Today, Plante Moran has offices throughout Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio and in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Part of me feels as though it’s always been this way, yet it was just 10 years ago that our global services team was formed and a group of forward-thinking PMers had the vision to propel our firm outside of its Midwestern footprint into a land 8,000 miles away—specifically, into Shanghai, China.
A few days ago, Bryan Welsh, a manufacturing partner out of our Detroit office, sent me an inspiring email reflecting on his experiences in Shanghai and how that translates to pride in the firm. Many of his sentiments echo my own, and I’d like to share an excerpt here.
“I feel that sense of Plante Moran pride whenever I work on one of our internationally active clients and particularly those with operations in China. We could never serve such clients without unbiased, selfless attitudes and support. We couldn’t have Plante Moran China staff Alex He, Henry Xue, and their teams step away from their family breakfast or dinner tables to jump on a call because the 12-hour time difference makes real-time updates a challenge. We couldn’t ask our global service team members who have their own clients to serve to get on a call to help resolve an issue, or ensure a project gets off on the right foot, or help a clueless M&D audit partner from the Detroit office understand (politely) that ‘It doesn’t work that way in China like it does in Detroit.’ And we certainly couldn’t get on a plane to fly to China without the support of our fellow partners and associates who fill in the gaps and make their own sacrifices to ensure other work keeps moving and stateside clients continue to get world-class service. These and countless other examples give me the sense of pride I feel when I serve a client with Chinese operations, and any of our clients for that matter.”
In the excerpt above, Bryan mentions Alex He. He is our country manager in China and has been on the ground there since day one. When I think about Alex, I feel such appreciation for the chance he took with us. A young engineer, he made the life decision to join a firm headquartered 8,000 miles away that he’d barely met and had little reason to trust—a significant gamble for someone brought up in a culture where trust is so critical. Thank you, Alex, for taking that gamble and this 10-year journey with us.
Because of our success with Shanghai, we’ve branched out into other parts of the world, first in Monterrey, Mexico, and later in Mumbai, India, based on client demand. And we’ve been fortunate to join Praxity, an alliance of global firms, which provides world-class service to our clients—wherever they/their needs may be.
It’s been a thrilling 10 years. I’m excited to see what the next 10 will bring.
What about you? Does your company have an international presence? How does your company serve your clients’/customers’ international needs?