Liam Casey, "Mr. China," and electronics manufacturing

BBC Radio aired a fascinating program about my friend Liam Casey, aka "Mr. China," whose company PCH International is reinventing the electronics industry by converting the supply chain into a flexible supply web of "just in time" manufacturing and shipping. Voted Ireland's Ernst & Young 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year, Liam is based in Shenzhen. And he doesn't speak Chinese. From BBC Radio presenter Peter Day's text about the program:

At the centre of (PCH International) is a comprehensive database of some 900 Chinese companies with world class facilities in and around the Pearl River Delta…

Take an idea to PCH, and his people will help you design the product, simplify it to make it manufacturable, find the Chinese firms to make it for you, and fulfil the orders and get them dispatched.

What role for the Western business in all this ? Well, Liam Casey will do the donkey work in the middle… and your Western company will work at either end of what he calls the "smiley curve"… providing the big idea at the beginning, and the astute marketing at the end.

This is getting very close to a very important new business model that I'm calling Capitalism without Capital.

"The Remarkable Mr China" (BBC Radio 4)
Program podcast (Peter Day's World of Business)