ICONASIA, We Bridge Asia!

WORLD MARKET, October 2006 edition

Dream of A CEO


Creating a common oriental market

Deven has worked in GE for 27 years, he rose through ranks to join the Japanese Board of Directors for GE Yokogawa Medical Systems (GEYMS), the first Indian to have achieved in 21-years history of this joint venture. However Deven said “I have decided to leave! I have worked in 22 countries in Asia for the past 32 years.”

Deven finally started his own business, given up the title and high salary. He established ICONASIA in Tokyo and Shanghai in 2003, connecting businesses in China, India and Japan with European business.
Although this not in accordance with his original dreams, but Deven said it is only a concept when dream starts, plan and strategy is fixed and not changed, only integrating with reality that dreams can come true.

Although Deven does not stay in China every day, he constantly pays attention to China. Deven sees great potential in China. He came to China in 1982 looking for suitable suppliers. He stayed in China for two weeks, visited more than 20 suppliers in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen but with no results. However, things have changed now; He has brought Chinese suppliers to Germany. When German people saw the quality of the Chinese products they were amazed.

Each coin has two sides:  one side is India and the other side is China. IC in the company name represent India and China, they are the two side of the coin. India and China both have contributed to the development of Asian economy. This is also the original idea when Deven established the company.

However, only having the co-operation between India and China is not complete, 21st century does not belong to developed countries such as America or Europe; it belongs to unions of different country. Japan is well developed in fundamental technology and car industries. Japan’s success greatly depends on their technology improvement; finally they also have abundant funds. Japan also has very big influence towards Asian economy. “I hope India, China and Japan can form a common market, our company name also expressed this hope. Although this may not realize during my life time, but I am optimistic about this.”

Level of globalization of Chinese enterprises will continue to grow

I asked him for suggestions on how Chinese business enter overseas market; he said Chinese businesses should learn how to deal with foreign businesses. The current development of Chinese companies present two features, one is dealing with international companies, such as GE and Ford, such companies then services the international market. Second is that the Chinese company service international market they, however due to the difference of language and culture, difficulties still present. “But I felt after five and half years of stay here, when Chinese companies became more global they will develop better.”

30 years traveling career in Asia, Deven has abundant and in-depth understanding of the Asian market. Deven has his own understanding and ideas about Asian market. “If Chinese company wishes to enter Japan, they must understand Japanese company places focus in continuous improvement of quality, then it is the on-time delivery system. Chinese product prices are reasonably competitive where Indian labor is relatively lower, which is about 10-13 RMB/hr, this varies by region. However China needs Indian market, India also needs Chinese market; the three countries are complementary to each other.

Will there be cultural differences? Deven answered, I don’t feel much difference when I am in India and Japan, when I came to China, I feel the same. I have been in Japan, Taiwan, now to mainland China. I believe we have not much cultural differences, honest, friendly, trustful and patience are our common quality.
Zhang Juan, Editor Journalist