2021 GCSA Special Award for Pandemic Response: Answering Covid-19 Challenge with 180 Years of Love


In 1841, A.S. Watson Group was founded as a small dispensary in Hong Kong, with a mission to care for people’s health and wellbeing. In our early days, we offered free medicines to the needy, and established medical scholarships to nurture talents in healthcare. We built our first Watsons Water plant to provide distilled water to the local community when plague struck the city in the early 1900s. The spirit to love, care and serve has been deeply ingrained in A.S. Watson’s 180 years heritage.

2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges brought on by a global pandemic. Among the local communities where A.S. Watson operates, Covid-19 has affected all walks of life. In a time when health became a critical imperative, A.S. Watson felt an obligation to channel excitement over our own 180th anniversary into supportive actions for the particular localities where we operate.

Since 2020, A.S. Watson Group has provided emergency relief assistance valued at around USD10 million, to ensure the underprivileged has the food they need, providing the necessary medical equipment and professional services to alleviate the suffering of people in the community. The initiative has helped over 1 million people around the world. Dedicated to being a responsive and receptive employer, we put in place various creative and motivational staff programmes to give a strong boost to the physical and emotional well-being of our staff teams, helping to pull off a competent team to reach out and support the local communities in such challenging times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s mental wellbeing was at risk due to the extensive lockdown. Global Smile Campaign was launched to promote a culture of happiness, encourage customers and colleagues to foster positivity and raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.