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82 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2018 Interview by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 Optimal Electronics Corp., a provider of smart software solutions for electronics assembly, recently rebranded globally as Optel Software, as it starts its venture in China. In a recent interview with SMT007 Magazine, Dr. Ranko Vujosevic, CEO and CTO, updates on the latest developments from the company and discusses their plans in China and Asia this year. Stephen Las Marias: Dr. Vujosevic, from the last time we spoke, you mentioned a lot of plans in China. How has it been so far? Dr. Ranko Vujosevic: When we met in August 2017, we were exploring our entrance into the China market to start selling our software solutions that we had been developing for 19 years. I came to Shenzhen to meet potential partners, specifically WKK. We talked about it and they took me to their plant in Dongguan. They showed interest in partnering with us, but they have some preconditions: hire the right people; translate our software into Chinese; and establish a local presence. They were reasonable requirements, of course, and we were planning to do all those things anyway. So, we jumped on that opportunity, and we first hired a person who has been in the industry for over 15 years to become our China Sales Manager in December of last year. Then we started the registration of our company in China. As soon as we hired him, we had a lucky break which happens when you are in the right place at the right time. On a hint from a WKK salesman, we learned that a Shenzhen company was looking for a complete MES solution and we were able to close a large deal with that customer that has 26 assembly lines within a few weeks. That was very surprising to me because in the U.S., to close a six-figure deal, it takes six months to a year, sometimes up to two years. We were able to close our first deal in China within two to three weeks. Then we started preparing for our installation, while at the same time developing the business. We proceeded with the company registration and hired an application engineer with 20 years

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