“If you fear competition, don’t come to China”

SwissCham Entrepreneur Interview Series hosting Daniel Heusser, President and Chief Architect of Virtuarch

In the interview with Peter Bachmann, Executive Director at Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, Daniel Heusser brings his experience and learnings straight to the point. Living in China for over 26 years and leading his architecture and project management company VIRTUARCH for nearly 18 years, Daniel talks about the rapid development that China has taken, what challenges he had to master when founding his own company in Shanghai, and how he managed to become the renowned expert in the field of industrial buildings, workplaces and learning environments. Daniel explains that a factory and a kindergarten have more in common than you might think, and what the core expertise of VIRTUARCH is: Distill out the essence of the customers’ needs and form it into functional, inspiring and sustainable spaces.

Having lived many years in China, Daniel concludes: “If you fear competition, don’t come to China.” Working in a highly competitive environment is challenging, but also gives him the satisfaction to get things done.

When asked about the risks, Daniel says: “The biggest risk for a new company is simply not to make it. To be successful in an environment like China, you have to be flexible and pragmatic. You have to develop in areas where you have the chance to develop. To realize good buildings, you need the trust of the clients. You need to work extremely hard. And you need from time to time a bit of luck.”

Starting small in Asia in 2003, today VIRTUARCH employs around 80 full-time staff in Shanghai and around 10 more in the Thailand office in Bangkok. VIRTUARCH looks at an impressive track record of more than 500 successfully built projects in China and Southeast Asia. 

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