Simon-Kucher founder gives inspiration to new business school in China

21 May 2021 3 min. read
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The Hermann Simon Business School has officially launched in Shouguang in China’s Shandong Province, with its inspiration and eponym delivering the opening speech and inaugural lecture.

Simon-Kucher & Partners founder and honorary chairman Hermann Simon has given an opening address for the inauguration of the Hermann Simon Business School in Shouguang, China. In development since 2017, the establishment of the international university was initiated by successful speciality chemicals entrepreneur Yang Shuren, an adherent of Simon’s business philosophies on mid-sized global market leadership.

Simon’s vision on specialisation and globalisation for inconspicuous mid-sized companies, encapsulated in worldwide best-selling book ‘Hidden Champions’ – one of his more than 35 publications – have earned the long-time Simon-Kucher CEO a spot in the renowned Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, and will inform the curriculum of the new business school.

Simon-Kucher founder gives inspiration to new business school in China

Meanwhile, according to Simon, the school should itself strive to become a Hidden Champion. “The mission of the new school is to prepare managers for mid-sized companies, (which) are very important for the Chinese economy,” he said in his opening speech delivered via Zoom, before describing the main characteristics of the ‘Hidden Champions’ concept.

“First, the ambition to be world class. Second, focus, because only focus leads to world class. And third, internationalisation. These are excellent guidelines for the new business school.”

Indeed, the university has positioned itself with a strong international orientation, and has already initiated collaborations with other universities overseas. In addition, the newly minted business school will be supported by an international advisory board of leading experts, with eminent strategy and international relations professor Liu Hongsong serving as founding president. Simon pressed home the global angle in the institute’s inaugural lecture.

“In future, exports will be substituted by direct foreign investments. As a result, companies will increasingly invest in each other’s countries,” he told the students, describing the new business school as a bridge between China and the rest of the world in a time where all countries depend on mutually-prosperous economic cooperation. “Staying away is not an option, and the new university will certainly contribute to international understanding.”

Founded in 1985, Simon-Kucher & Partners is considered the world’s leading pricing specialist, with the global strategy and sales & marketing consultancy today spread across more than 40 offices worldwide, including a recent addition in Berlin and a third outlet added in China in mid-2018.

The firm, led by co-CEOs Mark Billige and Andreas von der Gathen since the beginning of last year, now pulls in annual revenues upwards of €350 million.