By Sun Wenyi
Like a multiplier effect, the recent boom in China these recent years have enabled companies like CEO SUITE, a leading serviced office provider, to expand their network in and around other Chinese cities including Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, just 5 months after it has taken a foothold in Shanghai.
With more overseas investments attracted by China, there has been a rise in the number of new set-ups, mainly multinational companies with small staff count, and with a requirement for an immediate office to settle down.
CEO SUITE, serving about 50 clients in Shanghai currently, 95 per cent of which are multinationals, hopes to grasp this opportunity to establish more centers in other major flourishing Chinese cities.
Since its opening in 1997, the company has established at least a new center per year in a different city and today, it has offices in 5 locations including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Shanghai being their latest addition.
CEO SUITE assists with the establishment of businesses by providing instant offices – fully furnished, and equipped with advanced IT and telecommunication systems – instantly and without heavy capital investments : an appealing alternative to new foreign multinational set-ups.
A typical office suite, with complete office infrastructure at CEO SUITE costs less than US$1,500 while a traditional office with the same fit-out will cost at least US$50,000. Also ready to go services such as cleaning services, beverage, pantry facilities, general office maintenance and insurance come packaged within the monthly rental. Other office peripherals include broadband internet, ready phone lines, voicemail facilities, color-laser printers, boardroom, meeting rooms, Reuters services, and video-conferencing facilities.
Just like from a menu, a client is able to pick out the required facilities and amenities, and within the day, he would be able to operate in his own office with a dedicated phone number, and professional multilingual call answering service in his company’s name. The conventional way for many to set up a business would be to pick up an office space, negotiate the rent, order the furniture, furnish it with IT & telecommunication system, and finally recruit the right staff, the process of which might take a few months. But at CEO SUITE, “we have everything ready – pending clients to state their requirements,” explains Mee Kim, the Founder and President of CEO SUITE.
For companies without the need for a physical, full-fledged office to be based, CEO SUITE markets their other category of product known as “Virtual Link” – a virtual type of office.
The “Virtual Link” package operates with just a dedicated phone number and mail address, offered to be used by the client. All calls will first be answered by a professionally trained receptionist at CEO SUITE. “This system is still pretty new in China, because we are able to identify each respective company, and answer the call in the company’s name to project that corporate image,” said Mee Kim. The call will then be handled according to the client’s specific requirement, including an immediate transfer to their mobile, home, voicemail box or email address.
Although this system is now manipulated only in Shanghai, CEO SUITE plans to expand it to other Chinese cities in the very near future. CEO SUITE also has a network of professionals offering translation, business consultancy, market research and recruitment services.
“None of our staff is a fresh graduate from university. They are all recruited from similar service industries for obvious benefits,” elaborates Mee Kim. As most of their clients are from multinational companies, the staff is required to speak fluent English and other languages at the same level as their clients.
”It is both challenging and exciting to be operating in China. We believe in China’s great potential, both economically and socially, and hope to be attracting more foreign investments, and new local set-ups via our “no-hassles, no-headaches” instant office set-ups!” exclaims Mee Kim.