Cheong Fuit Foo is an inspiration in an industry that may be misunderstood by many.
His passion for this particular industry has allowed him to take Nu Skin to greater heights, imbuing the
business with credibility and integrity thanks to his drive and inspirational leadership.
Words from the winner
Making All Things Nu
No Foo-ling around when it comes to market growth.
The direct selling industry in Malaysia has a sales turnover of more than RM18 billion a year derived from over 350 registered direct selling companies. Nu Skin products are sold to consumers through a global network of Sales Leaders, with the company offering
rewarding business opportunities and innovative products to empower people to improve or transform their lives. The company’s Pharmanex has been named the number one Weight Management and Wellbeing Brand in Malaysia by Euromonitor for two consecutive years.
General Manager Cheong Fuit Foo graduated from the University of Malaya with a BA (honors) Economics degree. He has been involved in the Malaysia’s direct selling industry for 31 years. “This may sound biased, but I admire the founders of Nu Skin: Blake M. Roney, Sandie N. Tillotson and Steve J. Lund for their vision and growth mindset. My father passed away when I was ten. My mother single handedly raised our family. She emphasized integrity and the importance of taking responsibility for the decisions we made and things that we did. That has become a big part of my leadership personality,” muses Cheong.
He believes there is not a single leadership style that will guarantee success, as different organizations and different circumstances require different styles of leadership. “What served me well in terms of leadership is my ability to change my style as circumstances change. When the company was still young, with inexperienced staff, a more hands-on and authoritative style of management suited the situation. As the company progressed, I moved towards empowerment and delegation of responsibility. In Nu Skin, the distributor force is of very high caliber, with many of them professionals and successful business people. In this case we need to be able to harness their ability and provide a different type of leadership to avoid clashes of personality,” he says.
The Petaling Jaya-born top executive says that issues pertaining to human resource are always delegated to the HR department for expert handling. However, he believes personally engaging with staff and providing them the assurance that the management is behind them should they need assistance, is also a leader’s responsibility.
Nu Skin was recognized as one of the best places to work by Direct Selling News for the fourth consecutive year during the publication’s annual awards dinner. The company is also ranked seventh on the DSN Global 100 list of the top revenue-generating direct selling companies. Cheong shares that the most challenging time for Nu Skin was when the company hit hyper growth, doubling growth every two years for four consecutive. “We faced some challenges getting our infrastructure ready to meet high growth. The most difficult part was getting and training our staff force to be able to provide the level of service expected from us. There was tremendous stress to ramp up our staff force as well, but what I personally learnt from that is that nothing is impossible if we put thought and passion into the things that we do. It builds the ‘never give up mentality.’”
“What served me well in terms of leadership is my ability to change my style as circumstances change. When the company was still young, with inexperienced staff, a more hands-on and authoritative style of management suited the situation. “