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TheEdge – Published 6 May 2021

The last 1 ½ years have been very challenging as the Covid-19 pandemic has upended the concept of business as usual for most entrepreneurs. Mary Chen, Beacon Hospital executive director, believes that crises will come and go, but what ensures the long-term survival of a business is love and  kindness.

She believes that even in the dog-eat-dog world of business, there is a place for love and kindness. Perhaps the most apparent expression of Chen’s philosophy is Beacon Hospital’s provision of affordable – and in some cases free – cancer treatment for those in need.

“If patients really have no money, then it’s free under our CSR (corporate social responsibility) program. When you see patients and their family members coming into the hospital, the helplessness that they exhibit and the pain in their eyes…it makes it very hard to reject them. It makes you want to provide them with the best doctors and the most advanced technologies to help them,” she says.


Love, then improve and innovate

When there is love and kindness among the employees, Chen says, they are motivated to do their best for the organization. Solidarity is built along the way and, as a result, the turnover rate is minimized.

The path ahead

A devout Christian, Chen says without her faith and belief in God, she would have not been able to weather the challenges and difficulties.

Chen’s plan is to expand and establish a Beacon Medical Centre in every state so that patients need not to travel to KL for treatment. At the same time, these hospitals can provide local low-income patients with free checkups and treatment. Plans are already underway to open a Beacon Medical Centre in Klang in the third quarter, in Kuantan and Seremban by the end of the year, and in Melaka next year.

There are also plans to develop the Beacon Hospital in PJ into a medical hub through the construction of a 200-bed hospital in the current location as well as other medical facility offering alternative treatment.

Chen also has plans to venture into the food business. “Most of what we eat now is imported, so I want to make some contribution to Malaysia’s agricultural industry,” she says, adding that Beacon Hospital has already begun selling antibiotic-free chickens grown on its natural farm. Beacon Chicken is fed a specially formulated feed, and are bred in a temperature-controlled farm with piped-in music to create a conducive growing environment.

Chen is keen to lend a helping hand to budding entrepreneurs through this new food venture, called Beacon Mart. To date, seven Beacon Mart outlets have been established – retailing organic produce, seafood from Sekinchan as well as Beacon Chicken products.

Through her words and deeds, Chen is showing that there is a place of love and kindness in business.

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