20.04.2010 - LucaNet starts operations in Shanghai
In essence, Lan Ke translates as "blue technology". Blue is not only consistent with the LucaNet design; in Chinese culture it also stands for loyalty, and also for growth and hope, a fact that delights Oliver Schmitz, Board Member of LucaNet AG: "After all, what particularly characterises us is innovation and closeness to the customer, so the name is more than appropriate!" The market in China is vast and that is not only due to the country’s size. Even in the crisis year, economic growth reached around 8 %; for 2010 growth is estimated to be even higher. "About 70,000 companies need to produce group accounts. In the area of financial controlling, there is a need to catch up, particularly in the case of state companies, because they are under a legal obligation to draw up financial planning documentation", Schmitz explains. And in contrast to international competitors, who only offer their products in English, the LucaNet software is available completely in Chinese. "That was a challenge, of course", says Schmitz, but anyone who really wants to make things happen where it counts, he noted, also needs to adapt to the circumstances existing there. Particularly with regard to small companies or corporate groups, this is very important because the staff do not all have sufficient knowledge of English.
To make sure that stumbling blocks such as cultural and business-specific differences do not make problems for the company, the new organisational unit is to get local management. Shiran Wang and Chi Zhang, both of whom have studied business administration in Germany, have the task of guiding the company’s operations in Shanghai and building up the Asian business. For several years now, Wang has been a consultant in the subsidiary office in Moenchengladbach (western Germany), thus learning the business by starting from the very basics. The Chinese market is self-contained, Wang explains - that is why, particularly at the start, contacts are everything. "It’s only those who know the right people that have a chance." In April, Wang and Zhang are on the spot in China for three weeks, to get to know the first prospective customers, to prepare the set-up of the business and – of course – to develop even more contacts. Just as it has done in the past, LucaNet wishes to pursue the build-up of the new unit on a sustainable basis. "Growth at any price is not the thing for us", Schmitz points out. For that reason, the 2010 business plan makes provision for only a few customers initially. The real market entry is set to take place in 2011. "However, I am of the opinion that we will certainly outperform the planned level for 2010", Schmitz points out optimistically.