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Learning from the Chinese experience – Management during Coronavirus Times: INFORMATION AND AWARENESS (Part 2)

If you just did cost control, secured your cash flow, secured your HR through short-time working provisions and state subsidized employments, maybe applied for a bank credit, state-backed, you are far away from successfully managing your company and navigating operations during these challenging times.

You better note that there are two types of companies which are running into serious trouble. The first ones are companies which are not competitive in the long run and the other ones are startups depending on external financing. So if you are one of the two, then you better be well prepared.

The economy will not be the same after these lockdown times and you are advised to not only mitigate the risk but also work on your upcoming opportunities. What if your major competitor fails to manage the crisis and you will come out on top? What if you can offer new products which were hard to sell before? What if your clients now appreciate your high service level and support which they ignored in the past? What if you finally manage to buy your target company?

So awareness and information are king during these times. This means not just sitting at home in your home office and react to requests from your team. You have to actively manage your operations and especially work on your opportunities!

So you should focus on gathering crucial information and data which is key to long-term success. Involve the whole team, involve your specialists. This applies to the supply chain, logistics, R&D, sales/services and possible M&A targets. What major changes does the situation bring? If I do not get the parts I need, where can I get them. Or can I control supply? What if my competitor does not get the parts I have? Maybe I can acquire supplier X. So you should closely watch the supply market, have yll relevant team members involved in this task, have weekly (online) meetings to exchange newest information and maybe decide on adequate measures. This applies to all other fields of concern as well.

You will see that just after a couple of weeks you will not only be able to make an assessment but to really be ahead as you have all necessary information and data to position yourself ahead of your competition. Just imagine the impact if one or two competitors will not survive the crisis. What do you have to do to come out on top of it. The companies who wait for their outcome and hope on financial survival might be able to keep their status quo but will not number one for long.

A companies success still depends on profitability not cost saving. So you better evaluate your fields of growth and increasing competitiveness. Choose who in your team you want to invlove in the process and get down to the table and start real work! Wish you all success!

And what does this teach us from the Chinese experience? Supply already has shown that dependencies on China are a major risk for the company. But what if I have a good relationship with my key suppliers and my competitor not. Now there is a concern that Chinese companies take the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to acquire companies in the West. Why not acquiring companies in China? Why not entering crucial strategic partnerships with your Chinese partners to be on top globally? There are plenty of chances and thus I recommend get in touch with your Chinese colleagues and business partners! Reach out, these are the time of opportunity!

Learning from the Chinese Experience – Management during Coronavirus Times: INTRODUCTION (Part 1)

„Learning from the Chinese Experience – Management during Coronavirus Times“ shall give investors and top managers guidance of how to steer and manage their companies and staff during times of decreasing economic activity based on worldwide lockdowns because of the mitigation of the coronavirus. Why the Chinese experience? China went through what we are going through in Europe already a couple of weeks before and if we look at China, we can get an idea of how challenging the way back to recovery is. That is why I recommend to have a close look onto current China operations and stay in close contact with Chinese business partners as you will get the chance to learn for your operations in Europe and other regions in the world.

The upcoming articles will look at the most important tasks of managing your company and employees. Please note that the most affected companies are either companies who are already not profitable or start-up companies depending on constant financing. If you are in the first group, you can be prepared for real challenges up to come. If you are in the latter, you have to have a plan of how to guide your company through these difficult months. You have to be aware that such crisis situations as we currently face bear opportunities we never had before, so we should not only look onto the Coronavirus times as times of crisis.


We will look at all of these topics from the Investment and Management perspective and reflect these situations with China in regard of similarities and differences. Such shall give you a thorough understanding of how and when to undertake the most appropriate investment and management decisions.

Do not forget your China team

Numerous cities such as Shanghai and Beijing are still under lockdown status and this is having a major impact on your company’s operations in China. Here, I kindly remind you to not only follow the news and try to make up your own picture.

Stay close to your team and employees in China, they need your support the most. I recommend to look for alternative working models such as working from home or to base the work schedule on a flexible time plan. Postpone unnecessary business travel and communicate more via online media such as video conferencing. Get in touch with your China team(s) now and clearly communicate of how work arrangements will be done, but always in a responsible manner which guarantees that all of your employees stay safe! And do not forget your trustful business partners. To fulfil contractual obligations is not only a challenge for your company but also for your business partner. So before you announce the force majeure case, better think about finding a solution which takes your and your business partner’s interest into account. Do not forget, business is all about people!

"Be not afraid of growing slowly,
be afraid of standing still."
- Chinese Proverb

Asia and Greater China Advisory, Interim Management, Coaching and Supervisory for Investors and Top Management

“We create and build profitable, sustainable and compliant business operations in Far East Asia especially in Greater China and guarantee that your investment will be a long-term success throughout times of crisis and growth.”

  • We are your long-term partner to make sure that your investment in Asia is bringing returns and build operations in a stable and profitable way.

  • We support your management and team in Asia in order to achieve growth while at the same time building a strong bridge with headquarters.

  • We come to the rescue during times of crisis by providing adequate change management solutions in order to achieve a positive turnaround.

  • You will reach better results with our support.

We are your long-term partner to make sure that your investment in Asia is bringing returns and build operations in a stable and profitable way

We support your management and team in Asia in order to achieve growth while at the same time building a strong bridge with headquarters

We come to the rescue during times of crisis by providing adequate change management solutions in order to achieve a positive turnaround

You will reach better results with our support.

We are the right partner for shareholders, top management, your local Asia management ant the team. Together, we define viable solutions, define the targets and implement the necessary measures among the shareholders as well as stakeholders. We bring in the Asia and Greater China management competence which you do not have within your company.

Here, we offer the following services for you and your Company.






years working in and with Asia and Greater China


full time management postings in Asian holding and subsidiary companies


different industries' experience


companies in-depth knowledge of companies in Asia and Greater China


Receiving professional support from an experienced coacher and manager. We will support you through your whole business lifecycle solutions with individual business strategies, tailored for your business model and industry. Starting with business planning for all sized companies, over financial and accounting services, board structure or restructuring.


Do you require support for your company in quality management or conflict counselling? During his long career, Mr. David Schulte has extensive experience in coaching companies in various stages. Finding a balance between effectiveness and efficiency is the key as well as a having an experienced and reliable coacher by your side, guiding you the way to success.

Interim Management

Does your company face issues in the management position section? An experienced manager with profound knowledge here will keep the business together. Professional interim management will give your business specialized care and support on international businesses, especially in Asia and Greater China.


For the compliance and financials of a company, experienced supervisors with profound knowledge is key to a great success in your business. David Schulte has great experience in several industries and will give your company great guidance through the everyday business.

David Schulte

  • Founder of SERES Management

  • Profound operational experience in numerous industries

  • More than 15 years leadership and management expertise in Asia working in numerous management positions

  • More than 10 years supervisory experience working in numerous boards of Asian holding and subsidiary companies

  • Excellent knowledge of Asian cultures especially Greater China; fluent in Mandarin

  • Degree in International Business

  • Bachelor degree in Chinese studies

Mr. David SCHULTE, an economist with excellent analytical skills, has received his degree in International Business at the University of Business Administration and Economics, Vienna, and in parallel received his bachelor degree in Chinese studies at the University of Vienna. As an exchange student, he spent one year at Paradise High School, California, in the United States. David SCHULTE received scholarships to study the Chinese language at the Beijing Language and Culture University and to do research for the master thesis in Beijing, China.

After graduation, Mr. David SCHULTE joined the Wuerth Group under the new leadership of Mr. Robert FRIEDMANN, CEO, to drive growth in the PR China which took him to places such as Tianjin, Beijing and Shenyang. The reason for leaving the Wuerth Group was the strong desire to be fully responsible to build up a company in China. Joining the Austrian high-tech Getzner Group, he was fully in charge to set up a joint venture company in Kunshan and a sales company in Beijing providing locally produced vibration-dampening products for the high-speed railway.

Then, he set up the company Seres Management in Vienna in order to better serve the needs of the clients by leading interim management projects in the fields of startup, change, M&A and liquidation. In the Eglo joint venture company in Dongguan, China, he was the first foreign person working in the Austrian-Chinese JV company. Later, he acted as the interim Vice GM of the biggest Berndorf Group company, Aichelin China. Further interim postings followed. In parallel, he supported other companies in advising in Asia issues and to make contributions to the growth of companies in the role of a Board Director.

Currently, David SCHULTE is holding board positions in holding and subsidiary companies in China, Singapore and Thailand. Some companies he already advises for almost ten years.

Zhong Wanli

  • Interim Manager at Seres Management

  • Long Term experience at Wuerth Group

  • Degree at Nuertingen University of Applied Sciences in Germany

  • Native in Chinese as well as very fluent in German and English

Mr ZHONG has been working as a manager for over two decades and brings profound skills and experience with him. During his studies at university, he worked as a part time jobber at the airport in Stuttgart (Germany) until 2002. Starting as a trainee at the Adolf Wuerth KG, his career kick started and he became vice general manager at Wuerth Hardware & Tools Co. in Shanghai.

During the next years, Mr ZHONG ruled Wuerth Group in Tianjin for a decade with seven bureaus in total. Under ZHONG Wanli’s leadership, the company had a profit increase of up to 30% per year, underlining his excellent leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Being the general manager of Tianjin, he led Wuerth in Shenyang as well and became the CEO of Wuerth Co. Ltd. in China until 2015.

ZHONG Wanli held a position as a board member at the German chamber of commerce in Tianjin and since 2015 he has been a successful interim manager and strategic management advisor for Seres management. Having him in this team, brings a valuable person with deep and reflective knowledge in various industries.

EXPERTS: Richard Hoffman

  • Partner & Lawyer at Ecovis Heidelberg

  • Member of the Management Board at ECOVIS International

  • Chair of Legal Task Force of ECOVIS International

  • Supervisor at numerous companies

  • Degree in law at the universities of Heidelberg (Germany)

  • More than 15 years leadership experience in China

  • Fluent in Chinese, English and German

Mr Richard Hoffmann is the legal expert for Seres management and brings extensice knowledge and long years of experience with him. He graduated at the University of Heidelberg in law and started his lawyer career as a legal assistant at a law firm in New York. Managing Dezan Shira & Associates in Beijing, China started his career in this country and became Partner at Ecovis and co-founder of the law firm Ecovis Beijing with over XX employees, providing financial and legal services, accounting, audit and payroll. Since then he has been supervising companies from different industry branches successfully, some for even half a decade.

For almost ten years, Richard HOFFMANN has been one out of six members of the marketing board at ECOVIS International as well as in the quality development board, management board and legal task force.