Xu Le, Feature Story 2 of LiuGong’s 20th Globalization Anniversary
The United Arab Emirates is the economic and trade center of the Middle East. One of its cities, Dubai, is a desert oasis and a shopping paradise. Selling construction machinery products in such a place is a very unique experience.
In 2010, LiuGong Middle East was established in Dubai; the following year, Xu Le joined the team. Dubai presented her with a unique work environment. She is often noticeable at construction sites, mines, and oil fields since there are very few women.
It is very common for her to drive for 6 hours to visit customers. Encountering desert sand along the way, her car wheels sometimes get stuck. However, as a salesperson, this kind of difficult scenarios does not deter her and she always finds ways to overcome the challenges. “Despite having to cover two to three hundred kilometers a day, doing business involves visiting customers and understanding the local market,” Xu Le remarked.
Once, she was not able to meet a customer on one of these long customer visits and had to go back. When she revisited, the security guard at the site said to her, “I remember you, you came last time.” Xu Le was a little curious and asked why he remembered her. “Because there are no women here,” the security guard replied.
In the UAE construction machinery industry, practitioners and customers tend to be almost exclusively male. Xu Le’s coming onto the scene has blazed the trail for women in this industry and become a distinctive feature of LiuGong in the region.
But Xu Le was not initially a salesperson. In 2019, after having worked in HR administration for LiuGong Middle East for 8 years, she was sent to replace one of her UAE sales colleagues who was on leave. “Honestly, very apprehensive,” she recalls how she felt at the time, but she still wanted to challenge herself and seize the opportunity. Her job included tracking orders, visiting customers, negotiating deals, and maintaining constant contact with several strategic global customers. In the time leading up to her successful collaboration with the UAE railroad construction project, she forged ahead step by step and took on the challenge as it came.
When the customer visited LiuGong Middle East, the boss specially praised Xu Le, remarking, “She is great. She’s a good and competent salesperson.” The LiuGong Middle East General Manager was surprised, and said, “She’s not a salesperson, she’s our HR and administrative manager.” In 2020, Xu Le was recognized by the company and transitioned to sales, becoming LiuGong’s only female salesperson in the Middle East.
Since joining LiuGong in 2011, Xu Le has gone from HR administration to sales, and though the two jobs are very different, she believes that they are both guided by the principle of “Being an upright person and working in steadfast manner.” From HR administration work, Xu Le has gained experience in company management, personnel training, and the coordination and cooperation of various departments. Sales work, on the other hand, has given her a greater sense of mission — to grow the LiuGong brand in the UAE. In the first year of being a salesperson, her sales volume completion rate was 319%, and the sales revenue completion rate was 295% — achieving a breakthrough in the central enterprise’s sales of the “first set” of Chinese excavators in the UAE.
In the past two years, LiuGong has become one of the most recognized Chinese brands in the UAE market and its wheel loaders are widely praised, leading to 3% increase in wheel loader market share and 2% in excavator market share. With the support of professional aftermarket services, local customer satisfaction has also increased significantly.
In the 1990s, LiuGong took the lead in becoming one of the first Chinese construction machinery companies to start import and export business. In 2002, the strategy of “Building an open and international LiuGong” was proposed. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of LiuGong’s globalization and the 13th year of LiuGong’s penetration in the Middle Eastern market.
“The company has expanded its business globally and insisted on creating value through cooperation. LiuGong leaders are supportive, tolerant, and are people-oriented. They work to develop employees. The team is also friendly and highly cooperative.” This is the reason why Xu Le was driven to join LiuGong, and why she has refused many external job offers, choosing instead to remain with LiuGong and maintain her loyalty all the way from her twenties to now when she’s nearly in her forties.
Along the way, Xu Le has witnessed LiuGong’s international development and her own growth. “Working here has enriched my life experience and made me more confident in my career development,” she remarked. She is proud of the company and herself, and intends to create even greater value while working to further develop and grow LiuGong in the UAE market with her team.
Infinite Possibilities comes from a verse by a Zen master from the Southern Song Dynasty. Thousands of years later, the world has changed dramatically. For the companies in pursuit of globalization and localization today, one of the most important factors for success is to have employees who can identify and integrate with local culture —Xu Le is one of them.
During the 20 years of LiuGong’s globalization, the company’s business development and progress have brought many opportunities to each job position. The employees will thus continue to carve out new roles amongst the changes and innovations, proving their value in unique ways alongside the company’s achievements.
This is what globalization is really about. We truly thank colleagues like Xu Le who are able to achieve success in their different and changing positions.