How to build and retain a Chinese team with Elisa Harca, CEO of Red Ant Asia


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In this episode of the China Marketing Podcast, Lauren and her guest discuss a topic that has never been talked about on this podcast before but is relevant for many listeners — how to manage a Chinese team, particularly a team in the marketing industry.

The guest today is Elisa Harca, the CEO and co-founder of Red Ant Asia, a China marketing agency in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which was founded in 2012. It works with lifestyle and luxury brands such as Lush, Charlotte Tilbury, Lane Crawford, Birkenstock, and more.

For the past eight years, Elisa has led an entirely Chinese team, and she has many employees who have been with the company for five to seven years. As anyone who has worked in the communications industry in China knows, this is quite impressive, as many people tend to hop around and change positions every one to two years.

In this interview, she shares some of the biggest lessons she’s learned about leading a Chinese team, mistakes she has made or frequently sees other foreigners make when building a team of Chinese employees, and her top tips for finding and retaining high-quality Chinese talent.

Elisa also shares how her company is handling the coronavirus and managing a remote workforce.

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Guest: Elisa Harca

Instagram | Website | WeChat: RedAntOfficial | Email:

Host: Lauren Hallanan

Website | LinkedIn | WeChat: H1212118514

This podcast was edited and produced by Jason MacRonald.