By Agnes Ho
Some sayings suggest that if you pursue your dream with good intension and enthusiasm, you are likely to succeed. This is the case for Richard Hon.
“I was a hobbyist. I got into this business 24 years ago because I wanted opportunities to meet with marine fish and product suppliers around the world to learn more,” Hon says. “Over the years, it has grown into such a huge business that requires a lot of effort to manage.”
Besides Yat Wong Aquarium, Hon also owns another store named Ocean World Aquarium in Hong Kong. Yat Wong mainly sells marine fishes and corals, while Ocean World sells aquarium products, including tanks, filters, protein skimmers, heaters, chillers, supplements and food. Known as one of the largest marine fish importers in the world, Hon imports, on average, more than 200 species or more than 3,000 pieces per week. Most stocks are sold locally. A portion gets exported to other countries.
“Since we do such a high volume of live stock imports, we are able to sell them at very low prices, perhaps, the lowest in the world,” Hon says. “Other local or overseas stores can hardly compete with us in that aspect. We want to expand into the mainland China market to introduce more species and products to our fellow hobbyists.”
Hon imports several species from the U.S., of which the Queen Angelfish and Blue Angelfish are many local hobbyists’ favorites. He sells American-made products from brands including Seacham, API, Voltech and Brightwell. In addition to food, liquid supplements and protein skimmers are the most popular items in the store.
“I make stocking decisions based on 1) necessity; 2) customer request; 3) popularity,” Hon says. “To me, it’s more important to sell products that are practical and functional.”
Hon attends several international trade shows including Interzoo in Germany, China International Pet Show in China and Aquarama in Singapore. He is planning to attend Global Pet Expo in the U.S. in February.
Hon earns his reputation as a reliable marine fish importer and exporter with more than two decades of experience and hard work.
“I have heard negative comments from some overseas markets about livestock exports handled in Hong Kong,” Hon says. “Unfortunately that’s not an accurate representation to our industry. I hope our efforts will generate positive influence and bring back confidence to overseas buyers.”
AT A GLANCE
Name of Business: Yat Wong Aquarium
Location: G/F, 195 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, China
Size: About 1,000 square feet
Owner: Richard Hon
Years in Business: 24
Product and Services Offered: Marine fishes, corals, aquariums, filters, protein skimmers, filtration materials, heaters, chillers, temperature controllers, lighting, pumps, seawater mixes, water conditioner, food, supplements and magazines.
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