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Jonathan Chitayat: “No Legacy is as rich as honesty”

The top challenge in China is the ever-changing landscape. Whether it is trade policy or societal shifts or technological advancements, China is a country that is constantly changing, and always presenting unique challenges and opportunities. You cannot be flat-footed, and most importantly you cannot remain so engaged in challenges, that you do not see the […]

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The top challenge in China is the ever-changing landscape. Whether it is trade policy or societal shifts or technological advancements, China is a country that is constantly changing, and always presenting unique challenges and opportunities. You cannot be flat-footed, and most importantly you cannot remain so engaged in challenges, that you do not see the opportunities.


I had the pleasure to interview Jonathan Chitayat, CEO of Asia at Genimex, a product design, engineering, and manufacturing company with headquarters in Shanghai. In 2003, Jonathan joined his brother David by turning Genimex into a turnkey contract manufacturing company. Genimex has turned into a well-recognized manufacturer with global offices in New York City, Taipei, and Ho Chi Minh. Jonathan leads a 100+ team of industrial designers, engineers, product and account management and quality control.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I attended Northeastern University in Boston and graduated with a BA in International Affairs with a focus on East Asian studies. I graduated in 2003 soon after 9/11, when the job market was reeling. I was looking for what my career path would be, and I ended up making the decision to take a semester at a Chinese university to study Chinese. During my studies, the SARs outbreak occurred, and I could not leave China. It was at that point I decided to join my brother at Genimex Shanghai (a company my father had founded in Taiwan in the 1970s).

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

Genimex is always working on new and exciting projects. We have grown our personal care, home appliances, electronics, iOT devices and home health care categories with clients in the direct to consumer channels. We have expanded our sourcing footprint in Southeast Asia, which has opened more categories and manufacturing capabilities for our clients helping them to diversify. We are continuously expanding our product development capabilities with our ever-growing engineering and design team.

Is there a person who you are grateful towards?

I am grateful to the sanctuary of my family. My wife and kids, for the daily reminder that there is much more to life. My mother and father, for the platform and belief they have given me. My brothers, for the partnership and comradery in facing the challenges we face everyday.

What do you think are the new untapped markets in China that may become the next “big thing”?

As Genimex is an Asian based company, we manufacture consumer products destined for foreign markets and our main goals revolve around improving and broadening our capabilities for our current and future clients. There is no doubt that China remains an incredible opportunity, and that is why I would lean towards the untapped potential of talent in the workforce in China. Genimex is very excited about it, as right now in China, there are a talented pool of professionals that have extensive experience in product development and manufacturing. We are continuously astounded by the talented people here who can integrate innovation and manufacturing into real results.

Can you share the top challenges of doing business in China and how you overcame them?

The top challenge in China is the ever-changing landscape. Whether it is trade policy or societal shifts or technological advancements, China is a country that is constantly changing, and always presenting unique challenges and opportunities. You cannot be flat-footed, and most importantly you cannot remain so engaged in challenges, that you do not see the opportunities.

How has the trade war affected your business?

The trade war has affected Genimex in multiple ways, but through it all we have learned new skills that benefit our business and our clients. As I mentioned before, you must be able to see the opportunities that present themselves with every challenge. We have accelerated our foray into new manufacturing markets, and we have managed to move multiple existing production lines from China to new production lines in countries abroad, and we have tried to share our experiences with our clients so that they can mitigate risks and plan for the future.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“No Legacy is as rich as honesty”- William Shakespeare

My father embodied the virtues of honesty and integrity. Following in his legacy, Genimex takes great pride in embracing those virtues in how we carry ourselves every day.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I believe that we have a responsibility to give back to the communities we live in. If you are in a position where you have the means to give, then find something meaningful in your community to give to. Whether it be participating in community events meant to raise money and/or awareness, or donating to causes that you feel are important, take the time to give back to the community that has given you the platform to succeed. At Genimex, we are proud to give back to our community through real participation and real action.

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