Anemone Ventures is a boutique management consulting company, focused on developing business opportunities in Asia, particularly Taiwan and Korea. Anemone Ventures helps clients outperform in the targeted markets in the most efficient and cost effective way. Facilitating two-way business opportunities, Anemone Ventures provides on-the-ground support, greater transparency and constant progress towards client’s agreed upon goals.
Company’s greatest business achievement: “Introducing one of our clients to their biggest business opportunity in Asia in their 25 years of operations.”
On How to Start a Business in Taiwan: “I would love to see the foreign entrepreneur community in Taiwan continue to grow, and this book is a great tool to further cultivate such a trend.”
On doing business in Taiwan: “While doing business in Taiwan may not be as straight forward as Singapore and HK, the benefits of an open and educated society, convenient logistics and geographic location, make it a worthwhile location to establish your business.”
Revital is from Israel, but has been living in Asia since 1999. She started Anemone Ventures in 2009, aiming to provide solutions and channels in Asia for overseas business. Currently Anemone Ventures has two branches, one in Taipei, Taiwan and the other located in Seoul, Korea. Anemone Ventures has advised and provided services for primarily overseas technology companies.
Revital on why Taiwan is a great place to do business:
➢ Taiwan is diverse and open.
➢ Taiwan is a great manufacturing hub. Logistically, it is also very well placed. USA and EU markets are stagnating. Asia is growing.
➢ Taiwan is the most similar consumer market to Mainland China. It offers a great place to ‘test’ a product/service prior to entering China in order to adapt to the Chinese consumer market. Hong Kong and Singapore are too small, and are not consumer markets. Korea and Japan are too different to China.
➢ Taiwan’s labour laws are very favourable to SMEs.
➢ Taiwan is always looking for new innovation. And Taiwanese companies are looking to invest in innovative overseas technology. Overseas businesses are looking for strategic partners in Asia to provide manufacturing and production, logistical services, and funding. Hence, Taiwan is an obvious choice for overseas technology or technology-related business.
On accessibility of business information in Taiwan: Revital admits that compared to Hong Kong and Singapore, information in Taiwan is a lot less accessible to foreigners. Most of the information is exclusively in Chinese. Moreover, contacts play an important role in Taiwan; for instance, in finding accountants and employees. Fortunately for Revital, prior to starting her business, she already had a developed network, having already been working in Taiwan for several years. She was able to employ a competent and reasonably priced accountant. Many foreigners in Taiwan will employ a high-cost big-four accounting firm, who do not necessarily perform better than other accountants.
On Employees: Revital says that one of the keys to success in business is finding the right employees. She believes in having a diverse workforce in terms of gender, language, age, nationality, education, and background. Besides hiring local employees, she also believes in hiring foreign interns as a way to diversify the workplace. She has found employees and interns through her alumni groups and the Internet (Facebook & LinkedIn).
Finding good employees has also been one of Revital’s biggest challenges. In the service industry, the most important resource is people. Most fresh graduates in Taiwan are not mature enough business-wise. Experienced Taiwanese employees tend not to take initiative. They are used to taking orders. For instance, instead of coming to their boss with a solution, they come to their boss with a problem, expecting their boss to make a decision. It is for this reason that Revital prefers fresh graduates. She is able to develop and nurture her employees to work the way she wants them to.
On Conducting Business in Chinese/English: Revital is able to speak limited Chinese, but she prefers speaking English when doing business as she is able to better express herself. Regarding contracts, which may be in Chinese (but are often in English), she relies on her employees. As the manager of her business, she does not want to read every contract and be aware of every detail.
At business meetings, Revital finds that having an interpreter is a big help. Besides enabling both parties to fully comprehend what is said, it also slows down the meeting. This gives both parties time to digest what is said.
For Revital, challenges = opportunities:
1. There are definitely cultural differences between doing business in Israel and Taiwan. In Israel, business people are in a rush and want everything to be done yesterday. In Taiwan, business people prefer to develop long-term trusting relationships. Revital views this challenge as her opportunity.
2. We asked Revital if she faced any difficulties doing business in Taiwan as a woman. Surprisingly, Revital found that being a woman entrepreneur was an advantage. She is not expected to go out drinking and karaoke with her business associates. Moreover, her business associates are instinctively less competitive. Male-male business interaction often instinctively evokes feelings of competitiveness.
Contact Anemone Ventures, Taiwan:
Address: (Taiwan) 2F-1, No. 309, TunHwa North Rd.
Taipei 10583, Taiwan
Tel: +886(2)2712 6931