This article, written by Jennifer Tan (left, Director, Research & Products, Equities & Fixed Income, at the Singapore Exchange), originally was published in SGX's kopi-C: the Company brew series on 30 September 2015. The article is republished with permission.
Dr Victor Ng, the Chief Executive Officer of specialist medical group Singapore O&G, finds it easier to interpret a company’s profit and loss statement than an X-ray.
“As a GP, I don’t get to see that many X-rays. But my leisure reading during my traineeship consisted of books on charting, momentum trading and fundamental analysis, rather than fiction,” said the soft-spoken 55-year-old.
Thereafter, Ng was involved in various opportunities, ranging from producing a lifestyle magazine for doctors, to running a medical marketing company, serving as an advisor to a medical tourism business, and managing a group of established surgeons with various specialties.
In late 2010, he hatched a proposal to form a medical company specialising in healthcare for women, and after partnering with two gynaecologists – Dr Lee Keen Whye and Dr Heng Tung Lan – set up Singapore O&G in January 2011. The company was successfully listed on the Catalist Board in June.
“You may ask why Obstetrics and Gynaecology? That’s because it deals with a happy outcome. It also has a 50:50 mix of surgery and medicine, and not many specialties have that kind of an equal breakdown,” Ng added.
The government is basically doing the marketing for us. And in the best of times, or the worst of times, the total fertility rate is fairly stable. This means SO&G’s business is stable.
- Dr Victor Ng
The youngest in a family of four sisters and four brothers, Ng believes he was the result of an accidental conception.
“I was definitely an accident, being the last one. And my parents finally got it right, after so much trial and error,” he said, tongue firmly in cheek.
Other benefits of being the youngest include getting the best portions of food at family meal times, and occasional pampering by older siblings. One downside is that no one listens to the baby in the family, even if he is the CEO of a listed company.
“My siblings are ruled by whose voice is the loudest in the family, and I do not shout. Even now, I still do not have much say during arguments,” the father of a son, 26, and a daughter, 24, said with a grin.
Consumed by wanderlust, Ng spends his holidays traipsing around Europe and Asia, occasionally with his daughter in tow.
|♦ Making a Difference|
While he may not always call the shots at home, he certainly does at work. He is obsessive about patient care and attentive to detail.
“It’s everyone’s duty to ensure it achieves its vision and mission.”
Although the healthcare industry is relatively defensive and fairly recession-proof, challenges abound due to competition and the persistent shortage of qualified manpower, including nurses.
“There will always be competition from restructured hospitals. We need to remain competitive, but we compete on outcome and service, not necessarily on price,” Ng said.
And being in the enterprise of pregnancy and childbirth, SO&G is in a “prime area”, given the Singapore government’s attempts to lift the city-state’s total fertility rate (TFR) through its Baby Bonus scheme.
Singapore’s TFR stands at 1.25 as of last year, well below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.
“The government is basically doing the marketing for us. And in the best of times, or the worst of times, the TFR is fairly stable. This means SO&G’s business is stable,” he beamed.
Beyond the city-state, SO&G hopes to share expertise and collaborate with private and government entities in neighbouring countries like Cambodia to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates.
“Our neighbours are not experiencing the same quality of healthcare that we take for granted in Singapore. Regional infant mortality rates range from 10 to 20 per 1,000 live births, compared to Singapore’s one to three,” Ng said.
To build a regional footprint, the company is also exploring partnerships in China, and possibly opening up clinics in Myanmar and Vietnam.
Ng, who played hockey with a zest until his knees gave out, believes in investing time and effort to shape SO&G’s future.
“I believe that in everything we do, we must not give up too easily. If something is worth pursuing, we should pursue it with determination, despite all the hurdles we face.”
|Year ended 31 Dec
|Profit from operations||6.1||5.0||3.7||3.4|
|Net profit margin||32.3%||31.4%||36.1%||37.0%|
|Half year ended 30 Jun
|Profit from operations||6.2||3.2||91.0%|
|Net profit margin||37.4%||35.0%||2.4ppt|
Source: Company data
Singapore O&G Ltd
Singapore O&G operates as a specialist medical and surgical company with a focus in obstetrics and gynecology. It manages eight clinics including two in Parkway East Medical Centre, three in Gleneagles Medical Centre, one in Thomson Medical Centre, one in Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, and one at Cassia Crescent. Singapore O&G was founded in 2011 and is based in Singapore.
The company website is: www.sog.com.sg
Click here for the company's StockFacts page.
For its half year results ended 30 June 2016, click here.