Time：2017-03-06 Publisher：Browse times：403次
Mr. Eric LI
General Manager of Overseas Business Unit
THE OIL & GAS YEAR:
Today talks with Eric Li, general manager of Wellintech's overseas business unit, about the company's products, its domestic standing and increasing expansion into international markets. Wellintech is a professional automation software company headquartered in Beijing. The company engages in independent research and development.
Could you give a brief history of Wellintech?
The company was established in 1997, as the first company in China to provide supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring software, which developed by Mr. Lin Wei as a founder. We are currently the biggest automation software provider in China, with more than 400 employees and subsidiaries and branches in more than 30 cities. We opened our first branch in Shanghai and established a branch in Japan in 2008. In 2013, we started our international business department.
What are some of the projects you have been involved in in the Chinese market?
In 2016, we collaborated with National Company's subsidiaries in northern and western China. In 2015, we collaborated with this company's Northwest branch on a pretty big project where our profit was about CNY 20 million (USD 2.92 million). That project, for public company in second largest oilfield, netted WellinTech 80% of the aforementioned contract. We provided integrated control solutions, which helped improve management efficiency. We also used software to replace human work, making the project more efficient.
What are some of the types of projects that you undertake?
The project I just mentioned will last for about two years and is currently ongoing. A new project for same public company is to build an intelligent oilfield. We are highly involved in the intelligent oilfield services. We worked on a similar project with another subsidiary in Xinjiang in northwestern China and we also collaborated with some southern Chinese cities to build natural gas filling stations in Chengdu and Guangzhou. We established a very good relationship during this project with our clients, who were the local government.
With the current lower oil prices, do you plan to introduce any new products to increase efficiency and lower costs?
Yes, that is exactly what we help with. Our clients, steel factories and cement factories, have high energy costs during production and our services help them to use these kinds of software to be more efficient, use less energy and be more environmental friendly.
Our services are more based on software solutions. The point is that we have monitoring software with which you can monitor things remotely, instead of, for example, having to stay at a factory overnight, which helps to reduce labor costs.
What are the products that you offer for oilfield services and how have they developed?
The first is the most basic controlling and the second is monitoring. A more high-end one is the product controlling system. The highest level one is Manufacturing Execution System (MES). We started with SCADA, which took a long time to develop. Usually, oilfield workers must perform all the monitoring, but with this software, they can monitor and control the asset remotely. We would like to develop more software, such as for remote managing and directing, but we gradually developed higher levels since the technical systems at that level were not so complicated. In the SCADA product line, KingView and King SCADA are our major products. We sell more than 10,000 KingView products annually. That is a very impressive number, even on the global level. Our technical systems need to be very unique to satisfy our clients.
We offer the product in many languages, such as Korean and English, so we can sell it to different countries. About the manufacturing execution system (MES), the product name is KingFusion. Last October, we first established this KingFusion product, which is the highest level for Chinese business and is used to treat foreign clients at the government level.
How has WellinTech diversified over the years?
At first, when the Kingview software was released, our clients were from many different industries, such as transportation, oil and gas, and real estate. Different clients need these services. Because of the variety of clients, we developed four business departments that focus on different kinds of businesses.
The first department covered water and wastewater; the second heavy industry, such as shipping and steel; the third department was for lighter industries, such as medicine and clothing manufacturing; and the fourth department was for oil and gas and oilfield services, which is now a major focus for our business.
How are you developing your presence in international markets?
The next level for us is international development. Our international business is developing rapidly, but compared with our core business, it is still just a small part. In order to let more international clients know about our services, we would like to attend more worldwide exhibitions and forums, especially automation-related exhibitions, such as the SPS IPC driver exhibition in Germany and there is System Control Fair (SCF) once every two years in Japan. We also attend these types of exhibitions every year in Korea, and attend maybe five or six exhibitions annually. That is how we promote our international business. One of our markets is East Asia, where we focus on the developed areas close to China, such as Korea, Japan, etc.
We have branches in Korea and Japan with two or three staff working there. The next market we plan to focus on, called the"English area", includes developing English-speaking countries, such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. The promotion strategy in the "English area"was to develop collaboration partners with good relationships to get to know more clients. We visit these four countries in the"English area" most frequently. We also visit other countries, such as Turkey and Italy, but not as frequently.
Which products do you sell most in each region and what are your strategies for expansion?
The East Asian market is more developed in automation, so we mostly sell KingFusion there. We sell more Kingview in India, Pakistan and other developing countries. We sell different products in different areas depending on how developed their markets are.
Last September, we also hired an employee from Pakistan to work in our company. He completed a three-year's master programme, graduated and joined our company. Our employees are different on an international level, as we have staff from different countries.
One reason for hiring staff from Pakistan is that Pakistan has a very good relationship with China, and we have potential market there. Another reason is that Pakistan is a Muslim country, so he knows a bit more about Muslim culture, which could help us develop the market in the Middle East in the future. If they know more about this culture, it will help with our business expansion.