Companies in China keep a sharp eye on the context in which their products and services are to be sold, says Zhu Hengyuan, Associate Professor and Vice Chair at Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, School of Economics & Management, Tsinghua University. In the course of our research “Rethink, Reinvent, Realize” we talked with the specialist on Organization and Process of New Product or New Business Development about innovations and digital technologies in China.

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Zhu Hengyuan

Associate Professor and Vice Chair at Department of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, School of Economics & Management, Tsinghua University.

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What drives the pace of innovation at companies in China?

Zhu Hengyuan: Companies in China keep a sharp eye on the context in which their products and services are to be sold. They focus on innovating at a speed that can help them roll out products and services relevant to the context. This context could be internal to the company (such as the manufacturing context or supply chain context) or could be external to the company (such as emergence of new markets).

How do Chinese companies manage the pace of innovation?

Chinese innovators are adept at ‘iterative innovation’. To begin with, they introduce a minimum viable product /service (MVP/S)—into smaller markets. They gather feedback from customers and partners in the innovation value chain. Basis this feedback they initiate the next round of product innovation—many times with stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. In this way, they evolve the product/service very quickly and sustainably.

What is the role of digital technologies in managing innovation cadence within Chinese companies?

With significantly large data pools at their service, Chinese companies are now using Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning in combination with mobility to better contextualize their innovation. To drive harmonious innovation experience across stakeholders they have started building virtual (cloud based) design and prototyping platforms. This is also helping them become quicker and nimbler.

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This interview was conducted by Raghav Narsalay, global research for Accenture’s Industry X.0 organization. Reach out to Raghav via LinkedIn

 

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