Executive Spotlight

Our Executive Spotlight series features interviews with accomplished business leaders from around the world and puts a focus on insights, ideas and perspectives that shape organisational culture and performance across key industry sectors.

Hazel Cheng, Vice President of Human Resources for JinSheng Industry Group

Hazel Cheng joined JinSheng Industry Group in April 2012 after a long career with multinationals. She began her career as a University lecturer and joined a Sino-US Joint Venture and subsequently Ingersoll-Rand as HR Manager. She was quickly promoted to HR Director for Asia Pacific for the Security Technology division. With a new chapter in her career Hazel shares with us the challenges facing her and the industry as globalization brings a new set of challenges.

Could you give us a brief summary of JinSheng business?

Jinsheng Industry is a Chinese company that has been growing internationally. It was established in 2000 in Jiangsu Province of China. Currently the Company operates across a range of business sectors including textiles, machinery, construction, real estate and biological engineering, and operates 77 production factories and branches all over the world. The group is present in more than 132 countries and regions and currently employs about 10,000 people (50% of which are located in China). Its annual sales revenue reached RMB15 B (USD2.5B).

In 2011, it invested Euro 100M acquiring a 50% share of the world’s leading machine tools manufacturer in Germany. In 2013, it acquired the natural fibers machinery and textile components business units from a Switzerland-based high-tech industrial group specialising in machine and plant engineering in textile manufacturing, drive, vacuum, coating, and advanced nanotechnology. The transaction is structured in the form of asset and share purchase deals for a total consideration of USD 683M approximately.

How has globalisation impacted JinSheng?

For some Chinese companies, the ways of going global is to purchase multi-nationals companies that are ripe for take-over, due to a weak financial performance. This is done to minimise the initial cost of investment, but its very critical to turn the acquisition’s performance around very quickly to minimise further losses. Jinsheng is however going to market with the eye on acquiring businesses that perform better and that are more stable. This is why the newly merged businesses in Germany and Swiss are win-win opportunities for both sides. Globalisation enables us to take the global market as a whole, exchanging and allocating global resources in the areas of talent, technology, and market and that is what we really need for further growth.

And how about you? How has globalization impacted your own career?

My current role is more challenging than ever before. Don’t get me wrong – I love challenges! I’m also fortunate to work with people who share this sentiment. JinSeng has changed my perception of my role in the company: I’m no longer just an employee, I now feel like it is not a job, it is a career. The challenge of being part of helping to bring a Chinese private company into the global market is extremely satisfying and rewarding – I feel that nothing else I would ever do would come close to this.

Having said that the main challenges I have encountered are:

  • Cultural differences and conflict – there are always cultural bias and we have to be sensitive to this when entering another market.
  • How far we can go and how much we can achieve, depends to some extent on how many people in the organisation share the same dreams and values. We are only as good as our people and it takes a long time to grow your teams to reflect the DNA of the company.
  • Last but not least, it takes a longer time to embed our vision, mission, and value into our employees’ daily behavior. We must have a long-term plan. Our business is expanding tremendously and we need to have workforce that is united by our vision, mission and value; the best way to quickly reach that stage has become one of the toughest challenges.
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