Thibault Villet is CEO of Glamour Sales (MEI.com) and has been working in China's luxury market for over a decade. He decided to leave his corporate job to become an entrepreneur and follow the promise of growing online business models in the luxury good space.
Here are his 8 tips for entrepreneurs who are considering to enter or are already operating in the Chinese market.
1. Build a Strong Team
You need to build the team that is going to support you. One of the things that I have achieved here has been to build up strong team. I was able to do that also because of my previous experience with Lancôme and Coach which helped me to attract the right talents.
2. Retain Your Best Talent
One of the challenges is to keep motivating and make sure you retain your best talent. You need to learn from them and keep growing with them.
3. Be Humble and Adapt
You need to be humble, to accept to learn from the market, and to constantly challenge yourself because the business models are evolving and you need to adapt to the changing environment.
4. Feel the Entrepreneurial Appeal
You need to also feel these entrepreneurial roots and appeal. I come from an entrepreneurial family, my father was an entrepreneur, my wife has been an entrepreneur. We always have this entrepreneurial feeling and therefore when I turned from corporate to entrepreneur in 2009, it was something that I really felt - it was time to do it.
5. Team Up with the Right Partners
One of the reasons why it worked is because of the experience I accumulated before on the market. Because of the relationships I had built here with partners, and also because I did not do it by myself. I teamed up with two serial entrepreneurs with 10 to 15 years of experience.
6. Manage Cash Flow
One of the first things I learned moving from corporate to entrepreneurship has been the importance of cash and the importance of managing your cash flow.
7. Bring Something Unique & Innovative
If you come to China and do not have local knowledge or an eco-system then you need to bring some other qualities to the market and probably you should have something very innovative. Team up with the right people that can help you to understand the eco-system and how to succeed here.
8. Love China
To succeed in China there is one very basic thing: you need to love China. You need to have this love for the country, for the people, for the culture, to succeed here.