Mak­ing a Chi­nese brand cool

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

AUCMA Co Ltd, one of China’s largest re­frig­er­a­tion equip­ment sup­pli­ers, is mak­ing ef­forts to re­shape Chi­nese brands as trust­wor­thy and re­spon­si­ble in the com­pany’s go-global strat­egy.

The Qing­dao-based com­pany is keen on im­prov­ing its in­no­va­tive ca­pa­bil­ity through high-level in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion.

For ex­am­ple, in co­op­er­a­tion with Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, the com­pany de­vel­oped a kind of por­ta­ble pas­sive cold stor­age de­vice called Ark­tek, en­hanc­ing its cold chain tech­nol­ogy to a higher level as well as in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion.

Ark­tek looks like a green car­toon toy bucket, and can keep vac­cines at as low as -80 C with­out ex­tra en­ergy sup­port for a week, ac­cord­ing to Ren Yizhao, deputy general man­ager of the Ark­tek project of Aucma.

The de­vice has proved to be es­sen­tial in trans­port­ing the Ebola vac­cine dur­ing the out­break of the dis­ease in West Africa in 2014.

Statis­tics of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion showed that some es­ti­mated 1.5 mil­lion chil­dren un­der 5 die each year glob­ally from ill­nesses such as di­ar­rhea and pneu­mo­nia that of­ten can be pre­vented with vac­cines.

De­spite im­mu­niza­tion be­ing one of the great­est suc­cess sto­ries in mod­ern medicine, one in five chil­dren world­wide re­mains un­pro­tected, with­out ac­cess to even the most ba­sic vac­cines glob­ally. Some of the big­gest chal­lenges come from dif­fi­cul­ties in de­liv­er­ing in­ter­ven­tions like vac­cines.

“With its ex­cel­lent seal­ing per­for­mance, Ark­tek is eas­ily de­liv­ered in rugged and rough roads and put at san­i­tary sta­tions in re­mote ar­eas as vac­cine stor­age de­vice,” said Ren. “One Ark­tek bar­rel can meet the needs of a vil­lage of 6,000 peo­ple for a year.”

Cur­rently, Ark­tek has been tested in many coun­tries such as Nige­ria, In­dia, Sene­gal and Ethiopia and re­ceived warm wel­come by con­sumers there.

How­ever, Aucma’s Ark­tek suc­cess was not made in a day.

When Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion looked for a world­wide part­ner to in­vent a re­frig­er­a­tion de­vice that could be used in coun­tries with lim­ited cold chain and ice pack pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, Aucma was among the can­di­dates but not the most hope­ful one.

Mark Suz­man, pres­i­dent of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion’s global pol­icy, ad­vo­cacy and coun­try pro­grams, said that Aucma is “a Chi­nese en­ter­prise show­ing great po­ten­tial for tack­ling de­vel­op­ment chal­lenges in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa”.

“And we share in com­mon in de­vot­ing our in­tel­li­gence and ef­forts to sav­ing lives and im­prov­ing health con­di­tions in Africa as well as other coun­tries.”

Li Wei, chair­man of Aucma Co Ltd, was long­ing for work­ing with world­class teams and cher­ished the op­por­tu­nity.

“Earn­ing money is im­por­tant but does not al­ways take the first place,” Li said. “To earn rep­u­ta­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally, Aucma needs to fur­ther con­sol­i­date its foun­da­tion in var­i­ous ar­eas first.”

It took two years for Aucma to de­velop an Ark­tek reach­ing the WHO stan­dards of qual­ity, safety and ef­fi­cacy after the co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment of 2013.

To date, Aucma has sold more than 2,000 Ark­tek bar­rels and the re­main­ing mar­ket in Africa alone is es­ti­mated to be more than 30,000 units.

Glob­al­good, a re­search institute in­vested by Bill Gates, has sent sev­eral sci­en­tists to work with Aucma.

“Through work­ing with and learn­ing from sci­en­tists from the United States, our staff have been much in­spired and im­proved their innovation skills,” said Li.

To date, Aucma has also worked with Ger­man in­dus­trial giants like Siemens and Bosch. The latest progress is that the com­pany has joined hands with Siemens to build a joint lab­o­ra­tory for robot ap­pli­ca­tion.

“The col­lab­o­ra­tion with Siemens brings the latest in­dus­try 4.0 tech­nolo­gies, as well as en­ables our staff to learn about the renowned Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­ing spirit,” Li said. “With Bosch, we’ve learned stricter stan­dards of the Ger­mans.”

By work­ing with in­ter­na­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing giants, Aucma was able to sell its prod­ucts to more than 100 coun­tries and re­gions in Asia, the Mid­dle East, Africa and Europe.

Last year, its to­tal sales value stood at 3.75 bil­lion yuan ($562 mil­lion); it sold 500,000 sets of prod­ucts abroad for 620 mil­lion yuan, up by 4 and 20 per­cent year-on-year re­spec­tively.

With China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, Aucma sees more op­por­tu­ni­ties.

This year, Aucma set up two joint ven­tures in Malaysia and Nige­ria, re­spec­tively; both are ex­pected to start op­er­a­tions by the end of this year.

“The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive does not mean only sell­ing our prod­ucts or ‘trans­fer­ring over­ca­pac­ity’ to other coun­tries and re­gions,” said Li.

– China Daily

Photo: Sup­plied

A tech­ni­cian checks equip­ment at a smart man­u­fac­tur­ing plant of Aucma, one of China’s largest re­frig­er­a­tion equip­ment sup­pli­ers.

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