The right match – German SMEs: Challenges, Strategies and Success in a Competitive China

GC Ticker: bi-monthly newsletter of the German Chamber of Commerce, 4, 2010, p. 35

Take a clever business idea, add some profound financing and set up facilities in China is not a
one size fits all guideline for stepping into one of Asia’s biggest economies”, remarked Dr. Kai La-
mottke, General Manager at Bicoll Biotechnology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. Back in 2000 the company
was founded as a private biopharmaceutical enterprise in Germany offering pre-clinical support
in the area of drug discovery from natural products and medicinal chemistry. Before planning to
setting up its subsidiary in China in 2001, the company’s management was aware that participat-
ing in China’s growth is not a simple proposition. It was clear that building up domestic contacts
first and considering that conducting business in China is different, requiring flexibility and adapt-
ability were necessary components of Bicoll’s strategy, strengthened by the fact that no examples
existed as guidance for the successful establishment of a company like Bicoll. Therefore, a novel
business model tailored for the parallel set-up in Europe and in China was needed to address this.
An early positive cash-flow was one of the most important milestones in Bicoll’s concept.

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