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China: How can you leverage its talent for your growth?
If you want to know what the best services delivery strategy for APAC is – and, specifically, what role China plays in the India-China-Philippines service delivery axis – well, it’s your lucky day!
Meet Schneider Electric’s VP APAC Finance Shared Services, Philip Woodburn, who is somewhat of a gem when it comes to Finance, Control, and Service Delivery across Asia. His 30-year career includes an accounting foundation that developed financial skills across different industry segments for global operations; he then managed Finance Control for Schneider Electric in Singapore and Indonesia; as Finance Director of Middle East operations, he was exposed to sales and manufacturing; back in Paris, he led the global SAP business design and implementation … culminating in what we consider the ‘cream of the crop’ in terms of jobs: developing Schneider Electric’s APAC Finance Shared Services from business case, through implementation, to running what’s now, after just three and a half years, a 500 people team deployed across India, China and the Philippines.
China has clout
China has emerged as a strategic market for most industries, as international business focus, spurred on by the 2008 financial crisis, moved from West to East. Whether its growth continues at 10%, or at 8%, we know China will impact world-wide demand for years to come; and the smartest of organizations are positioning themselves accordingly.
In this interview, Philip discusses how and where to leverage support services for Asian growth while supporting a global brand and operating in an international marketplace. He shares tips on deploying operations in China; choosing between Tier 1 and 2 cities; the emerging finance and services focus of the Eastern seaboard; and the parallel shift of service skills towards the center and West of the country.
In 2009, Schneider Electric plumped for a hub and spoke model for APAC Finance, anchored in India, China and the Philippines. But faced with changing demographics, cost inflation, and an upskilled workforce across Asia – would Philip choose the same path again? Find out in this interview.