Noble Pacific Holdings Succeeds by Developing ‘Guanxi’ — Deep Relationships with its Partners
“Success in China is not about short-term breakthroughs, but rather, the constant improvement and continuous growth of one’s relationships and experiences.”
-Bill Chao, co-founder of Noble Pacific Holdings LLC
About Noble Pacific Holdings LLC
Manny Menendez and Bill Chao are co-founders and partners of Noble Pacific Holdings LLC (“NPH”). The firm specializes in strategic advisory, business development and government relations in Asia, and specifically, in China.
Manny Menendez handles China business development activities, strategy execution and client and government relations on the ground in China from our office in Beijing.
Bill Chao handles US client relations and business development from Seattle.
Q. Describe your company, its products or special expertise.
A. Noble Pacific caters to clients of all industries and sizes ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises either currently doing business or considering entering the Asian Pacific region.
The firm offers all types of services including (but not limited to) Joint Ventures, Contractual Alliances, Technology Transfer, Contract Manufacturing Agreements, B.O.T. and Turn Key operations and Import/Export agreements and general or targeted government relations.
Q. How has NPH partner, Manny Menendez, been instrumental in China’s return to the world markets?
A. In the 1980s, Manny Menendez was president and CEO of Great Eastern Development Ltd. (GED), which was credited in 1980 by the Asian Wall Street Journal with successfully completing the first United States-China equity joint venture for a major Fortune 100 company.
He was also involved in the early years with establishing business activities with China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC). Manny has advised numerous U.S. and other multi-national companies, as well as small and medium-sized businesses. Manny also advises several governments in the Asia Pacific region on policies and programs related to sustainable economic and business development and tourism
Q. What types of projects does your company like to take on?
A. We like to work on projects involving technology that can also potentially add humanitarian value to society. For example, the areas of clean tech or bio tech add value to society by improving the environment and quality of life or helping those with serious disease. It is our ability to work on projects that not only will result in business success, but also result in a positive change for humanity and society.
Q. What is your company motto or is a key principle of its success strategy?
A. “Start slow to finish first.”
A key principle to success in China is taking the time to develop a thoughtful, smart business development strategy targeted toward long-term success.
Many western companies rush their initiatives and, in doing so, make mistakes that can take years to repair. Often times the problem lies in the selection of the wrong Chinese partner, which could have been avoided had the client or its advisor spent more time and thought initially to identify, get to know and develop the “guanxi” (the Chinese word for deep relationship) with the right partner.
Success in China is not about short-term breakthroughs, but rather, the constant improvement and continuous growth of one’s relationships and experiences.
Q. Is there some obstacle that you overcame in doing business in China?
A. In the early days, when China opened back up, the market was very difficult as the various aspects necessary for capitalism in a socialist country were only starting to form. Not only was the market evolving, but government policy and regulation as well as capital infrastructure were also evolving and presented major challenges.
The successes and failures from being in the trenches alongside Fortune 500 companies were a great real-time education on how to do business in China. With this as a base, our knowledge and experience has grown along with the market and the economy of China over the last 30 plus years. It is the continuous practice and improvement of lessons learned in the early days, that are the key to success in China today.
Q. Do you see opportunities for your business in China or other parts of Asia?
A. If one understands the fundamental demographics of China, the opportunities for US companies in China will be sustainable for years to come. Therefore, the types of services NPH provides will follow the path of the demand. The real opportunity will lie in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities where economic growth potential is the greatest.
Other countries with great upside potential include Viet Nam, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Q. Is there any new initiative or project that you plan to or hope to start that will help further these opportunities?
A. We are working on several ideas and initiatives. Among them is a new twist to an old concept targeted towards tremendous growth opportunities in China. This new concept will revolutionize capital access for both Chinese and U.S. companies.
Q. What suggestions would you offer to businesses in China that might want to do more business with the United States?
A. Spend the time and energy to carefully choose the right U.S. partner. Similar to U.S. companies doing business in China, “guanxi” plays a major role in the success of Chinese companies looking to establish or expand business in the U.S. The chances of success are greater with the development of deep trust and understanding between the U.S. and Chinese companies.