Finding space to expand in a new world order

Updated: 2013-09-05 07:23

By Wei Tian in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Reading the market seems to be key to success of global service office provider

Belgium-based Oleon NV, a leading producer of oleochemicals - chemicals derived from plant and animal fats - in Europe, has the largest market share in Europe but it was only last year that it launched its first brand in China, with a team of just three people.

Their office is located in a Regus business center in Lujiazui, Shanghai and the decision to do so is part of a growing trend in China, where flexibility is essential in today's business climate.

"The period of reckless expansion for foreign companies in China is coming to an end," said Jason Ye, China general manager for Oleon NV. "Nowadays, the expansion to new markets such as China is mainly to compensate for the effects of economic turmoil."

Ye's team share the floor with dozens of other small IT and trading companies that are all clients of Regus holding different leases. They share meeting rooms, a central reception, a business lounge and a pantry with coffee, tea and so on.

Finding space to expand in a new world order

Beijing Financial Street and Jianguomen Central Business District in China's capital city ranked third and fourth as the world's most expensive office areas in the first half of 2013. Provided to China Daily

Despite the small size of the team, Ye said he is looking to expand Oleon's annual sales in China to $30 million within the next three to five years, cashing in on the huge market potential for high-end industrial products in the wake of an increasing national income.

Surging office rentals in China's largest cities and a greater focus on costs amid a sluggish economy are reshaping companies' demands for their workplace, with efficiency and flexibility becoming keywords.

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