 Apr 2013
Peter Yeo, assistant GM at Toppan Vite, says that the company helps fund workers’ continuing education, such as MBAs.
Photo: May Tse

Printers Toppan Vite bringing new staff into the fold

For over two decades Toppan Vite has made a name in Hong Kong as one of the largest and best-known financial printers. With two elegant offices either side of Victoria Harbour, they stay close to customers in Exchange Square and the ICC.

“Our main clientele are from the financial industry – bankers, lawyers, accountants and corporate executives of listed or listing companies,” says Peter Yeo, assistant general manager at Toppan Vite. “We want them to have a very good experience with us in the provision of a fast, reliable, accurate and hassle-free service.”

Yeo says that clients use the company’s conference rooms to draft financial documents according to legal requirements, which are later translated, typeset and laid out.

“Depending on document size, the multiple edits and typesetting process can be quite time consuming, hence the spacious, well-stocked pantry boasting free refreshments and the pool table,” he says.

Printing banking and financial documents such as annual reports, quarterly and interim reports and IPO documents has to be timely, which requires round-the-clock operations by designers, translators, proofreaders, typesetters and printers.

“We are a young, dynamic and vibrant company with an international outlook. Publishing is not a sunset industry. No matter what, someone still needs to compose the text, translate it, have it typeset, and lay it out nicely with pictures. Listed companies still need financial documentation. We, as industry players, will continuously challenge ourselves in new ways to help our customers and propose new e-media solutions to move forward and help them reach the next level.”

In proof of this point, the company, which has over 400 employees in Asia in offices including Singapore, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing, as well as back-end operations in the Philippines, is expanding both in Hong Kong and Beijing, and is also targeting the US. In turn, a number of vacancies in a wide range of areas – including project management, quality control, art direction, translation, and sales and marketing – and at different levels of seniority have opened up, many of which offer opportunities for overseas exposure.

Yeo says financial printing is a niche market and for the more junior positions, the company is happy to train up new people from the service industries. “We are always looking for talent who can fit into the roles well. If we find a candidate has the right experience, we’d like to have them on board,” he says.

Applicants for manager or senior-associate project management positions should be proactive, able to think on their feet and have good common sense. They have to handle people who are impatient, in a rush and under pressure, so they should be able to manage client expectations and anticipate and dissipate problems.

Junior project management staff dealing with difficult clients will need to have skills transferable to this position, but for senior positions, project management experience in the financial printing field is essential. It is also necessary to have good leadership skills to manage the team and lead by example.

For the position of senior manager of quality control, candidates should be able to work well with the project management department and manage team capacity. The incumbent needs to be detail-orientated, fastidious and able to read for context. The right person should also be capable of checking style, format, layout and font size in meticulous detail.

Junior quality-control positions are open to those with a degree in translation or languages and some experience in editing. In quality control, employees need to work in shifts, so Yeo is open to hearing from retirees and parents with small children who may prefer to spend daytime at home.

“Applicants to certain sales and marketing positions should be proactive and read up on the financial markets as this will help them talk with the clients. It about sharing, rather than just selling,” Yeo says.

Excellent English skills are required and Putonghua is a plus. Native English speakers who do not speak Cantonese may also apply.

Travel may be required to some extent, mainly involving China, due to the size of that market, Yeo adds.

The solid and reliable service at Toppan starts with a thorough induction, where new employees learn about procedures and how to look for information. They also get to work with different departments and visit other offices. Then there is on-the-job training, which takes one to three months, depending on the role.

The company also has a provision to help staff members’ ongoing education. There is an educational fund to improve language, computer and technical skills, while the company supports mid-level managers with tertiary courses such as MBAs.

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