EDUCATOR – ENTREPRENEUR PAR EXCELLENCE
The year of the Dragon has ended on a wonderful note for leading early childhood advocate, Honorary Professor Dr K H Wang. In recognition of her work and contribution to the early childhood education, care and development field, Honorary Professor Dr Wang, Group Executive Director of Smart Reader® Worldwide, was recently conferred the Darjah Indera Makhota Pahang (DIMP) which carries the title Dato’.
The edu-preneur par excellence, who has been endorsed by the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) as the only Woman Entrepreneur in the country with the Most Number of Awards Won, has added yet another feather to her cap.
Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang received the state award from His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, in conjunction with his 82nd birthday at the Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan, Pahang in early February.
Besides the endorsement from the MBR, Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang has been conferred a total of 26 other awards that include the distinction of being named World Leader in Education, World Business Leader and Excellence in Business Leadership by the World Confederation of Business (WORLDCOB) during the BIZZ 2012 Awards.
Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang was also inducted into the Malaysia Achievement Hall of Fame and was bestowed the title of Woman Achiever of the Year for 2012. She also holds an honorary degree of Doctor in Education in recognition of Outstanding Achievement by the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
In the year 2010, the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation conferred her with the BrandLaureate – SME Entrepreneur of the year. In that same year, she also received the Stevie Award for Women in Business in New York, being named the Best Asian Entrepreneur.
Also in 2010, Malaysian Women’s Weekly magazine voted her as one of the Great Women of Our Time in Finance and Commerce sectors. Another women’s magazine, Her World, also voted her as one of the 50 Most Outstanding Women in the country. In 2009, Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang was declared the National Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia and SME Corporation, Malaysia.
Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang began her illustrious career in early childhood education in the late 1980s when she set up a child development centre, named Strawberry Hill® catering to children of expatriates. The core programme in the curriculum was the Smart Reader® English programme which impressed the foreign parents as they saw a marked progress in their children’s reading and speaking skills.
In the year 2000, Smart Reader Kids® and the Smart Reader Kids++® franchised programmes were established, and the Smart Reader® English programme still remain as the core of attraction.
As the leading preschool education provider in the country, with more than 300 Smart Reader Kids® and Smart Reader Kids++® centres nationwide, Smart Reader® Worldwide has been conferred more than 100 local and international awards, among them the prestigious Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Awards two years in a row, in 2011 and 2012.
Smart Reader® Worldwide has also been honoured by the Malaysian Franchise Association with several awards, namely, International Homegrown Franchisor of the Year in 2005 and 2007; Most Popular Franchise of the Year in 2006 and 2007; Homegrown Franchisor of the Year and Franchise of the Year in 2006 and in the same year, the Malaysia-Canada Business Council (MCBC) conferred two Business Excellence Awards on Smart Reader® Worldwide in the categories of Industry Excellence for Franchisors and Best Branding Company. In the year 2010, Smart Reader® Worldwide once again awarded the Franchisee of The Year by Malaysian Franchise Association.
With her vision and entrepreneurial acumen, Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang, together with Chief Executive Officer of Smart Reader® Worldwide and life partner, Dr Richard Ong, AMP, have taken Smart Reader® Worldwide to the pinnacles of success.
In the pipeline, are expansion plans to China, Vietnam, Cambodia and several other Asian regions. The future looks good and promising with the winning combination of Honorary Professor Dato’ Dr Wang and Dr Ong, AMP at the helm.