Ian Ng is currently the CFO at Nielsen China and he has spent six years providing accounting and auditing services at Big Four accounting firms, covering manufacturing, construction, and trading services. Prior to that, he spent 13 years in corporate finance, doing mergers and acquisitions and all kinds of business support and business strategies. His expertise incorporates business partnering, which includes contract review, price setting, and market outgrowth approaches. He’s also applied his talents to compliance and effective reporting to US and China accounting standards including GAAP, business performance forecasting and control and strategic planning for organizations to achieve the best use of their resources.
“Makes more friends. Because once you have more friends in the markets, you tend to learn more about other industries.”
- Ian Ng
- Past trends of performance are definitely not a good or mandatory reference. China had been on a growth trend if you look back 15 years, China growth, GDP, investment, and all the indexes seemed good. But everything changed. A lot of the time when we are uncertain about the future, we tend to look at the past trends to give us some comfort and confidence that things will repeat, but in today’s world, this is not the case.
- Don’t be stubborn. Be flexible and practice self-reflection. His lesson was he relied excessively on his our commercial team and had little close connection with the customers. Be ready for change because today’s world is ever-changing.
- Prove all assumptions that you make in business.
- Don’t fight the price. In some ways, in corporate finance and in business, this idea does not apply at all, but in many ways, it does. It is often said “the trend is your friend” or, “understand the direction that a price is going”. Pay a lot of attention to the price of your final product.
- Go out and meet the potential customers to confirm real demand. Sales people are naturally optimistic so be very careful about accepting their word for the level of demand for a product. When you are making an investment decision, it is critical to meet potential customers and verify that there truly is demand. “In other words, don’t totally trust what the sales team says.”
- Observe the market before making business or investment decisions: try to figure out is there any market or demand for particular products and make survey from the external environment not just only from internal staffs.
“No matter how great a business person you are, it is extremely difficult to build a successful business in an industry where the price is falling, and falling significantly.”
– Andrew Stotz
You can also check out Andrew’s books
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