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Michel De Landsheere - Participant 2017

By living and working in an environment that is completely out of your comfort zone such as China, you develop soft skills...


Michel supported Unilin in setting up a direct distribution channel in China for one of its flooring products, the Pergo brand, after the termination of a distribution agreement with an exclusive distributor.


After analyzing the feasibility of the business plan, which had already been drafted, Michel provided support for its operational implementation and helped facilitate sales. He also established a new pricing strategy for Wood and Laminate for a direct distribution model.

In a second phase, he considered the possibilities for online distribution of the Pergo brand, establishing a three-year business plan for this. As Unilin had no commercial license in China, the company had to operate through its international group, which is based in Shanghai. As Michel was familiar with the ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning), he was tasked with setting up the Customer Service Department.

How he benefited

Above all, Michel is really proud to have been able to experience first-hand, through the Prince Albert Fund, how an entire office is set up, covering Sales, Customer Service, Finance, Logistics & Warehousing and Marketing.

This in turn enabled him to understand and challenge a pre-defined business plan even better, and more specifically the financial aspect, including its impact on the initial investment. Moreover, living in China was an eye-opener. “It is developing so fast that I believe it won’t be long before they become the world’s leading power. This really is a fast and exciting environment for businesses, which is teeming with ideas for any entrepreneur.”

The company – Unilin

Unilin produces laminate floors, engineered wood, vinyl floors, boards, decorative panels, finished products, roofing elements and insulation panels. The Belgian company is part of the American company Mohawk Industries Inc., which is listed on the New York stock exchange. Unilin has 20 production units around the world.

“The company appreciated Michel’s hands-on, logic and analytical approach. That is why we decided to offer Michel a job opportunity as Country Manager for Greater China. In this capacity, he is directly responsible for a team of 10 people and a turnover of €20 million.”

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