China’s successful start-ups and their secrets

What are the differences between the successful start-ups in China today and the companies that are seeing slower success? 

What makes a successful company? Traditionally speaking a successful company is solely concentrated on profit and having an efficient workforce. This in itself has changed; with the new generation came new categories that make many companies fail. Looking at some of China’s most successful start-up companies and what differs from a management perspective and company values amongst other factors, we can then understand how headhunting companies need to assess and source executives who will be able to maximise these assets in order to succeed in this current climate. 

One could argue that China is an idyllic place to create a start-up company. Firstly, its growing population of 1.4 billion people makes for a very large amount of app users. With so many users and a rise in innovation there is also a lot of competition and rivalry between existing start-ups. Firms in China receive large subsidies and as the economy is rapidly developing, more and more companies are popping up every day. Coining the term “unicorns” the number of these companies in 2019 in China overtook Silicon Valley, the home of advanced technology and entrepreneurship. In the first three months of 2020,  start-ups in China generated $7.5 billion. In the second quarter, funding increased to more than $13.2 billion.

Headhunting is not only used for multinational companies with a large number of employees; in actual fact, headhunting companies should look at start-ups with new innovative ideas but also innovative ways of managing and changing the traditional ways of structuring the way their business functions. Basing ourselves off some of the best startups in China in 2022 we can analyse how headhunting companies should tackle executive assessments and executive searches for these types of companies: 

  • The first example is Wedoctor, a company that offers a variety of healthcare services to its customers. The service was inspired by an application for an online doctor’s appointment. With the help of WeDoctor, you can now obtain an online consultation, write a prescription, and diagnose using a built-in artificial intelligence system. In 2018, the startup was valued at $6 billion. And Tencent invested $1.34 billion in Goldman Sachs Holdings Ltd, Hillhouse Capital Group, and Morningside Group in the firm in 2020. 

This start-up is based on life sciences, one of our specialties and is a complex sector for headhunting. The human factor in this industry and companies like these weighs heavily on a personal factor. Companies nowadays need to be less about profit but be successful whilst remaining ethical. This start-up saw success because its founders and those who manage it focalised themselves on making healthcare accessible to everyone, practicing safety by keeping consultancies virtual. An executive who works for this firm would have to be skilled in technology in order to optimise the virtual aspect of the company’s vision; they would have to be able to be in touch with the social aspect of what they are doing and put across the right message to its users. In such a delicate industry, headhunting companies should equally assess if the current executives are working for such a company for the right reason. 

  • Another successful start-up is, Zuoyebang, the company offers online classes, courses, and one-on-one consultations with instructors to young children. Ten million users were recorded on the site during online broadcasts in the fall of 2020. At the end of last year, Tiger Global Management, Alibaba Group, Sequoia Capital China, and SoftBank Vision Fund invested $1.6 billion in the firm in Round B. The platform raised a total of $2.9 billion. 

This company was able to turn a global pandemic into something that will aid children for a lot longer than the duration of the virus. The educational sector is one that sees less of a need for headhunting, more specifically executive search. This start-up sees a high level of innovation and similarly to Wedoctor is based off of the concept of combining virtuality with the human-centred sectors; such as life sciences and education. Headhunting companies need to look for executives who are able to build a reliable system, child orientated, who themselves have to find the right instructors who will be able to teach these children.  

In conclusion these two examples show the evident differences between large companies who have a profit orientated strategy and a robotic vision of their work force and firms such as these who show sustainable management, a workforce that works as a team and generally an enterprise that combines technology with an ethical yet innovative way of contributing to society.  

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