Tales from a Chinese career
Alfred Liu’s career reads like a serialised novel. In his 13 years at Geberit’s sales company in China, he has held a range of different positions.
In 2001, Alfred Liu begins his first job as an application engineer in Shanghai. At this time, Piping Systems are still marketed separately from Sanitary Systems. But all this is soon about to change. “A year after I joined the company, the sales divisions were merged and I took on the role as sales engineer,” he explains.
First management role
Thanks to China’s great hunger for Western technologies, Alfred Liu is a very busy man. Soon he will be taking on a new task, one with the catchy name “China Turbo”. “This was a project aimed at expanding our presence throughout the country,” explains Liu. More sales offices are therefore needed, with Liu taking over the new office in Nanjing in 2003. In taking on this role, Alfred Liu is very much entering a new dimension compared with his previous job. He is now managing a four-strong sales team. It is up to him to increase Geberit’s presence among the local decision-makers and to establish a local network.
Back in boomtown
However, Alfred Liu’s upward career trajectory is far from over. In 2006, he returns to Shanghai, where the construction industry is booming. “As Shanghai was developing at a ferocious pace, we were able to supply a range of top-class projects.” Many of the projects that Alfred Liu and his now nine-strong team look after are of the very highest standard, three of which still linger fondly in the memory: “Our presence at World Expo 2010 earned us the reputation in China as a quality brand,” explains Liu. “In the same year, we also opened our new headquarters, which enabled us to optimally serve our customers.”
The third top-class project from Alfred Liu’s time as head of the sales office in Shanghai is Shanghai Tower – a skyscraper that is set to be the second-tallest building in the world when completed. Not an easy task for the Geberit man: “The dimensions of all the drainage systems are almost indescribable. We had to overcome a few hurdles to deal with this issue.”