Hanjiang Director Ashley Quan Talks About Company Strategy, Focus And Future Plans In India
In an interview with Glass Bulletin, the Beijing Hanjiang Automatic Glass Machine Equipments Co. Ltd. director talks about how setting up service centres and storing spare parts abroad helped cement the company’s position in international markets.
Q: How long have you been associated with Hanjiang?
Hanjiang was my first job after I graduated as an MBA in 2012. This year marks my 10th year working for Hanjiang. This also is Hanjiang’s 20th anniversary. I am proud of the 10 golden years I have spent here.
Q: What steps does Hanjiang follow for development of its machines?
First, we focus on the market trend. A lot of new demand and even new equipment appear in the market, we should not follow anyone blindly.
Our teams analyse what value we can bring to our end-customers with these new products and what benefit can bring to Hanjiang by following a new trend. We analyse SWOT and decide our development direction. Once we have decided on a new development, we put in the best resources to make it happen.
For example, in 2008, we got an enquiry from a European company about online gas filling line. At that time, argon gas filling was a very new technology in China. Through two years of continuous efforts, we put major R&D on one thing, and we achieved it. Still now, argon gas filling line is one of the hottest selling products in Hanjiang. It’s the same logic we applied for the high speed sealing robot, super spacer robot, and even on TPS.
Q: Hanjiang is a reputed name in IG line machines across the globe. What does it take to maintain this reputation internationally?
In my opinion, we should understand our core competence well and try to keep it. Obliviously, without continuous development in terms of technology, we cannot keep up a good reputation in the market. Refreshing technology is always the most important thing what we follow. But it is not enough on this case.
Hanjiang team realized that if we care for our customers’ interest ahead of ours, we can win their trust. We started building service centres in many regions in China and overseas.
Till now, we have reliable service centres in more than 20 countries. When Hanjiang service and spare parts are easily reachable to endcustomers, trust building becomes easier.
During the pandemic, we never stopped sending engineers to our customers when needed. “Easily reachable” is what we have been bringing to our customers for 20 years. For our users, Hanjiang is safe to invest, trustable and reliable, so they can repeat orders with Hanjiang and they love to recommend us to other industrial people too.
Q: Currently Hanjiang is the market leader in the Indian subcontinent. What makes you the leader in the Indian glass processing industry?
When I join Hanjiang in 2012, we had this idea that Indian market is tough – margin is low and market demand less. I remember the first time I came to India with an assistant in 2014, we planned to stay one month see the market. We faced a lot of troubles, but I could feel very strongly that the market had potential and we could change the market situation. So I hired two local engineers during that trip and set up our first office in India.
Then we have decided to bring our IG lines to Indian local exhibitions. At that time, people knew about IG lines from Europe, Turkey or Korea, but rarely from China.
We want to be the first Chinese company to display an IG line in an India expo. From 2014 to 2019, we successfully displayed IG lines to potential Indian customers at expos. We realized that customers also need reliable consumable material for IG production.
So in 2018, we build “UNEX INDIA”. Customers can now get comprehensive service from Hanjiang team. Surprisingly, with this new segment, we covered more customers without using Hanjiang equipment.
Now we have installed more than 70 IG lines in India with a market share of 50 per cent and will complete our 100th installation in the country by the end of this year. Our warehouses in Mumbai and Delhi keep spare parts for daily running and sufficient material for IGU production.
Q: How is the India market crucial for Hanjaing?
We do believe the Indian market will be one of the most significant markets for Hanjiang in the next 5-10 years. Currently, the Indian market is around three per cent of Hanjiang turnover. But if we consider the population of India, development speed of the market, and the rising demand, we are sure our size in the Indian market will become bigger in the future.
Q: With travel being closed between India and China, how are you managing sales and installation here?
It was very challenging for our team at the beginning. The first challenge was the service part. We had one fixed engineer in 2019, but due to too many machines awaiting installation, we hired one more. With our online and on-site training, both engineers can now work well independently.
Very soon, a third engineer will join us from this month. I am sure Hanjiang service will maintain very high standards.
We use most of all the traditional ways for sales – calls, emails, WhatsApp etc – and we manage social media more actively. We also invite customers to online meetings so we can show our factory, workshop.
We also organize visits to Hanjiang customers’ factories to see our machinery in running condition.
Q: Tell us about the advantages Hanjiang machines offer
I believe any investment should consider return on investment as the most important factor.
“Future of IG processors will belong to someone who get higher productivity with less manpower and better quality with products differentiation. We can help customers from the following ways.
Productivity: To achieve target output, we recommend suitable solutions for customers and help them achieve their 3-5 years’ target on IG production.
Quality products: We must help customers make their IGU quality different from normal standard.
Hanjiang has very strict Q/C system to challenge more difficult IGU products.
Varieties of products: Hanjiang provide full solution for various IGU products with various spacers, such as architectural glass, window & door(including blinds glass), metro/ bus glass, home appliance IGU, solar IGU, or vacuum IGU, etc.
Labour: Labour is another issue most customers face now. We focus on increased automation level to increase productivity with limited labour.
Data collection: Hanjiang built an Industrial cloud department to help customers collect and analyse production and machinery. Glass factory owners can check machine status, production status on mobile devices easily. With this data, users can understand their situation better and Hanjiang will improve faster with these.
So, we are not simply offering machines for today, we consider future development and try to create more possibilities together with our users.
Q: You are well aware that the Indian glass processing industry is very price-sensitive. How do you balance quality and prices here?
Machines we supply to India and Europe are the same. We do not engage in product differentiation. If customers know how to make wise calculation on productivity, labour Interview saving and future development, they will notice Hanjiang machines are one of the best cost-performance products in this industry. So we help customers understand their investment and not just simply compare machine cost.
In India, around 80 per cent of Hanjiang orders are from old customers or someone who has rich experience about IGU production. We are quite happy with the numbers, it means the market accepts our value.
For new processors or those with zero experience on IG, we make them understand the Hanjiang value.
Q: Do you have any other business activity or associates except selling IG lines in India?
Yes, UNEX, as I mentioned is for IG consumables. Hanjiang also manufactures industrial caster. We apply our own foot on Hanjiang equipment as well. We hope to open more market for our foot and caster business in India.
Q: What is the future vision of your company?
For the products part, we will still focus on higher automation and reduced labour. Our industry is moving towards Industrial 4.0 rapidly.
To reduce the human factor, increase productivity, collect production data and machine data on time, we have to increase automation level on mechanical and software both.
We will keep to building jumbo IG solution, high automation IG solution and develop more intelligent software to contribute on industrial 4.0.
For the service part, we will help international service become more efficient and cost effective. We will reinforce our team to bring more value to the market.
To corresponding Carbon neutral, Hanjiang will help bring environment friendly and energy-saving insulating glass to thousands of households.