Also Holding AG, a leading European distributor for information and communication technology (ICT) products and services, expects to help more Chinese technology companies expand their presence in the European market by virtue of their expertise in logistics, marketing and a series of IT solutions and services.
Gustavo Möller-Hergt, CEO of Also, said there are many opportunities for Chinese startups in the future, adding that his company is willing to offer assistance to entrepreneurs and help them expand in Europe by offering them a customer-focused platform or marketplace.
More than 500 vendors, including Huawei, Lenovo, Microsoft and Apple, provide Also with a portfolio of more than 188,000 articles－including hardware, software and components－which the company's 100,000 buyer partners (including 50,000 resellers) then market to end customers.
"Chinese tech companies have a very big market in China, but the European market is very segmented and differentiated, and the customers are sophisticated," said Möller-Hergt, adding they connect IT vendors in China who are eager to sell their products and services overseas with European resellers.
He added that if Chinese companies are going to a mature market such as Europe, they should have "strategic patience" as they need to learn about the dynamic of the European market. That market is very different from China's, and their businesses may not grow rapidly there.
"We have a very regional approach, and don't have a central office (that) decides everything. For example, we have people in Finland who understand what the Finnish people need."
Listed in Switzerland since 1986, Also employs around 3,520 people across 15 European countries. Its offerings cover everything from the supply of hardware, reverse logistics and logistics to cloud products and financing. These services are all available through Also as a market-leading B2B marketplace, which serves as a one-stop-shop for customers.
The company earned a net profit of 36.9 million euros (.3 million) in the first half of the year, an increase of 32.4 percent compared to the same period in the previous year.
"We have all the data to understand the specific needs of resellers in their regions at different times of the year. This allows us to make a very targeted approach to the market. If a vendor wants to go alone and sell his products directly, it mostly involves major investments, high costs and a long learning curve."
As one of the most innovative distributors globally, Also is reinventing itself as a "solutions aggregator", a radical departure from its origins as a high-volume, low-margin "box conveyor".