Martin Hedes, who has for the past 5 years been the driving force behind the expansion of Nilfisk-Advance across ten countries within Asia Region, has left Nilfisk-Advance by the end of May, in order to pursue a career as a consultant in his own company CONZULCO Ltd.
Martin Hedes’ many years of experience in Asia will be made available to companies in Denmark through his partnership with another Dane, Henrik Hvilshøj of CONZULCO ApS in Birkeroed, Denmark.
“Henrik Hvilshøj has many years of experience as a business consultant in Denmark. I don’t have that,” Martin Hedes concedes.
“My area of expertise is in expanding sales in an organized, sustainable manner here in Asia, where I have been the director and board member in ten Nilfisk-Advance related companies during the years of 2005-2010. This assures a very hands-on, bottom-line approach to what we are offering Danish companies interested in expanding in this region,” he says.
Martin Hedes will continue to be based in Shanghai, where CONZULCO Ltd. is registered. This gives clients in Denmark a near perfect combination of a business consultant at home and a man “on the spot” in Asia.
“We have already done some research and visited a number of potential companies in Denmark and the response was overwhelmingly positive,” says Martin Hedes.
“Especially many mid-sized companies have a huge untapped potential in Asia. Most of them also know it – they just have not been able to take the next step to realize this potential. We can help them over this hurdle.”
“We focus on sales expansion and new growth in developing countries, like in China, where we are based, and also in India, Thailand as well as other parts of South East Asia. Countries where we have the specific expertise to build up and develop markets.”
Martin Hedes is extremely well positioned to advise on market access across Asia, having worked over the past 17 years in business cultures as diverse as Japan and Korea, India, Thailand and China.
“What matters for us is to insure that we create high value for our customers. Our contribution should be able to be monitored and documented on the companys bottomline as profit.”
No short cuts
Although the bottom line counts, Martin Hedes is not prepared to compromise on his “territory management” approach to create a “quick fix”.
“We don’t do short cuts,” he says categorically.
“Preparation is the foundation for success. Even if our customer is prepared to base his decisions on an insecure background and with high risk, we will go very far to persuade him to create the right foundation for a successful implementation.”
The first step is always an analysis of the current situation. How is the actual market situation, the market share in comparison with the full market, the total market potential for the company’s product lines? Do we know the full customer potential in details in the most important segments, where the company operates today? Have we identified the most optimal and right sales channels in their respective segments and geographical areas? Are these the right sales channels for the company’s products, market potential, and the capability of the sales channels or dealers? Are sales resources allocates optimally and can the actual results be measured?
The next step is not the implementation, but establishing control of the project.
“It is surprising, how often the difference between success and not having success can often be traced back to the competence in controlling a project through methods like scorecards, communication tools, etc. The aim is to secure that everybody knows the objectives, responsibility, tasks, partial goals and final goals of the project.”
As for the “implementation” phase, Martin Hedes adds, that for him, this is not a separate phase but already starts during analysis and project planning, where the implementation process is usually simulated.
“Good solutions are always individual solutions,” he adds.
“Any solution must be adapted to the individual company and its culture, values and business strategy to be long term sustainable. Short term solutions are often the most easy, but not always the best long term. The trick is to see the difference,” he smiles.
The potential for CONZULCO is big. According to DI – Federation off Danish Industries, there will be over 140 million. prosperous Chinese within the next decade, and China will evolve to become Denmark’s third largest export market.
Already today, China and India, along with other developing countries account for more than 30% of global GDP growth. While everything indicates that Denmark’s traditional markets will continue to have slow growth next year, notably China and India will continue to rumble forward with annual double digit growth rates.
“The first Danish companies that established themselves on the Asian markets have all had to accept that it is not enough with a good product and/or a local representative. You have to be active in the market and act in a very unfamiliar competitive market with fundamentally different decision structures. Possibly also accept that local production and sourcing must be incorporated in an overall growth solution,” Martin Hedes says.
“We have so many unique Danish companies that are emerging on the world arena of brands, and personally I see it as a privilege if I could be part of helping the best of them achieve their optimal position here in Asia,” he says.
“I am quite excited in my new position to be able to help small and medium sized Danish companies develop their potential in Asia. Restrained by their size and limited resources, they are are typically at a disadvantage compared to the large corporations which are all well established out here.”
“Personally, I see a far greater potential for small and medium sized Danish companies in focusing on expanding their sales on the Asia region than in moving Danish jobs to production facilities in Asia.”