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29.10.2018

[eNews] A Tale of Two Family Businesses in Germany and China: Seminar by Tanoto Center

Organized by the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies of the HKUST Business School, and sponsored by Ernst & Young, a luncheon seminar on “Working across Cultures: A Tale of Two Family Businesses in Germany and China” was conducted at the China Club on October 9. About 30 family business leaders were invited to the seminar.

Mr Ulrich SIEKMANN, CEO, President and third-generation owner of the SieMatic Group

Hosted by Prof Roger KING, Director of the Tanoto Center, the seminar was preceded with a research talk by Prof Winnie PENG, Associate Director of the Tanoto Center, on the transformation and upgrading of Mainland Chinese family businesses. It was followed by a brief introduction of German family businesses by Mr Stefan KLEMM, Founder and Chairman of the German Entrepreneurs Club. 

Mr Ulrich SIEKMANN, CEO, President and third-generation owner of the SieMatic Group, shared a living case with the audience on how and why his family business, one of the globally leading kitchen interior design brands, decided to sell a majority share to the Chinese Nison Group, a home appliance manufacturer in Mainland China, in order to drive for future growth. During the Q&A session, Mr Ulrich candidly shared with the audience about his family’s emotional attachment to the business, his experience working with the Chinese partner, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The participants were impressed by the bold move that SieMatic made for its Asian expansion, as well as Nison’s visionary brand acquisition strategy. The entrepreneurial wisdom of both SieMatic and Nison is a living proof of how family businesses can continue to drive economic growth through branding and diversification.

(From left) Prof Roger KING and Prof Winnie PENG of the Tanoto Center, thank Stefan KLEMM of the German Entrepreneurs Club and Mr Ulrich SIEKMANN of the SieMatic Group for their talks.


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