There are two rules for doing business in China, according to Jack Perkowski, chairman and CEO of ASIMCO Technologies: Rule Number One - "Everything is possible" and Rule Number Two - "Nothing is easy."
Yet, 10 years ago, Perkowski went to China and developed what is now one of the most successful businesses in China. Recently, ASIMCO was named "one of "the 10 best employers in China."
He became successful by learning how the Chinese do business and developing his company to follow Chinese business practices. "You'll have a lot more success doing things the way they are done in China," said Perkowski during his keynote address at National Manufacturing Week.
Rather than bring American business standards and American managers to China, he suggests taking the Chinese market for what it is and to localize management by hiring mainland Chinese to run your company.
And don't worry about the language barrier. "People think that if you speak the langauge, you will understand China. But that's not true. They also think that if they don't speak Chinese, they can never understand China. But that's not true either," said Perkowski.
"I do not speak Chinese and he probably never will," he said. His suggestion is to find a good translator, someone that you can trust and that communicates the way you do.
In conclusion, Perkowski stated that China is in need of new technologies
in the areas of building affordable products, fuel efficiency and environmental issues. He believes that any American company that can come to China offering solutions to these problems can have a "leg up" in the China business economy. But, Perkowski says, "Get in now, before it's too late (in about 10 years)."