The Aerospace & Defense Forum

Doing Aviation Business in China

January 14, 2014

Breakfast and Check-in
7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.

Meeting and Presentation
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Sheppard Mullin Del Mar Office
12275 El Camino Real, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92130

Click here to register.

Doing Aviation Business in China
Some Observations and Lessons Learned

Guest Presenter: David Conrad
VP Sales; Marketing and Customer Support, Zodiac Aerospace

Note: This presentation will give you a valuable perspective on doing business with other cultures, whether they be on the other side of the country or the other side of the world.

In my career, I have had the opportunity to have two expatriate assignments in the People's Republic of China working in aviation. Through these assignments I have been able to be a part of one of the fastest market expansions we have ever seen in the aviation industry as China literally grew from a small market opportunity to an enormous one almost overnight.  The first time I went to China I worked for a major Western aerospace manufacturer trying to sell new OEM equipment as well as spares and repairs.  This was a time when China was first starting to want to be a major player but they will still trying to understand how to best do this, and while I learned a few things, I really still saw business through the Western perspective.  When I had the good fortune to return a little over three years later, I worked for a State-Owned-Enterprise and was one of just two foreigners in a 4,400 employee Part 145 MRO. This caused me to have to understand things from a very different perspective.

In my presentation, I will share with you some of the "Voice Of The Customer" in a way that most people will never get to see or hear. This includes the politics behind the programs and the decisions, the Byzantine nature of the airlines in China, the differences in how the Chinese view business and doing business with the way we perceive business in the west, some observations on where the market is headed in China, cultural issues that  you need to be aware of when doing business, what some key player are doing and some ways they are winning and some strategic approaches to consider.

The bottom line is that doing aviation business in China is not like doing business anywhere else.  You have to think differently, act differently and work differently.  Doing business in China will be your greatest challenge and hopefully just as rewarding - it is not for the faint of heart.

About Zodiac Aerospace

Zodiac Aerospace is a French corporation that specializes in the production and development of on-board systems, safety systems and cabin interiors . The company is a world leader in aerospace  equipment and systems for commercial , regional and business aircraft, as well as helicopters and space applications. 

Zodiac Aerospace's technological expertise is based on three core business lines: comfort and life on board aircraft, onboard systems, and safety on the ground and in-flight; and they are grouped into five business segments - Zodiac Cabin & Structures, Zodiac Seats, Zodiac Galleys & Equipment, Zodiac Aircraft Systems, Zodiac Aerosafety, supplemented by the after-sales business of Zodiac Services.

About the Speaker

David Conrad is the Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service at Zodiac Water & Waste Systems based in Carson, CA.  In this role, he is responsible for leading all sales, market and customer support functions for the leading supplier of water and waste technology to the aviation and aerospace industry for over 50 years. 

Prior to joining Zodiac Water & Waste, Mr. Conrad spent three years as the Director International Sales & Marketing of Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Co., Ltd (GAMECO) a Part 145 MRO based in Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.  In this role he was responsible for leading the development of all third party international airframe and component business for GAMECO, as well as the development and marketing of the GAMECO brand internationally.  He also led the development of OEM partnerships to grow the capabilities of GAMECO.

Mr. Conrad has more than twenty eight years leadership experience in the global aviation and aerospace markets with extensive expertise in business development, sales and marketing, as well as experience managing businesses including P&L, strategic planning and process improvement.  Mr. Conrad also served as the Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service as well as General Manager, PSI at Rexnord Aerospace.  He has also held the position of Senior Director, Business Development, China Region for Goodrich Cargo Systems (based in Beijing, China). Prior to that he was Vice President, Marketing/Customer Service at AeroUnion Corp. and earlier had progressed through a number of business development and leadership positions in Honeywell.  Mr. Conrad holds a B.S. degree in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

About the Forum

The Aerospace and Defense Forum is a global aerospace and defense leadership community of over 780 individuals that provides opportunities for sharing of information, current events, and analysis, mutual support and encouragement, partnering, innovation, and performance breakthroughs.

-Attendance at this event is free for A&D Forum members, $30 for non-members until 1/6 and $40 after 1/6
-Parking is free--located next to both entrances to the building
-A light continental breakfast will be available starting at 7:15 a.m.
-Bring a business card--they will be duplicated and everyone will get a copy of all attendees' cards
-Attire is business casual