Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Scotland Woos the Chinese

A previous visit to China

Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, is in China. He's leading a five-strong Scottish Government delegation promoting Scottish business and is accompanied by business and tourism representatives.

He began the visit by addressing business leaders in Shanghai where he spoke of the need to protect intellectual property rights (IPR). The First Minister said companies should have a 'know before you go' approach when looking to invest in China.

One of the companies accompanying him is Origin Pet Products Ltd. Out of interest I wondered what they had to offer the Chinese so I did a search to see what I could find. This is the result. Wouldn't you think someone in Origin Pet Products would know that the Chinese are avid users of the internet? I'm being too kind there. This company doesn't deserve to do business with anyone until they can get even a most basic website up and running. How they managed a place on this delegation beats me. Surely Scotland can produce a better business model than this one.


William said...

China has absolutely NO interest in protecting the intellectual property rights of Western companies. It simply wants to steal. It doesn't care whether our economy suffers as a result.

Salmond must be even more stupid than he looks.

Pete said...

Mr Salmond is looking more & more like Gregor Fisher everyday.

subrosa said...

William, you made such a profound statement then wiped it out with your insult. Such a shame.

subrosa said...

You think so Pete? Gregor will be chuffed. :)

Joe Public said...

I followed your link to OPP's website.

Their named products are TOPDOG® and DOGHAUS product lines

There's nothing on their site that might correct a Chinese surfer's impression that the company might be in the food production business.


An innocent misunderstanding could be embarrassing for both parties.

subrosa said...

Well Joe, I just searched the same way anyone would really and that was the response.

Bad for Eck to have such a company trailing in his wake really.

OPP said...

Subrosa, your right to point out that a simple-to-use, informative, attractive website is an important vehicle for promoting a company or brand in today’s world. It’s often the first point of contact someone will have with an organisation and first impressions are always very important. I therefore hold up my hands and agree that our current web presence falls short of the mark and even in the context of a holding page it doesn’t provide much information to visitors. However, in mitigation it is a temporary solution and we are in the process of creating a new website which we hope will be successful in promoting our company and our brands.

Based solely on our current web presence however, your comment that we “don’t deserve to do business with anyone” is, I feel, a little unkind and therefore I’d like to provide some quick background to our company and what we are doing.

Origin Pet Products is a relatively new company, although the team behind it have worked for a number of years in product design, manufacturing and retail sales. Over the last 18 months we’ve worked tirelessly to develop an innovative range of pet care products which we believe will capture a significant share of a sector which has enjoyed steady growth throughout the recession and is worth $41 billion annually in the USA alone. In March of this year, we showcased our products in the USA at the the world’s largest international pet expo and they went down a storm. Interest was shown from retailers and distributors worldwide and we’ve been working since then to secure orders and trading partnerships in a number of territories – including China. We will officially launch in Autumn of this year and initially sell through retailers in the UK, USA, Canada and Asia. By then, all aspects of the web side of our business will be up and running.

The trade mission to Shanghai was arranged through Scottish Development International and was for businesses at different stages of development seeking among other things to set up new trade links with Chinese companies or enhance and strengthen existing relationships.

The mission has given us the opportunity to advance an agreement to supply one of mainland China’s largest pet product wholesalers and also a Hong Kong based distributor supplying retailers in Hong Kong, Tiawan, Japan and South Korea. We are also investing heavily in protecting the IP of our designs and brands in Asia and elsewhere and the contacts provided by SDIC during this week will help us greatly in this direction.

I think it’s also worth noting that although our products will be manufactured and exported from here in Scotland, our packaging and a number of our components are being produced by business partners in China. Over time, we’ve developed a solid bond with these companies, the people behind them and their families. They’ve travelled to Scotland on a number of occasions and have always experienced the best of Scottish hospitality (and unfortunately, more than once, the worst of our weather). We know that through our work ethic, honesty, innovation and personal conduct we have already enhanced the reputation of Scottish business and Scottish people as a whole and I think Eck would be proud of that.


PS - Re Joe Public - Wiki page. Economic and social changes over the last few years in China are gradually seeing it turn into a nation of dog lovers. As prosperity grows, it’s now easier to afford a pet and combined with the lack of children and grandchildren to shower affection upon (due to the one-child policy) dogs are now becoming part of the family and being pampered by their owners as dog lovers worldwide are prone to do.

subrosa said...

Thank you for your comment OPP. Much as I admire the effort you are putting into your business I feel my comment is justified.

A website is the shop-window to a business in this modern world. There is no excuse whatsoever not to have one with even a few interactive pages and pleasant photographs. I say that from experience.

My regular readers will tell you that I'm perhaps the least technical blogger there is, yet I managed to design a website for my own business many years ago. It's regularly updated and it also has a blog and attracts a few hits a day. As it's not an online business it's not complex, but it's the first introduction anyone has to what I provide. Yes, it took me a few weeks to work out Dreamweaver and I did get help from a much more technical person, but my site works.

It's such a shame you have neglected yours because I didn't know who you were and decided I'd find out. I now know who you are because you've told me but you're missing a golden opportunity to tell the rest of Scotland and the wider world about your achievements.

Websites don't have to cost thousands. Mine costs nothing but my time and patience.

Go on, give it a go and don't leave it longer. Competition is fierce in any business and whether I agree with it or not, a website can expand or diminish a good business. You've no excuse now have you. :)

OPP said...

Duly noted Subrosa. Will have an improved version online very soon and I'll definitely pop back to this blog and let you know when it's up and running.

Thanks for the guidance.

Best wishes

subrosa said...

Auch OPP, you'll think I'm a moaning pensioner but I was speaking honestly and trying to jog you out of your complacency regarding the internet. :)

Please do let me know when you have a couple of pages which describe your organisation. In fact I'd then be happy to eat my words and do a post about your brand new 'shop window'.

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