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Shilpy Singh

SUBMITTED BYAshwani Seth Pooja Sharma


Career spanning 30 years with Xerox. Recently retired CEO of Xerox corp. Helped in international expansion into emerging economy. Key responsibilities for negotiation. Founder of several international joint ventures. Served as expat manager these companies in several countries eg. Mexico, Brazil and China.

Frans born and bought up in Flemish part of Belgium. Learned the mandatory languages, French, German, English, Dutch, Latin, Greek and Science.

Graduate degree from United States. Masters degree in science (MS) from cornell.

Franss dergee and international background were very attractive. In 1967 joined the Rochester Engineering Society, a course on the management of scientific and technical personnel.

Frans participated in several technical skills training courses at Xerox facility.

Frans got offer from P&G and Xerox too. Frans chose Xerox. First job of assistant foreman in the Quality Control Department. He was responsible for supervising and interfacing. After one year he was promoted to senior quality control engineer for 2 yrs.

In1972 , joined the Latin American Division as a senior manufacturing engineer. Frans 1st project for LAD was to work on expansion from Rochester to Mexico. 1. 2. 3. ResponsibilitiesImplementing of desktop copier on assembly plant Local sourcing of components. Remanufacturing used equipment.

This experience helped him to develop several skills & capabilities1. Dealing with exports. 2. Realizing the cost impact. 3. Customs duties & taxes. 1. 2. 3. 4. This assignment also increased his exposureInternational dealing. Meet different quality standards. Different approaches to problem solving. Culturally very different people.

By 1974, Xerox established IXBRA as the manufacturing organization for Xerox of brazil. As a joint venture with a prominent Brazilian lawyer. This organizational structure in turn satisfied the local requirement for sales and lease of equipment in Brazil.

In 1974/75 Brazilian govt. wanted to expand adding exports and increase employment for local people. Task was created to satisfy the Brazilian govt. requirement. Frans studied a wide variety of manufacturing possibilities at1. Lowest possible investment. 2. Highest possible employment. 3. Export potential

Ranging from making bicycle chains or electrical motors to making copiers to satisfy the local govt. requirement. Beginnings of a common market for Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay & Brazil. Then they decided to focus on what the company really good at i.e. copier manufacturing.

This idea would satisfy Brazilian govt. requirement and truly align with Xerox interest too.

Frans played a vital role in conceptualizing and managing this process logistic as it required significant coordination.

To support this project in LA,$20 million investment was required in Brazil alone. Frans and his team were invited to present this proposal to David Kearns, the president of International group.

Frans responsibilities included two major roles1. As a product manager. 2. Director of manufacturing.

1. 2. 3. 4.

This included much more higher responsibilities and exposure than he previously experiencedHiring a new staff. People from different culture. Language and style. And to manage two expatriates from U.S.

This new job required a move to Brazil and in 1977, the entire ryckebosch family relocated to Brazil. Ryckebosch faced many difficulties like1. Stayed in hotel for 3 months. 2. Suffered food poisoning. 3. Language barrier. 4. Founded a home in Rio 150km far from work place.

Once settled, the entire family loved the new country and their new life. They also made many Brazilian friends and felt as become very much integrated in the society. Frans faced problem in communicating with Xeroxs Brazilian employees so he decided to learn Portuguese . At last he sincerely felt that learning the local language better enabled his success.

In 1980, Frans got a new opportunity to get exposure to marketing logistics, service and finance. The new position and money were just about right for Frans. Gemma was extremely reluctant as everything seemed perfect for her and the family. But he opted to take the new position in Stamford.

Frans became the program manager for LA where he manage cross-departmental team1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Finance. Manufacturing. Service. Marketing. Sales. Training. Distribution Logistics and facilities.

In 1983, Frans offered a position as director of manufacturing for LA. This position would require a move back to Rochester and he agreed. After working a lot on this position, Frans felt that the new job had significantly less autonomy and was less challenging.

In 1983, Frans met with an accident and hurt his back badly. During this period Frans had work brought home to him as he was on bed for 2 months. In 1984, Frans heavily involved in Xeroxs operation , he didnt want to travel back and forth between Mexico and U.S. Instead he relocated his family to Mexico for 6 months.

Nominated a the director of manufacturing for Mexico operations. He conducted in-depth analysis of the operational problem and made recommendation for restructuring, including significant personnel decisions. At the end of 1984, Frans went back to his position in Rochester. He realized the work environment no longer fit him.

In 1984, Xerox started looking for a local partner for manufacturing joint venture in China He felt that China represented a promising opportunity for the company as well for him. In 1985, this new project needed somebody to dedicated to look at manufacturing. Frans decided to take this position.

Frans joined the China team in May 1985. He was responsible for the feasibility study for the potential joint venture. In 1986, Frans was appointed the founding general manager of the joint venture. This gave him an experience to learn new culture and a way of doing business.

The joint venture was signed in Sep.1987. Next month Frans, Gemma, and seven expatriate families began an orientation program to prepare for living and working in china. In his new role as general manager included a variety of tasks1. Hiring expatriate managers. 2. Converting an existing factory to an assembly plant 3. Building public and govt. relations.

Frans also had to manage expectations and relationships with the Xerox parent companys interest in the joint venture.

Unfortunately, this assingmnet became complicated when one of their children required parental assistance. In January 1990, six month before his official tour of duty was over, Frans returned to Rochester.


Frans took the job with the major responsibility being crafting new strategies for LA for new regional development. Frans began to represent Xerox in external affairs in LA. Also became contact person at Xerox of rules of origin for Xerox product. Frans was involved in negotiating and establishing two other joint venture, in Wuhan and Suzhou.

In 1994, China operational support relocated to Rochester. Frans and Gemma decided not to move entire family to Rochester. Frans began commuting every week from Rochester to Stamford. In 1995, Frans was once again asked to move to Hong Kong.

In 1996, He identified several possibilities, including finding another job within Xerox. Finding another company that had an interest in international joint venture.

1996, at age 55, he got retire with full company benefits .

Risk taking. Flexible.

Quick decision making.

Cross-cultural skill. Communication skill.