Management Motivations is a new series of articles by Quectel’s senior executives that explores their management styles, approaches to the challenges of further developing the company and what drives them to lead and succeed.
Norbert Muhrer, President & CSO:
Number 1: How China’s drive and Quectel’s huge potential caught my attention
Quectel is a young, dynamic company that has a clear vision and a target to grow quickly. We are an extremely focused team, set in a dynamic work environment where everyone quarterbacks each other. Patrick, our CEO, is a true visionary who provides excellent leadership, and our colleagues around the globe are passionate and dedicated, with their sights firmly set on achieving our goals. There are no long discussions and there is zero bureaucracy – it’s like a gigantic start-up that is developing very fast, and to me, this is highly appealing.
As a Chinese company, Quectel benefits from a lower cost base and a work environment where people want to work hard and earn more because they want to progress. People want to have a good standard of living, buy an apartment and send their children to a good school. It’s all about family – I believe that is a key driver for our colleagues. This means that people are eager to perform well in their jobs and there is a hunger in the teams to do more, to stand out, to work hard and to make their way. I’ve worked in China for four years and lived there, and you can see this drive in everyone from the cab driver to the CEO – working to succeed is in their DNA.
China is an economy that is very adaptive to new things and new technology so, with things like facial recognition and AI, people are less concerned about having their faces scanned and leaving fingerprints in places like hotels and airports. On the whole, Chinese people are more relaxed about personal privacy than Western people and this, coupled with less regulation, drives innovation. In China when you buy a Coke from a vending machine, it scans your face. When I returned to Shanghai years after I left China I was amazed to see that QR codes for payments are all around, even at street stall vendors. You scan the QR code and then money is transferred from your smartphone to their smartphone. I paid for a noodle soup in cash one day and they looked at me like I was from the moon!
China is also very pragmatic about things such as autonomous driving. The government supports development and progress in most of the technology assets so if they want to be driving autonomously in five years, they just go ahead and do it. If you want to do the same thing in Europe you have to discuss it with 28 countries!
Finally, don’t forget, that the competition in China is super-fierce and it keeps us on our toes daily. Pure exposure to just the international markets would not have the same effect. Competition in China is so strong that just a few cents advantage in costs really can make all the difference. It certainly keeps the pressure on us to relentlessly improve, innovate and lead the market.
Look out for my next article when I’ll be discussing how logical progression delivers operational results.