Grant Boydell is managing director of Systems Union Limited, whose Sun Systems accounting software packages are widely used in the region. He opened the company's Hongkong headquarters in November, and moved permanently to the territory with his wife and newborn daughter in January. Monday I WAKE up in a hotel room in Singapore, where the company is today launching its new regional office. It's not a big office, there will be a manager and a small staff, but this is a significant occasion because it moves the company closer to customers in an important and quickly developing area. I know it's going to be a hectic day. For one thing there's big media launch in the Singapore Hyatt Regency hotel, with reporters from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. My job will be to tell them why this office is a positive step for the company, for Singapore and for the Southeast Asian region - and I'm prepared to do that. I've scheduled most of my time in Singapore to spend as much time as possible with our software distributors (in order to help them understand and effectively promote SUL products) and with customers and potential customers (in order to let them know thecompany is interested in making and keeping them happy). I spend the evening with our Singapore agents at an Indian restaurant in the Hotel Imperial. Tuesday Up early, quick breakfast and then back to Hongkong. Since I've been away, the afternoon starts with a mass of mail, telephone calls to return and faxes. As a general rule I try to read most of the mail and faxes that come in from customers and to find out if there are any cases where my personal attention might help speed things along. By late afternoon it is time for the fortnightly briefing with our public relations advisers. I rely on them to supply me with the local and regional marketing knowledge I haven't yet acquired. So this is a fairly intense two to three-hour meeting, during which I'm debriefed on the Singapore opening and we review future marketing plans. I look forward to spending the night in my new and not-quite-yet furnished apartment in Pokfulam, with my wife and four-month old daughter. Wednesday I habitually wake up at 4.30 or 5 am, a legacy from my years as a competitive cyclist (I was on the reserve list for the Australian team in the 1972 Olympics). I still love cycling and find I can get out two or sometimes three mornings a week and put in a few kilometres on the road. At 5.30 am there's not much to worry about in the way of traffic, and I think I'm safer on the roads here than many other cyclists are anyway: I'm 1.88 metres, and many drivers seem to perceive me as being about the same size as their cars. The roads on the western and southern sides of the island offer some beautiful and challenging courses. After the ride I head for SUL headquarters in Central Plaza and spend a day checking operations and reviewing progress on some of our larger accounts, like Hongkong Bank, Inchcape, Jardine Fleming and the Swire Group. Reports from the Singapore office indicate they are already busy, and things are moving along nicely. Thursday Most of the morning is spent with the sales department, identifying prospective customers, which tend to be multi-company corporations or groups with a similar structure which have definite reporting requirements, and which need multi-currency and often Chinese or Japanese capabilities. What we provide is software that is comprehensively capable of doing that, which also being user-friendly - and I'm pleased to say SunSystems software is popular, being installed in more than 7,500 sites in 120 countries, including more than 400 in Hongkong alone. At lunch, I slip away into the back streets of Wan Chai where I buy a new vase for the office. This is not a high-priority item, but picking one out and haggling over the price takes my mind off the computer software business and is a surprisingly relaxing thing to do. Friday Another bike ride this morning, which braces me for a day of preparation for an upcoming Systems Union Limited international management meeting in London. These three-day meetings are held quarterly, and the last one was here in Hongkong soon after we opened our Asian regional headquarters - which gave me a chance to play host and show off our new operation. This time I prepare my reports to take to head office, and also prepare for another important meeting - the UNIX International Hongkong Marketing Group. SUL has just recently become the ninth member of this organisation, along with companies like UNISYS and ICL. This evening is fun, because it's our monthly staff dinner, at which all our employees and their wives, husbands, partners, significant others, boyfriends, girlfriends or whatever are attending. SUL believes this kind of social contact with staff is essential to maintaining a happy and productive office. I might add also that the company is most generous in the matter of employee vacations: Not long ago we took half our staff skiing in Colorado;in a few weeks the other half will be headed for a beach in Sardinia. Saturday What, already? Time moves so quickly in Hongkong you must run full-tilt to keep up. And here, on a day of the week when almost no one's working in Australia, my staff is in the office early, showing typical Hongkong enterprise and intensity. Today, SUL sales director Ashley Clarke and I - the only two gweilos in the Hongkong office - sign up for Cantonese lessons. I know this is not going to be easy, but I want to acknowledge that I'm here on a long-term basis, that SUL Hongkong is a local company and that we realise this is part of China. Most importantly, we want to deliver this message directly to our staff. This afternoon, the major project will be a personal one: we're finally taking delivery of the furniture that will fill our new apartment. This wasn't easy to obtain (two-metre beds are not a common household item in Hongkong). I probably need to unwind by listening to music on Sunday and prepare myself for another exciting week ahead of me, after today's exhausting task of unpacking and positioning the furniture in our apartment.