Doug Sharpe
President of Elasto Proxy

Flight map

Twenty years ago, I helped start a small manufacturing company while the world was in turmoil. First the Berlin Wall fell. Then the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) revolutionized the rubber and plastics industry, causing waves of consolidations. Medium-sized fabricators dropped smaller customers. Larger companies streamlined operations. Yet the need for smaller, specialized shops remained.

SMEs and the CCBC

The small business that Donna Sharpe and I started, Elasto Proxy, helped fill this void. By designing and custom-fabricating low-volume rubber and plastic components, our Quebec company found partners in a wide variety of industries. After expanding operations to Ontario, Elasto Proxy opened a facility in the United States. Today, we have a sales office in China and opportunities in Brazil.

As a member of the Canada China Business Council (CCBC), Elasto Proxy has benefitted from this private, non-profit group’s efforts to encourage Sino-Canadian relations and ensure member success. With its connections to China’s most senior government and business leaders, the CCBC helps both large, blue-chip companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) like Elasto Proxy discover opportunities.

ERAI and Shanghai

Building a business in China takes time, effort, and proper planning. Today, Elasto Proxy is preparing to grow again by starting an import/export business and opening a warehouse there. Recently, we formed a new partnership with enterprise rhone-alpes international (ERAI). Headquarted in Lyon, France, ERAI helps companies like ours to boost international exports in booming markets such as China and Brazil.

Recently, Donna Sharpe and I visited the ERAI office in Shanghai, China along with Andrew Yang, our in-country sales representative. Elasto Proxy’s visit to CRTS China 2013 was productive, but Donna and I wanted to visit our new business partner, too. ERAI’s Shanghai office is in an excellent location (one of the buildings used in Shanghai Expo 2010) with plenty of space to meet customers.

Planning, Siting, and Logistics

Although Shanghai offers numerous economic benefits, Elasto Proxy may locate its China warehouse in one of that nation’s secondary cities. As China continues to grow, these hubs of 5 to 8 million people will experience significant growth, especially in building and construction. In addition to finding the right location logistically, Elasto Proxy is also seeking to partner with a government development agency.

Planning, siting, are logistics are important, but it’s committed business relationships that have helped our company to enjoy nearly 25 years of business success. In addition to working with ERAI, Elasto Proxy will partner with Expansion Quebec, an organization that helps companies like ours to increase exports and grow internationally.

Remembering Our Roots

As Elasto Proxy continues its global growth, Donna Sharpe and I remember our roots. Through the years, we’ve received admirable support from the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, another excellent business organization. Along with Quebec International, the Board of Trade is now helping Elasto Proxy to discover opportunities in Brazil through the SME Passport program.

How can we help you? Do you need help with selecting seals, or information about potential sealing solutions? Would you like to learn more about Elasto Proxy’s experience of growing global? Please comment on this blog entry, or connect with me on LinkedIn to discuss doing business in China. Hope to hear from you soon!