A delegate at a Knowledge Exchange Wales event had their business problem solved by a local entrepreneur and guest speaker, Phil Lake.
Mr Lake, Chief Executive of Lakeside Security, spoke at the business innovation network’s Trading Places event – aimed at helping Welsh businesses to access markets in China and Hong Kong – to share his extensive experience in importing and manufacturing.
Also speaking were Sam Yuan of telecommunications giant, Huawei, Adela Liew of Invest Hong Kong, Bjorn Segerblom of Hong Kong Science Park, and Mark Jones of the China-Britain Business Council. Following the formal talks at the breakfast meeting, a question and answer session raised a query from a delegate interested in importing a small volume of goods from China, but was hampered by the large cost of the import container.
With eleven years of experience in importing goods from China, Mr Lake solved the delegate’s problem by offering to share his expertise, contacts and containers. He said: “Over the last decade I have been able to build several successful businesses due to my contacts in China. I am constantly faced by critics insinuating that I am taking jobs away from the Welsh economy by using Chinese manufactured parts, but the fact remains that my businesses would not exist and employ so many local people if I had not first discovered how to keep my manufacturing costs to a minimum by using the imported parts.
“If companies are unsure about importing then they can start with small quantities until they are satisfied with quality and service. I would anticipate that most have just one supplier for many products, so why not have two suppliers competing with each other?
“We have to understand that jobs can be created in our economy by using international suppliers for parts. Importing parts from China and Hong Kong can mean huge savings for manufacturers and create Welsh companies with the potential to become internationally successful.”
Ceri Jones, Director of Knowledge Exchange Wales and Deputy Head of Swansea University’s Department of Research and Innovation, chaired the event. He said: “Wales has to realise the potential of the China and Hong Kong markets, not only for manufacturing, but for the research and development opportunities available through the huge, and still growing, markets – as well as the sheer scale of the sales opportunities available.
“This is a topic that is alien to many Welsh businesses, and something that Swansea University has been trying to get industry to notice for a long time. It is our hope that this Knowledge Exchange Wales event will have opened some eyes to the opportunities out there.
“We’ve also had a real success story here today – where a businessman has left the event with a real company issue solved by an expert sharing his knowledge.”
Delegates at the event, which included around 30 businesses, were impressed with the resources and expertise of the speakers at the event, and the networking session was met with much enthusiasm.
Mr Lake, who would like to see more successful business ambassadors leading other businesses toward success, and less reliance on Government initiatives, wants to share his success and help others to replicate it – and a workshop for manufacturers to learn more about the opportunities in the China and Hong Kong markets is in the pipeline.
To view the video of Mr Lake’s presentation please click the link below.
Businesses interested in attending should contact [email protected] or 01792 606060.
The next Knowledge Exchange Wales event, Increase Profits by Sharing Knowledge, will take place at the Village Hotel, Swansea on the 25th May 2010,
and is open to all businesses. More information is available at www.kewales.com.