Managing Regional Distribution via Singapore – Interview with Gennes Marketing Services Limited
18 December 2015
Hong Kong exporters interested in the ASEAN market could consider partnering with a local agent to manage regional distribution. Compared with direct deals in individual markets, working with an agent in Singapore can help reduce counterparty risks in the less developed economies. Exporters can also enjoy economies of scale when engaging a regional distributor in Singapore.
Hongkonger Peter Ng worked for many years as the local representative for a number of international sportswear and jeans brands in Southeast Asia, where he met his Singaporean wife. Throughout the years, he developed an extensive business network in the region, and eventually settled in Singapore and set up Gennes Marketing Services Limited.
Today, Ng mainly sources houseware products for Indonesian companies, including the department store PT Panen GL Indonesia, which operates under the license of Galleries Lafayette Paris in Jakarta.
Ng strongly agrees that Hong Kong and Singapore can serve as business platforms between ASEAN countries and China. To ASEAN companies, Hong Kong is a good sourcing platform for lifestyle products manufactured in China. Every year, Ng visits the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair for his clients. He says products exhibited at these fairs are noted for their quality and good design, traits that are increasingly sought-after by the emerging middle class in ASEAN countries.
On the other hand, Singapore is the gateway for Hong Kong or Chinese businessmen who plan to explore the ASEAN market. “Singaporeans can easily engage with the locals of other ASEAN countries and their culture, particularly for Malaysia and Indonesia,” says Ng. “For example, my wife knows the ASEAN market well. We can help if any Hong Kong or Chinese companies want to set up a retail presence in the ASEAN market. We are able to give good advice on the choice of channels by comparing the costs and the effectiveness. Also we know how to manage the local staff and cope with different problems they may encounter.”
- Southeast Asia