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The secret of alliance for succeeding in China

Wang Yangfa

IPACS System Integration Company has developed in China for 15 years, and it has won 73,000,000 Singapore Dollar of business revenue in China.

Mr. Huang Shennan (Company President) said: We believe that companies of Singapore shall establish strategic alliance in order to acquire sustainable development in China.

Through 15 years striving in China, IPACS System Integration Company has won 73,000,000 Singapore Dollars of business revenue, and over 500 customers.

When Mr. Huang Shennan establishing IPACS with a number of classmates in 1983, computer application was still in an enlightenment stage in Singapore. Without rich and powerful support behind, they have insisted on fully developing in China by their confidence of the Chinese market.

It is inseparable from the traditional trade and transportation hub status enjoyed by Singapore, the application of computer technology, the background of Huang Shennan before running his own business, and the target market area picked by IPACS at the beginning that IPACS is capable of going abroad.

Acknowledge the Opportunity of Overseas Market

When interviewed, IPACS Asian President Huang Shennan revealed that he worked in Singapore Airlines after graduated and became an Information Technology Manager of the business development department when he left the company 5 years later. He had been responsible of airline freight system, so that possessed profound knowledge of airline freight and established a wide range of relation with freight companies.

In early 1980s, computerization plan was implemented in Singapore. Acknowledged the business opportunity by seeing manual document treatment and application of typewrite in many freight companies, Huang Shennan established IPACS with a number of classmates in 1983.

They sold computers at daytime, and developed software suitable for local freight company at night at the beginning. The company had been loss for two years. They turned loss into gain till the software for freight industry was developed. IPACS became one of the suppliers of TradeNet to provide software to customers with its foundation established in the freight industry when TradeNet was promoted in Singapore in 1987~1988.

Find Trade Opportunity from Chinese Financial Industry Firstly

Many countries and companies still had no confidence in China in 1990, but Huang Shennan insisted on going back. He said: "Now, my view and decision of that time was proofed. It is easier to meet customers and decision makers at that time."

He believed that the market should be explored from Chinese financial industry firstly. Because local banks were using basic PC LAN that time, which was incapable of supporting cross-subbranch withdraw and deposit. Although telecommunication service approved, English was adopted by most foreign bank systems, which was not suitable for China.

In order to win this market, IPACS developed Chinese interface operated by IBM servo machine to enable servo machine support the Chinese operation in real, and provided network solution to demonstrate the system which supports withdraw from any subbranch of the bank.

Consequently, IPACS won a retail banking system contract from the Agricultural Bank of China, and helped the bank to provide "national deposit and withdraw" (deposit and withdraw from different subbranches) service. Value of the contract was over USD 2,000,000.

IPACS grasped the opportunity of Chinese airlines market. The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China planned to apply computer technology to administrate airline freight in 1993~1994, which provided Huang Shennan with opportunity to apply his experience and knowledge in this area.

He obtained the agent right of an Italian software used by Singapore Airlines previously, and developed a kind of technology to enable the mainframe to display in Chinese and English languages to solve the problem resulted from that this software was applied in large mainframe.

Drawn Up New Strategy

Apart from joined the National Computer System, Mr. Huang Shengnan has drawn up new strategy, so as to exert the company's advantages in the competition of public relation, added value and cost in the new marketing environment of China.

The P.R. is a precondition, which will effect the successful implementation of the project, and the technical condition (added value) is important as well.

Mr. Huang Shengnan said: "P.R. is important certainly, but the technology will show the power, the clients would make investment only for the sophisticated & valuable technology. And, the most important is we should fulfill the mission on schedule".

As for the cost, IPACS has hired local Chinese employee initially, and introduced the management mode from Singapore after localization, also explained the benefit and rationality for such doing.

Huang Shengnan said: "This was a combined mode, which was called Sino-Singapore Mode (combined the Singaporemanagement system and the local condition of China)". We are quite impersonal, we never think the natives lost to nonnatives, so we employed the natives to handle the company's management, in this way, besides the cost can be saved, also they could maintain the public relation for the company enduringly.