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Blum - Orange Power In and Out


An interview by Shanghai FESCO with Maarten de Vries, General Manager of Blum Furniture Hardware (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

A modernized office building, decorations in the eye catching, passionate and powerful color orange – this is the first impression on Blum Furniture Hardware in Shanghai.

Blum was established in 1952 and is still a family-owned business in the 3 generation. Nowadays it is a multinational corporation with more than 6000 employees and 27 subsidiaries worldwide. The company’s turnover in 2014/15 was 1,5 Billion €. Blum entered the Chinese market in 2002, starting with a representative office and has been developing quickly since the market entry. Since December 2011 Maarten de Vries is General Manager of Blum China. Today Blum China, headquartered in Shanghai, is a model foreign employer to more than 225 people in several branch offices and warehouses around the country.

De Vries tries to motivate his employees with an energetic corporate culture and shares his concept with FESCO, China’s leading service provider for HR outsourcing. De Vries emphasizes on 3 levels of corporate culture: value, guidance and strategy – above all these levels, the most important factor are still the people. De Vries thinks that a company should establish its own corporate value, guidelines and development strategies in order to inspire the people working for the company. In addition, communication with and respect for the employees play an extremely important role.

With this concept the company holds a lot of events every year in order to listen to its people – for example the “Blum family day” and the “department open day”. Blum is proud to be one of the role models of foreign employers in China because it also puts great value to social responsibility and charity. All offices and warehouses in China were equipped with green LED lighting devices and around the office areas green plants have been planted everywhere. Almost every 6 months there is a donation among employees of Blum for children in need in rural areas.

During the interview FESCO also talked to many Blum employees from customer service manager to CFO, from local employees to expats. A lot of them started their career right after college with Blum and are still confident that they are working for the company. What they enjoy the most is the teamwork which makes it a great pleasure to be part of this “orange power” that drives Blum growing from a small team into a well-established business in China.

Note: text based on the original article, which appeared in Chinese language: