Admesy’s high-speed take-off in Shenzhen tech region

Admesy is one of Europe’s specialists in measuring colour and light, offering essential expertise to tv, monitor or smartphone manufacturers. After realizing the potential of China’s Pearl River Delta market, Admesy decided to establish local presence. Within weeks, the company had its own staff operating from an office in Shenzhen. Shortly after that, the company went ‘full throttle’ in its own, refurbished office – ready to expand its business. CEO Steven Goetstouwers explains how Admesy took off at this speed.

Admesy is a young (founded in 2006) and successful Netherlands-based company, offering instruments that test and measure colour and light in all environments, ranging from the R&D lab to the production floor. Admesy’s technologies are particularly interesting to large manufacturers of LCD and LED panel displays. “These may encounter variations in for example colour, luminance and flicker levels during the production process. To ensure high quality products it is important to keep track of and correct eventual changes between and variations in displays”, Steven Goetstouwers explains.

Presence in China

Admesy’s CEO realised that, after working with local distributors for some time, his company should have a real presence in what is probably the largest production area of displays in the world, the Pearl River Delta. “We were in hurry, eager to make our mark in this region. We aimed to shortcut the complex, lengthy process of establishing our own legal entity and the red tape that is attached to it. We were looking for a tried and tested – and obviously: fully legal – way to get started in this market in the shortest possible way. We found that way, by piggybacking on a local expert business that offers market entry services.”

First steps in China

Nathan Jansen, GM of 1421 Consulting in Shenzhen, specializes in the guidance that Goetstouwers was looking for – assisting companies at their first steps in China. His staff guided Admesy with practical services like setting up an office – on the 1421 premises. It effectively took Admesy under its wings, from arranging the paperwork to HR. Jansen and his colleagues scanned the region for suitable office locations and advising on rental rates in the region and even negotiating better deals. “They even found a contractor to refurbish the place and monitored the work for us”, says Goetstouwers.

Meeting candidates

The ‘piggyback’ approach even delivered Admesy the right staff. “A specialised headhunter, (Worklife Recruitment – referred to by Nathan) organized a full Sunday of meeting candidates. At the end of the day, contracts were drafted by 1421, and I could fly back home.” Today, Steven Goetstouwers is happy to report that Admesy’s four employees – all on 1421 payroll - do a great job in overseeing sales and customer service in the region from the company’s own office in Shenzhen’s Technology Town. Is Admesy China standing on its own feet? “We are working on that”, says Goetstouwers, “with the establishment of our own legal entity – probably a WFOE – as the most logical next step. We have Nathan Jansen and his staff to takes up there. Gradually, we will be able to stand on our own feet.”

Next steps

There are dozens of ‘next steps’, like dealing with growth and like organizing distribution. What about protecting Admesy’s technologies and IP in this competitive environment. “We have taken our protection measures and seek advice when we need to take action. On a day to day base, it is hard to keep track of piracy. I see companies that shamelessly copy products and even borrow our own pictures from our website. Our approach is to keep developing our technology and products to stay ahead. It is good to know that the large, established manufacturers choose to rely on and work closely with the real inventors – like Admesy – instead of relying on pirates.”

Photo credits: Admesy 

#1: Admesy’s Shenzhen team. Left: Steven Goetstouwers.

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