Expansion of offices in Asia challenges PC-Doctor exec
Suzanna Mak prepared carefully, going so far as learning the difference between the Chinese and the Japanese bows of greeting, but she still had plenty to learn as she oversaw the expansion of the Asian operations of PCDoctor Inc.
Like the fact that the salary expectations of executives in Taiwan include a company-paid vacation each year.
And more prosaically, that telephone discussions across a 14-hour time gap unfailingly mean that one participant in the call is tired.
Mak, the chief operating officer of Renobased PC-Doctor, spent the better part of six months preparing to open offices in Japan and Taipei.
The company provides diagnostic software to makers of computer hardware, and Asian manufacturers are so dominant that PCDoctor felt compelled to get closer to its customers.
Companies in the Asian Pacific region account for more than 70 percent of the world’s personal computers and an even higher percentage of computer components.
“We simply can’t ignore the importance of the market,”Mak said a few days ago.”We have to recognize the opportunity.”
But where to start? How to decide what services should be offered in Asian offices? And find skilled executives to lead the effort? “It’s daunting,”Mak acknowledged.”It’s been a lot of work.” She started by talking with the company’s existing customers and worked every personal contact she could find legal counsel and accountants among them.
Once PC-Doctor defined the scope of its expansion in Asian nations,Mak relied on economic development authorities think of the Asian version of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada to narrow the number of possible locations.
But settling on new offices in Taipei and Japan was only the first step.More important, Mak needed to find experienced executives to head the offices.
“Through the process of starting your program, through networking you’re led to people,” she said.
The sort of folks PC-Doctor wanted to hire needed a track record of performance never has checking references been more important, Mak said as well as the adaptability to work in two cultures.
Takeshi Takeuchi, who will manage PCDoctor Japan K.K., is a former senior product marketing executive for HP Japan.
Jerry Chiu, who’s responsible for the PC-Doctor International Inc.
office in Taipei, has more than 10 years of sales management experience with Asian and American technology companies.
“You have to know what you’re looking for,” Mak said.And she learned to communicate carefully.
She learned, for instance, that she might say “yes” as an acknowledgement that she understands a speaker only to learn that the speaker thought the “yes” signaled agreement.
And that careful communication becomes all the more important across multiple cultural boundaries and time zones.
The communication channels will be put to the test in coming months as PC-Doctor follows up on the opening of the Asian offices with the creation of localized versions of its software and supporting materials in Japanese and Chinese.
“I think our state’s done a nice job of laying out target industries and in-demand professions. To me, it seems like those really capture where our national economy and global economy is headed.”