China’s wellness market on the horizon
The company’s founders, Thomas Lemström and Sulin Cheng, know that awareness of the Chinese people’s awareness in their health is increasing. The weak fitness of children in particular, worries citizens and the government. “This offers an excellent opportunity to bring top-level expertise from Finland,” says Dr.Cheng. “Our objective is to be amongst the companies, taking part in creating a successful wellness industry for China. We want to export technology aimed for professional use as well as wellness products for ordinary consumers in China,” Mr. Lemström continues.
Horizon Wellness’s business started in Jyväskylä. “This is a dynamic wellness technology and research city. A great deal of unique wellness industry research and business operations have sprung around the university, and these should be utilized and exported,” says Dr. Cheng, professor from the University of Jyväskylä.
The company will not focus on Jyväskylä alone. Horizon Wellness works with all Finnish health and wellness companies with the interest in Chinese markets.
Test marketing on the way
Horizon Wellness’s strength lies in the knowledge of Chinese culture and ways of working. “We know, for example, how Finnish companies can apply for financial support from the Chinese government,” explains Dr. Cheng. In fact, Horizon Wellness has its other foot firmly planted in China, with its subsidiary based in the city of Wuxi, in eastern China. The company’s operations are also promoted by a professional network of professors, business experts and sales representatives.
Horizon Wellness is currently seeking wellness businesses in Finland for test marketing. Focus is on testing Finnish products’ opportunities for market success, using a local sales network. “Using the feedback received, companies will find it easier to further develop their products and successfully launch them in the Chinese market,” says Mr. Lemström.
Tangible and high-quality products are the keys to success. “The Chinese will not buy ideas or concepts, but actual products which they can see. Value for money and the right design are also important. Marketing is made easier by the fact that Finland and Finnish products have a good reputation in China. Finnish products are often perceived as being clean and of high quality, traits that are important in wellness and healthcare products," Dr. Cheng sums up.