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Those sort of anecdotes drew a knowing chuckle from Lance Josal, a Dallasite who worked for Hawkins years ago and who recently retired as the chief executive officer of another international architecture firm, CallisonRTKL.
“That happens all the time,” said Josal, who became closely acquainted with China through the company’s three offices there.
Business - China - People - Clients - Life
He likewise stressed that doing business in China has been “lucrative and very successful,” adding that the “Chinese people are some of the most entrepreneurial clients you will ever meet in your life.” But he left no doubt about the challenges.
“There are rules in China, just like there are rules in the United States,” said Josal, who now runs a consulting business. “But the rules in China can be manipulated or broken.”
Time - Offices - Calls - Clients - Designs
He recalled a time when one of his offices there started getting unusual calls from clients who were disappointed by poorly done designs.
That didn’t add up. So Josal’s team looked into it and discovered RTKL wasn’t even involved in the projects in question. Instead, it turned out, there were at least two rogue firms presenting themselves as RTKL, with slight variations, to game the system and defraud clients.
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