China Direct
June 15, 2018 Service

Importing service.

Lindy Chen migrated to Australia in 2002 with little money and little English. She took a job selling movie tickets door to door, wore out two pairs of shoes and learned how to read a map.

After studying English for seven months, Lindy was able to move on to teaching Business Administration at The Australian Business College in Adelaide. She then took up a position lecturing in International Trade at TAFE in South Australia. Friends would often ask for her help to source products for them from China. Lindy found she had a natural talent for this, and there was high demand for such a service. She threw herself into the role of bridging the cultures and fostering cooperation between business owners in the two countries. 

In 2005 Lindy began NEIS training with Sarina Russo Job Accessto form her own company. Lindy could see an opportunity to use the skills and contacts she had begun to develop in her other roles.

“My NEIS mentor had a big heart! He could see the possibilities and gave me the reassurance and confidence I needed to push through.”

Starting with just $2,000 capital, Lindy went to work, researching and calling potential clients and suppliers. With no internet access of her own, Lindy stretched her budget further by booking 15-minute time slots at internet cafes and public libraries. Lindy sourced products – almost anything you could think of – from manufacturers in China, for clients here in Australia. Offering her customers a single person contact in Australia and people on the ground in China, the service grew to offer end-to-end management from sourcing the supplier, to delivery to your door. 

Many Australian companies know they need to look to Chinese suppliers to remain competitive. The process can be full of uncertainty and hidden costs for people who don’t know how and where to get the best value. That is where Lindy and her company ChinaDirect Sourcing come in.

The business soon took shape, ChinaDirect Sourcing experienced exponential growth and Lindy is now considered one of Australia’s foremost experts on doing business with China. The service also works in the other direction, earning a reputation among Australian exporters for being a reliable assistance firm that can help them grow by selling to China. 

These days Lindy speaks at trade seminars and organisations to thousands of people a year and is one of only two Australian global service partners. She has written several books on trade topics and has mentored more than 700 entrepreneurs on the strategies necessary to develop thriving, strong businesses. The success of the business Lindy created has seen her awarded year after year, including the Woman of the year, in the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards 2015. ChinaDirect Sourcing is now a multi-million dollar enterprise, a long way from its humble beginnings.

Do you have a great business idea? Take the first step to becoming self-employed with free NEIS training. Use the postcode search tool to locate your nearest NEIS provider for a chat. 

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