Scientific Generics’ JV in China on the right track
A joint venture in China between Cambridge technology consultancy Scientific Generics and award winning Hong Kong manufacturer Automatic Manufacturing (AML) has moved through the gears into overdrive.The JV, branded SGAI Tech, has helped increase the consultancy's sales by about 10 per cent.
The original move was prompted by the toy manufacturer Hornby and other clients who wanted the company to develop a manufacturing capacity in the Far East.
It was decided to base the operation in Hong Kong rather than China because of the superior Intellectual Property protection, its growing global reputation as a design innovation hub, and access to the Pearl River Delta manufacturing nexus.
Creating this low risk product design and development resource has proved an inspired move.
Scientific Generics says its Cambridge operation still handles market knowledge and understanding, hi-tech development and similar roles.
But increasingly the detailed aspects of the design of products, ranging from consumer gadgets to items used in industry, are carried out in Hong Kong, which is only about an hour away from the factories that make the finished articles.
SGAI this summer expanded its links with China by opening an office in Shanghai. The new Shanghai Technology Centre provides low-cost product design and development in the Yangzi River Delta (YRD) – a region of 193 million people, which accounted for 18.6 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2005.
Dr Tim Moore, CEO of SGAI Tech, says: “Hong Kong is the design and development centre and provides SGAI with the technology gateway, and remains invaluable to the business’s success.
“The Shanghai office is more focused on providing local support to global clients who prefer to outsource critical parts or modules to that region or wish to transfer products into manufacture in the YRD itself.”
Simon Davey, CEO of Scientific Generics and chairman of SGAI, says: “When we started SGAI, we realised there was an opportunity for a business of this kind. Asia was a huge train coming through industry and we could either get on it or jump out of the way. We got on it and have great aspirations for SGAI’s future.”