En­er­giz­ing Chi­nese ad­ven­ture spirit

Jose Boisjoli leads BRP’s drive to in­tro­duce power prod­ucts and leas­ing model for rough sports

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By ZHONG NAN zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Jose Boisjoli, pres­i­dent and CEO of BRP, or Bom­bardier Recre­ational Prod­ucts Inc, be­lieves se­nior ex­ec­u­tives must have out­stand­ing abil­ity to man­age their time well.

The head of the Que­bec, Canada-head­quar­tered man­u­fac­turer of snow­mo­biles, wa­ter­craft and off-road ve­hi­cles, has a sim­ple phi­los­o­phy: hard work and a bal­anced ap­proach are key to a suc­cess­ful life.

Those three abil­i­ties — time man­age­ment, hard work and a bal­anced ap­proach — have helped Boisjoli to push three prod­uct lines into the China mar­ket, where a con­sump­tion up­grade and the run-up to the 2022 Bei­jing Win­ter Olympics are prov­ing to be timely ad­van­tages.

Every time he vis­its China, he can’t stop think­ing about how many Chi­nese cities BRP’s prod­ucts have yet to reach. “We see China as a big, big op­por­tu­nity. We see it as a must-have and not a nice-to­have,” he said dur­ing an early morn­ing in­ter­view in Shang­hai, af­ter an overnight flight from Xi’an.

An out­door sports en­thu­si­ast, Boisjoli said China is no longer the dis­tant out­post it once was for BRP.

BRP is in talks with lo­cal part­ners in Chongqing mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the three au­tonomous re­gions of Guangxi Zhuang, In­ner Mon­go­lia and Xin­jiang Uygur to fur­ther ex­pand its deal­er­ship net­work in China.

It also plans to in­tro­duce the prod­uct leas­ing busi­ness in China via tailor-made pack­ages. Con­sumers can rent the prod­ucts on cer­tain days or a few week­ends, in­stead of buy­ing them. It’s a busi­ness model that is fairly pop­u­lar in North pres­i­dent and CEO of Bom­bardier Recre­ational Prod­ucts Inc, ex­plains the com­pany’s China strat­egy dur­ing an in­ter­view in Shang­hai this March. Amer­ica and Europe.

“We will fur­ther ex­pand sales chan­nels, de­velop new prod­ucts and spon­sor well­known sport ac­tiv­i­ties to en­rich con­sumers’ need for new life­styles and hol­i­day choices, so they can know more about our prod­ucts,” said Boisjoli, who is also a board mem­ber of McCain Foods Ltd, a Cana­dian food com­pany that op­er­ates 54 plants across the world.

The com­pany sup­plied snow­mo­biles to the Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the Pyeongchang Olympic Win­ter Games in Fe­bru­ary and wants to co­op­er­ate with the Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the 2022 Bei­jing Win­ter Olympics and Par­a­lympics to of­fer its prod­ucts and ex­per­tise based on its re­quire­ment.

The 2022 Games will be a ma­jor step for­ward in China’s win­ter sports and ice and snow tourism sec­tors, said Boisjoli, who joined BRP al­most 30 years ago.

Un­der Boisjoli’s lead­er­ship, BRP saw its rev­enue jump 8 per­cent last year to reach $4.5 bil­lion. It cur­rently has around 10,000 em­ploy­ees world­wide.

BRP op­er­ates man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Canada, the United States, Mex­ico, Fin­land, and Aus­tria, which pro­duce mo­tor­ized recre­ational ve­hi­cles and power sports en­gines, the kind of­ten seen in James Bond movies.

BRP has a global sales net­work sup­ported by 4,200 deal­ers and dis­trib­u­tors, in­clud­ing 31 in China. Boisjoli said this fig­ure will grow no­tably over the next five years.

The com­pany dis­cov­ered that the mar­ket de­mand has been grow­ing fast for per­sonal wa­ter­craft, as well as Can-Am all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles in China. It will ex­port its Can-Am Spy­der three-wheel mo­tor­cy­cle prod­ucts to China soon af­ter re­ceiv­ing the nec­es­sary gov­ern­ment ap­provals.

As sev­eral ski re­sorts have opened in north­ern China over the past three years, more snow­mo­biles will be needed in those ar­eas, Boisjoli said.

“We have con­stantly de­ployed our re­sources and man­power to de­velop dif­fer­ent prod­ucts for each sea­son. This strat­egy is cru­cial to our deal­ers, so they can sell dif­fer- ent prod­ucts in dif­fer­ent sea­sons to main­tain a promis­ing busi­ness.

“As the mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion is still fierce in China, what you need to suc­ceed is re­li­able lo­cal part­ners, great prod­ucts and to also en­sure you have good af­ter-sales ser­vice.”

At present, BRP im­ports its prod­ucts into China, but if China’s mar­ket is fur­ther de­vel­oped and gen­er­ates en­cour­ag­ing sales fig­ures, the com­pany would con­sider set­ting up man­u­fac­tur­ing or re­search fa­cil­i­ties in the coun­try, Boisjoli said.

“In over­seas mar­kets, es­pe­cially in Europe and the US, peo­ple have the ad­ven­ture tra­di­tion,” said Xia Hong, a mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sor at Bei­jing Tech­nol­ogy and Busi­ness Univer­sity.

“We found a grow­ing num­ber of con­sumers, es­pe­cially mid­dle-in­come earn­ers and mil­len­ni­als in China, have adopted this (ad­ven­ture-lov­ing) life­style as they are will­ing to pay more to en­large their ex­pe­ri­ence in out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and they want bet­ter equip­ment,” she said.

The gov­ern­ment is keen to build a health­ier na­tion and ea­ger to boost the out­door sports sec­tor through in­fra­struc­ture and ed­u­ca­tion. It has al­ready an­nounced it will build five na­tional out­door sports cen­ters, 50 moun­tain trails with lo­gis­tics fa­cil­i­ties, 1,000 clubs for open-wa­ter sports in­clud­ing ca­noe­ing and sail­ing, and 2,000 avi­a­tion camps for sports such as paraglid­ing and sky­div­ing by 2020.

So, high-end for­eign pow­er­sports ve­hi­cles and propul­sion sys­tems, and re­lated in­vest­ment, will be con­sis­tent with the over­all trend and ben­e­fit China’s econ­omy in the long run, Xia said.

Jose Boisjoli,

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