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Innovation, services to drive future growth

By Yu Hongyan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-09-17 14:21

Q5. Do you see any opportunities in China's future economic growth?

There are still opportunities (in China's economy), some in rural areas. In the last 30 years, China spent a lot of resources on the coastal cities, in the tier-1 cities. But if you go to tier-3, tier-4 cities, they are still vastly underdeveloped. So that, to me, that presents opportunities.

Second, China has a lot of opportunities in its services. I think China lacks good services. The way we do things is called broad-brush - it looks good from afar, but you look closer, you see cracks. We didn't pay sufficient attention to details in the last 30 years, likewise in services. That's why Chinese customers are never happy, because services are poor. To me, that's an area of frustration, but at the same time poses an area of opportunities.

We can steer the economy toward providing better services, those that create employment, those that do not drive up inflation, and those that make people happy... With good services, they don't just make people happy, they actually allow you to improve efficiency and productivity, which are definitely good for the economy.

So I think those are areas the government can think about in terms of how to transform the economy.

We can't stop thinking about consumption. To me, that's the other direction, but not very realistic... Yes, we want to improve consumption, but we don't want to become the next USA, whereby people buy things they don't need with money that they don't have. That's how the US got into trouble that creates all the problems. We don't want to encourage Chinese people to buy or consume things they don't need with money that they don't have. That to me is very important to remember in so-called improving the consumption in China. Otherwise you are planting the next crisis in China.

Q6. Is A.T. Kearney confident about China's economy? What's your future strategy for the Chinese market?

We are definitely confident in the Chinese economy. We have been in China for 20 years, and this is our 21st year. This year we grew 15 percent from last year. We are adding more people, we are thinking of opening more offices.

Our strategy is to be smart about who we pick as clients, how we serve our clients. Also help our clients go global, and help global clients be effective in China, because the world is only to be more globalized and more inter-related. Our role is to help them be successful in the process.

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