Italian executive moves to SZ for digitalization

Writer: Chen Xiaochun  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-09-19

Indian-Italian Naren Pillai is the regional director of Aden Group in South China. The 34-year-old executive has been working for the Shanghai-headquartered company for almost 10 years. He spent the previous eight years in Shanghai before moving to Shenzhen two years ago, as the company was undergoing a transformation.

“We have started to digitalize our company, and to do that, one of the key parts was to go digital and come up with a new business solution. So, obviously in China, Shenzhen is always at the forefront of innovation and technology. So, I was specifically assigned to the project to move to Shenzhen to start implementing the new business,” Pillai told Shenzhen Daily. He is also the vice chair of the European Chamber South China Board.

As a result, they also moved their regional headquarters from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, because the company focuses more on sustainability and digitalization. Shenzhen, as a tech hub in South China, has the ecosystem of companies they need. In addition, the city has a strong manufacturing capacity, is home to many shopping malls, and has convenient transport, all of which are key to their business development.

Naren Pillai works in his office in Nanshan District. Lin Jianping 

“Aden is an integrated facility management company that provides facility management by using more sustainable and data-driven methods. What we offer are services such as maintenance, food, security and cleaning for all types of clients. They can be factories, schools, hospitals, shopping malls…any type of facilities. We take care of the entire facility,” explained Pillai.

The company has multiple pillars of businesses ranging from energy and environment, to industrial services and new software solutions.

According to Pillai, most of their business in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) is focused on Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

“We work with all types of industries, such as international schools, of which there are quite a lot in the GBA market. To these clients we offer food services. Our team is normally there on site making food for them. We also work with IT companies in Shenzhen,” Pillai said.

Pillai said that Shenzhen is a unique and innovative place, which also challenges companies like them to be more innovative and come up with new types of solutions.

“The business environment in Shenzhen is a little bit different from that of Shanghai. I guess it’s also because Shenzhen is quite new compared to Shanghai. The business environment here is quite fresh and most of the businesses, most of the clients are open to new ideas and solutions which can help them, and they are willing to try them without going through various layers of approvals,” said Pillai.

Aden Group has almost 26,000 employees and over 1,500 clients. Headquartered in Shanghai, the company operates in most parts of Asia. In China, currently, its strong footprint lies in the east.

The Italian executive is quite optimistic about the future. “Because, not only GBA, but all of China is an interesting market. Its entire infrastructure is something not many countries can rival. Yes, there will be small challenges, but we are all optimistic about the future,” he concluded.