Thomas Renton is Director at Alliance Consultants & Exports Ltd, based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Thomas is originally from Edinburgh.
Alliance Consultants & Exports Ltd is an established sourcing and procurement firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Specialising in various OEM components, assemblies and finished goods, Alliance provides on-the-ground sourcing, engineering and quality control expertise for companies who may lack the resources, personnel or infrastructure to successfully execute projects in China. Alliance also scouts first-to-market, unique consumer goods and specialty products that are new to the western retail landscape.
Alliance Consultants & Exports Ltd was founded in 2006 and operates in Hong Kong & the Chinese mainland.
KILTR (K): Typically, how do you spend your working day?
Thomas Renton (TR): A usual day would normally consist of a factory visit to verify certain companies/manufacturers along with factory inspections and quality control checks. I’m also kept busy with the sourcing and procurement of required products including logistics with a constant line of communication between clients and factories and suppliers through various mediums.
K: How long have you been based in China? What has been your experience of living and working in China?
TR: I’ve been based here in China for almost 6 years. It’s been an educational experience on all levels: adapting to the Chinese way of life and understanding the culture and mentality of how the Chinese operate, especially in terms of business. If you’re not willing to embrace or speak the language then it’s fair to say that you’ll only be scratching the surface – you’ll find it extremely difficult to be accepted by the Chinese and be taken seriously. In saying that though everyone I have met and done business with have all been ever so friendly and welcoming, even more so once they know that you’re from Scotland. Even though Scotland and China are so far apart and different in terms of culture, we do share many common interests and the Chinese are always happy to point these out.
K: Professionally speaking, what are your plans for 2012?
TR: Our plans for 2012 are to continue working closely with our clients and expanding the Alliance brand on all levels. We recently opened up our new mainland office here in the city spectacular city of Hangzhou.
K: Outside of work, what are your interests?
TR: My interests vary – polishing up on my Chinese mandarin and local culture, socialising with friends, playing tennis or going to the gym. I also like travelling and taking in all the wonderful sights and sounds that China has to offer when my schedule permits, along with having a keen interest in Asian cuisine and keeping up to date with all relevant happenings both here in the east and in the west. Most importantly, I enjoy spending quality time with my Chinese girlfriend – we have been together coming up for 4 years now and are soon to be married.
K: What led you to join KILTR? What have been your initial impressions?
TR: First of all a big congratulations to the whole of the KILTR team for all the hard work and innovation shown in putting KILTR on the map. The way that KILTR operates and has progressed has been a delight to see. There’s something there for everyone that with an interest in Scotland. The reason why I use the KILTR network is simple: being based here in China, KILTR enables me to keep in touch with everything that’s Scotland-related across current affairs, culture, humour, along with expanding my connections and network on all business fronts.
K: What content/functionality would you like to see from KILTR in the future?
TR: With KILTR being in beta and with the improvements and changes made over the past year, it’s very difficult to find fault. One thing that I would like to see possibly is the enlargement of all Jpegs for the simple reason of “impact”. One other thing that I do like is the interaction and beady eye of the KILTR staff which gives it a homely feel and keeps the network spam free. How about free calls and a chat messenger?
Thanks to Thomas for taking part. If you would like to be the subject of an upcoming ‘On KILTR’ interview, please contact Michael Feeley via KILTR or on feeley@KILTR.com…