Joel Ma is Nova Global ICT (Hong Kong) Limited’s chief executive officer. He brings over 40 years of experience to Nova with a proven track record of success.
He has held several executive leadership roles during his career including his first 25 years of professional life at Cable & Wireless to enable the joint venture with Telstra that established REACH. He then spent 15 years as president of global business at CITIC Telecom International CPC and successfully drove the wholesale business with over HKD 2 billion in annual revenues.. He joined CoCoa Oriental Network as CEO in 2019 and took over his new responsibilities at Nova Global ICT (Hong Kong) Limited in 2021.
How can telecommunications technologies help humanity?
Information technology and the ability to connect and communicate is a fundamental part of how our society operates. Thanks to telecom advancements, daily communications like searching the Internet, calls,videos, and multimedia messaging have become integrated into our personal and business lives on a near-ubiquitous level. Students have access to learning opportunities outside of traditional schooling in multi dimensions. Today, you simply need a computer, smartphone, and the Internet to conduct a search, read a tutorial, or watch a how-to video on virtually any subject matter. Enterprises are now relying on telecommunications to foster operational efficiency and stimulate steady growth.
What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a new IT challenge, service providers are leading the effort for remote working, online learning, and social distancing. Around the world, telecom service providers have accelerated their digital transformation in different aspects like video communications, augmented reality, telemedicine, and autonomous driving.
What network related development will have the greatest impact in our industry?
A 5G network promises to be the bridge towards Industry 2.0. Low latency is important for anything that requires a true real-time reaction. 5G will be critical because it will enable unprecedented levels of connectivity, with five key functional drivers: superfast broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communication, massive machine-type communications, high reliability/availability, and efficient energy usage. Together, these defining features will transform many sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, public services, and health. Innovative businesses looking to use cutting-edge applications like AR, VR, or IoT will do so in a more meaningful way. 5G will continue to contribute to industrial advancement in three significant ways by: 1) enabling faster and effective inspections through predictive intelligence; 2) improving workplace and worker safety; and 3) enhancing operational effectiveness.
It is important for companies to continue to innovate their organization or offerings, and why?
We’re living in an ever-changing world; only continuous innovation can keep us active in the market. According to McKinsey’s global survey, 84% of executives say that their future success is dependent on innovation. Apart from the fact that innovation allows organizations to stay relevant in the competitive market, it also plays an important role in economic growth. The ability to resolve critical problems depends on new innovations and especially developing countries need it more than ever. We’ve witnessed many businesses be forced by the pandemic to dramatically change the way they operate; those that failed to adapt may disappear over time. However, innovation is not a slogan, we need systems, processes, capabilities, and leadership to make it happen.
How does PTC fit with your company’s goals or your overall career purpose?
It is satisfactory to realize that great minds think alike! That is why PTC is getting more and more popular with professionals around the globe sharing similar visions and goals: always striving to make our world a better place to live with technological advancement. I’ve been working in the global carrier business for the last 40 years in which I placed strong emphasis on collaboration with business partners around the world sharing similar values based on digital enhancement and ethical development. Nova Global ICT (Hong Kong) Limited is dedicated to providing quality ICT services connecting enterprises across the globe with continuous improvement to facilitate work productivity and quality of living. Likewise, PTC provides a cohesive community encouraging global industry leaders to meet, network, and contribute.
What would you share with those interested in becoming a PTC member?
I’ve participated at the PTC Annual Conference over the last 20 years and witnessed many evolutionary changes in our industry. PTC provided a valuable platform connecting shareholders globally across different industry sectors. Developing countries rely on new deployment as new digital technologies and creative solutions create huge opportunities to fight sickness, poverty, and hunger in the poorest regions of the world. Developed countries also rely on innovation to be able to solve their own problems to raise living standards and well-being. To make our earth a better place to live, let’s join PTC to exchange ideas and create opportunities through a partnership for a sustainable future.
What advice would you share with current and future graduates interested in this field?
Who can live without telecommunications nowadays? It’s incredible to think how much the world has changed. Thanks to the technologies and advanced telecommunications infrastructure to make a better world to live in. Innovations bring us to the forefront of digital communications and there’s so much more to be explored in this industry. The telecommunications field is a fast-paced industry that requires good problem-solving skills, staying up to date on industry trends that are changing the world we live in, as well as the ability to work well with a team.
Telecom companies are great starting points for new graduates and that means it is a great place for growing your professional and social networks. It’s also a fun place to work, with an exciting and engaging culture because innovation in this digital era never ends!
What is something that not that many people know about you?
I’ve always been a creative innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit building businesses from scratch. I worked for Cable & Wireless and HK Telecom for 25 years and was a pioneer in developing and managing the international data services. During that time, I formulated the pricing policy and transformed the product strategy for HK Telecom which had great influence and impacts for international data services development in the telecom industry for decades. After serving as several prestige telecom operators, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead another great organization to its next milestone. I am still passionate in channeling my four decades of technology and leadership experience to continue contributing and serving our partners in the industry.
About Nova Global ICT (Hong Kong) Limited
Established in 1996, Nova Global ICT (Hong Kong) Limited is a leading network communication services provider upholding the mission to provide a secured and reliable network for customers to build up their core competence based on an integrated digital platform. Our vision is to pursue excellence through positive brand equity, constantly create value for our customers, employees, society, and stakeholders.
Moving forward, building a positive brand equity is a key corporate initiative. The company will continue to put in R&D investment not only in critical network technology, but also in developing a sustainable application service-based network operating system (NOS) for continuous service enhancement.