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Another challenge they faced in China was the difference in business culture.
According to Mr Lew [executive director of Wong Fong Engineering Works], “sometimes you have to read between the lines” in a culture that is less straightforward than Singaporeans are used to.
One lesson Wong Fong learnt from their foray into China is the need to “hire the Chinese to sell to the Chinese”, observing that Chinese purchasing managers seem more inclined to deal with other Chinese locals, as opposed to a Singaporean sales personnel working there.”
He says, “Chinese companies are at the crossroads and are hungry to move up the value chain. The next phase of growth for them is through innovation, owning products and brands”.
He believes that China will be the most influential economy in the next 20 years, and that Wong Fong’s presence in the market now gives them access to first-hand intelligence of the latest developments and market trends.
Read more from Enterprise Singapore’s Success Stories.
Credit: Enterprise Singapore