American living the Chinese dream in Shenzhen Friday, January 18, 2008

While multinationals are increasingly relying on local employees to explore the Chinese market, American Jeffrey D. Lewenthal was tapped by a Shenzhen private company to help it become a full-fledged global player.

Lewenthal, vice president of sales and marketing for Postek Electronics Co. Ltd., is tasked with helping the company, a manufacturer of thermal barcode label printers, expand in the global market, . He had worked in seven countries outside the United States for multinationals Pepsi and Philip Morris when he joined Postek two and a half years ago.

The Californian has not disappointed the company with his work in developing the mainland market either, because having worked in China for quite some time before taking up the Postek job, he understands the cultural influences in the marketing field.

Lewenthal said he was hired because the owner understands a successful business should not depend on only one market. The company, which is currently exporting products to Europe and Southeast Asia, is aiming to find overseas markets for half of its products.

The only foreigner in Postek, Lewenthal said working in a Chinese company is "exciting," and he has had "no problems whatsoever" working with Chinese colleagues. With his help, the company is run using both Chinese and Western approaches.

While local companies may not be as generous as multinationals in terms of salary, Lewenthal is satisfied with his pay. "The company pays above the market, although it doesn't overpay," he said.

"I have no intention of leaving," he added, noting that salary and remuneration were not the only reason for his devotion to the job.

He said the boss treats him as good friend, and each decision in the company is made after consensus among members of the management, which he said is a "classical business process." 

Editor: Lu Hui
Source: Shenzhen Daily