Lex van Hessen - Success and Survival in Shanghai - From Trader to 100% Owned Subsidiary
July 20, 2006
Lex van Hessen is a businessman, entrepeneur and philanthropist. He sees opportunities, seizes upon them and makes things happen. The company that bears his name is one of the largest companies in the world specializing in the processing, manufacture and distribution of natural sausage casings used by sausage makers all over the globe, including in Chicago. The Van Hessen Group has a longstanding presence in China starting in the early 1960s and continuing to the present as one of the few Western businesses with a 100% owned subsidiary in Shanghai. Van Hessen's success in China is due primarily to its patience and willingness to learn about Chinese values and ways of doing business.
Lex van Hessen’s company (www.vanhessen.com) started off as a family company but its growth and expansion has necessitated the creation of management and trainee programs to enable further growth and professionalization. The company is a leader in all areas related to casings and works in a leadership capacity with various organizations to address regulatory issues (including veterinary) involving the industry. Lex van Hessen will speak to us about China, company culture - its creation, preservation and growth - and what it takes to be a leader. Lex van Hessen has very little fear - he once said: "I make a hundred decisions in a day and many of them are wrong. But it doesn’t matter - at least I make the decisions." Obviously, Lex van Hessen has been right more often than wrong. Lex van Hessen will provide us with a unique presentation - displaying his business acumen, insights and perspective on growth in China.