Introducing Sonat Yalcinkaya-International Department of Midea Group
What do you do for Midea, and how have you found adapting to life in Foshan?
Currently, I am head of e-commerce for Midea International Business. I’m responsible for setting the strategy, focusing on the global rollout of Midea brand at international online retailers. I came to China with my girlfriend, both of us are from Amsterdam and now we are both working for Midea. Prior to this, we had never been to China, so Foshan has been our first window to China. I found Foshan is a good distance from key points of interest. Our office is in Shunde, a district to the south of Foshan. For evening entertainment we usually commute to either Guangzhou or Chancheng. Especially, we really like the clean and ease to use Metro in Foshan. But it is also easy to go to Macau and Hong Kong for the weekend. There are usually door-todoor bus services from major hotel chains. In Chancheng we enjoy heading out to Lingnan Tiandi and Expat Town.
What is the role of the international department in Midea?
Our key objective is make Midea an household brand in the world. Similar to it’s strong and trustworthy position as the category leader in China. We want Midea to be the top of the mind of our consumers worldwide. Currently, Midea products are sold worldwide, in Europe and America, but under a different brand name and via distributors. The company’s aim over the next five to ten years is to launch the original brand as a Chinese global champion worldwide.
What do you see as Midea’s most innovative new advances?
We have M-smart platform in place to enable smart home. We also partner with Xiaomi in this topic to build the future of Internet-of-Things. In addition, Midea strongly believes in robotics as the future of production. We have countless other innovations in store but at a high level I would say Smart Home and Robotics are the next things to look out for. Covering more than 30 product categories, with over 200 million annual household units, Midea is China’s biggest manufacturer of consumer appliances. The average Chinese household has 2.5 units of Midea products. Thirty million Midea smart products are expected to be shipped in 2016.