When you drive into Shunde, a Chinese city with over a million inhabitants just outside Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province in southern China, you are in Midea country. The Chinese conglomerate has a broad base, producing everything from white goods and robots to heat pumps. The latter is what has brought Ji Wei Li and Ze Wen Ye to the city on this occasion. The two Grundfos employees represent the HVAC OEM division in China. And they are busy. Intense sales efforts combined with a rising standard of living in the country – resulting in greater demand for reliable and efficient solutions to heat people’s homes – have caused our business to grow. The Chinese government has also accelerated the trend by launching a new ‘Coal to Clean Energy’ initiative, which aims to move consumption away from coal toward cleaner heat sources such as gas and electricity.
“We have been seeing steady growth in China for a long time, because more and more people can afford to choose better solutions for heating their homes. But when the government introduces a green initiative at the same time, it naturally adds extra pace to the trend,” says Ji Wei Li, Group Key Account Manager, HVAC, China.
The move towards cleaner and more efficient heating solutions is being felt by both Midea and Grundfos. Consumers in the larger cities in particular are looking for green solutions such as heat pumps. And they are not just looking for energy efficiency, but also high quality and reliability.
“We are known for our quality and efficiency, and are not content to offer our customers anything less than the very best. That is why we also have high expectations of our partners. They have to deliver world-class products. Grundfos meets our requirements, and we actually find that their pumps improve our systems, so we can together supply a top class product,” says Peter Zhang, Sales Director at Midea.
And that is music to Ji Wei Li’s ears.
“We have to understand the customer’s needs, and be able to deliver precisely the solution that is needed. That is always what we strive to do,” he says.
Opening new doors
This approach has borne success across the entire Chinese market, where Grundfos has managed to strongly increase sales in a growing market, while retaining our high market share.
“When we also succeed in supplying well-known and respected companies like Midea, it further cements our position in the market. We know that other key players in the industry look to Midea. And when they also see us, it can create new business and open doors to exciting new customers,” explains Ji Wei Li.