Wednesday, 19 September 2018 14:55

Intern helps agritech firm into China

Written by 
James Wang. James Wang.

When Lincoln Agritech took on a Chinese student, Zheng (James) Wang, it didn’t foresee him becoming the company’s China business development manager.

“James’ international agricultural experience and lingual skills made him a pivotal part of our company’s expansion into China,” says Lincoln Agritech chief executive Peter Barrowclough.

He met Wang through ChristchurchNZ’s Job Ready programme that helps link overseas students and Christchurch businesses. Wang was keen to join the agritech firm during his final year at Lincoln University.

Drawing on marketing skills and experience in China, Wang devised a plan to help Lincoln Agritech further market Irricad, its irrigation design software, in the Chinese market. He spent several months understanding the market for irrigation in China and reported on sales opportunities there.

Barrowclough offered Wang a fulltime job. 

Now Wang and Barrowclough are just back from China where they talked to distributors and explored market opportunities.

Wang says the internship enabled him to connect with local businesses in Christchurch and leverage his international agricultural experience.

“The internship offered me an opportunity to work on an industry report relevant to the irrigation sector and an opportunity to use my bilingual skills,” he says.

“Lincoln Agritech had identified China as a market for Irricad... and begun forming relationships in China in 2014. The Chinese government’s initiative to adopt smart irrigation systems for improving water use efficiency also helped the company’s mission.” 

The ChristchurchNZ Job Ready programme gives companies access to talent for their business needs. Project manager Simon Anderson says Christchurch “is home to an amazing tertiary sector and we’re producing some great graduates”. 

Lincoln Agritech was recently announced as a finalist at the Westpac Champion Business Awards in the Christchurch NZ Champion Innovation category.

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