StateGrid Corporation of China

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Landmark Strategic Project Delivering Billions of Dollars of Value for the Chinese Electricity Industry

In 2004 Mr Liu Zhenya, the President of StateGrid Corporation of China, a corporation ranked as the 8th largest in the 2010 Fortune Global 500 and the world’s largest utility, appointed Zia Qureshi, Executive Chairman of Business Catalyst to lead a joint team of Australian and Chinese management experts to develop a coal sourcing strategy for the entire of China’s electricity industry. The project was undertaken over six months with rigorous data analysis, fact finding and innovative thinking. The joint team spent time in both countries.

The President of StateGrid was delighted with the outcome and the recommendations delivered were immediately implemented. Our work for StateGrid has given us great insight into doing business in China and further consolidated our team members’ previous experience in China.

Assignment Overview

Working under the leadership of Mr Zia Qureshi, the joint team working on the StateGrid coal sourcing strategy included Dr John Saunders who has wide experience in the internationally and particularly in China, covering high level corporate advice and strategic planning, new business development and project structuring, and international negotiations. Dr Saunders has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Office of Economic Development; Co-ordinator General for the NSW Government; Deputy Managing Director of the Australian Trade Commission; and Chairman of an Asian Infrastructure Task Force for the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It had been a fantastic experience working with Chinese management at both an operational and strategic level. While the knowledge transfer to the Chinese was significant, the Australian contingent is only too happy to admit that we learnt a few things from the Chinese as well and can see why China is so successfully achieving and managing tremendous growth.

Outcomes Achieved

The assignment resulted in many billions of dollars of value being realised.

Benefits for China include:

  • Various industry sourcing strategies and an implementation framework to meet industry challenges and gain an international competitive edge
  • Savings measured in tens of billions of dollars
  • Knowledge transfer to Chinese management


Benefits for Australia include:

  • Substantial future investment in Australia
  • Enhanced China-Australia business relations and friendship
  • Acknowledgement of Australia’s World Class management expertise through the team
  • Further opportunities to assist China