The business world as we know it has changed drastically since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is likely to maintain these changes for years to come. This global crisis has created various difficulties in matters that were once taken for granted, matters that are all essential for ensuring a standard business environment. In a time where even the simple action of shaking hands is no longer plausible, a pressing question arises- Is it possible to maintain a working business at times such as these?
Founder and CEO of Xinergy Global, Niv Schwartz, gives an elaborate answer to that question in a recent interview for ‘Tiny Asia Magazine’: “This is a very unique time for doing business with China – despite the crisis you can see who is really serious and motivated. If someone is not serious, they will tell you that they would rather talk when things would go back to normal. In contrast, those who want to promote projects will not let the global crisis stop them. Although there is no substitute for handshakes and first impressions, in the current situation forced upon us, businessmen’s hesitation in forming new deals had actually decreased.”
Niv Schwartz also provides an optimistic approach for the peculiar way we are now forced to communicate: “If in the past we were expecting an official meeting in a luxury office or an invitation to a high end hotel – suddenly video calls from home became legitimate, for all of us. Making video calls from our own living rooms gives a feeling of closeness, transparency and shows a more humane side of the people inside the suits – in my opinion it is an amazing process. On a more practical aspect, the flight ban has given our company tremendous momentum. Since a lot of clients can’t travel on their own, our main office that’s located in China offers our clients full compliance and support. Our clientele has also expanded and today we have a large number of projects from the US and Europe.”
Xinergy Global’s China strategy advisor, Zhou Yifeng, further points out the way this ongoing pandemic affected the usual business procedure: “As the current workload changed to be online, projects and work processes became simpler, and even more practical and quick. A project that used to require several overseas visits for face-to-face meetings and conferences is now completed faster after several call discussions and correspondence. Another interesting thing that happened is that all the extrinsic things that we had to deal with long before the crisis, like the offices, their location, the number of employees in an innovation center and more, became less relevant when most calls are made from one’s home. Our most productive meetings were actually ‘face-to-face’ meetings from afar. Having our meetings via video call changes the rhetoric and nuances of our speaking, but we were actually able to produce a different kind of authenticity, a new kind of business approach.”
While it is challenging for every company to cope with this ‘new normal’, Xinergy Global faces another unique challenge of its own, and that is to mediate between our Israeli clients and Chinese clients. Although these two cultures are strikingly different, Xinergy Global had succeeded time and time again in building a common ground and trust between the two, thus ensuring a successful business collaboration. Since its establishment in 2016, Xinergy Global designed a profound method for developing one’s business in China.
One of the main motives for creating ‘The Xinergy Method’ lies within the difference in perspective between the Chinese businessman and the Israeli’s. Niv Schwartz describes the distinction as such: “What motivated me was my personal experience in meetings where there was a kind of a ‘deaf discourse’. I really felt that ‘Chinese are from Venus and Israelis are from Mars’. Everyone hears what they want to hear, and then complains that the other side is unreliable or not serious enough. I realized how important it is to understand the other side’s business culture, the business environment one comes from and the norms one is used to. It is especially important to understand the different business strategy, the different mindsets and the differences in negotiations.”
Zhuo Yifeng gives another insight on the distinctions of these two cultures: “I would say that among all the different cultures in the world, Israelis and Chinese are very opposed when it comes to cultural understanding of each other. Israelis are very spontaneous, results-oriented, think fast, dare to take risks and challenges and sometimes a little short-tempered. In contrast, Chinese are more focused on a long term strategy, don’t tend to reveal emotions in business interactions, and give more weight to rules and work procedure. In terms of working environment, Israel provides more flexibility and room for individual voices in organizations while China is the exact opposite. Despite these contradictions, China-Israel cooperation still occupies a significant part of the dealings between the two countries, and they are only gaining momentum over the years.”
Without a doubt, building business relations between Chinese and Israelis can benefit both sides greatly and create satisfying outcomes. “For all the differences between the two cultures, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. We share a similar set of values such as family, respect for parents and a constant desire to evolve, learn and grow. We all live in a global village that is changing and developing rapidly before our eyes.” Zhuo Yifeng says, and further emphasizes this valuable point:” Among the young people today there are more similarities than differences, whether they are young Americans, Chinese or Israelis. If we ignore the similarities and choose to concentrate on how different or foreign we are to each other, we will lose focus on everything that matters in intercultural business – the desire to create common interests and a common purpose that serves everyone, as well as trust and empathy. Only in this way can we create a better future for the generations that will follow us, one that will no longer be driven by stereotypes-but from the important infrastructure that we have laid ourselves.”
Xinergy Global strives to create a world where international business development is as simple as domestic, and thus continues to improve and advance even in the face of this global pandemic. While adjusting to this ‘new normal’, Xinergy Global continues to successfully provide a matchless service to help our clients expand their business in Asia.