The Growth Of S.J. Grand

A foreign owned Chinese tax and financial advisory company grows progressively into a well established multicultural and renown firm

How did it all start?

When I, Stephane Grand, started the firm, I was the only employee. But soon, I had to hire accountants and assistants. At the beginning, since I had very little income, I hired professionals with all the right qualifications, but without any English or for that matter, any foreign language skills. was, at the time, possible to hire quality staff as long as you could compromise on the language skills. Once the business started taking off, I started hiring English-speaking Chinese accountants and qualified foreigners to serve my clients in English or French. This was critical for the development of the term as, at the beginning, I was the only Chinese/English/French speaker who could interface with the staff, which means that I was basically translating all the time and had very little time left for substantive work.


Choosing the employees

Whereas I would choose the Chinese accountants based on their technical Abilities, I would usually choose Western employees according to a more complex set of criteria. Of course, hiring people to work in China was not very easy some 15 years ago. Not everybody wanted to come and live there. So, state ability and willingness to stay in China was a foremost criterion, almost at the level of technical proficiency. Another very important criterion for me, who has been practicing combat sports all my life, was proficiency in martial arts, and if possible an experience of full contact fighting. My theory was that learning martial arts to a good level of practice being very tough, it is a proof of resilience. Also, Full Contact fighting, like in some styles of karate or in Thai boxing, seemed to me to be the clearest test of courage and intensity that young people could go through without spending years in the military. Therefore, a lot of the original S.J. Grand employees were fighters, some of them local or national champions.

Our current office locations

As the staffing needs increased and he became more and more difficult to find experienced fighters with the proper professional qualifications, I started being more open in my criteria for hiring. However, to keep a focused and energetic team, most of our officers implement sports programs, in which the employees get together at least weekly to play badminton or go running.


The number of employees has increased steadily over the years. Most managers in the firm have had a long tenure with us, the Beijing and Shanghai offices being run by team members who have been with the firm for 15 years. To me, this means that the people that are at the key positions in the firm know me well, share the same ethical principles and are very reliable. Also, I believe that it brings exemplarity to the teams, who can look at their managers and see a hard-working, competent, reliable and friendly person. We usually do not hire managers directly to run the team, rather we grow them in-house, so that we are sure of shared goals and reliability.

The company timeline

The growth of the team was very slow at first, with only one office. As soon as I started opening new offices, and that each office started growing, the team started developing in numbers and diversity. Therefore, to keep people as a tight and focused team, we organize annual team building trips together. This way, the SJ Grand employees know the people they work with in other cities although they might not get to meet them during the course of the year.

We started one, in late 2003 and are now over 40 in 2017.  We expect, with the increasing number of offices, to be about 60 mid-2018.


A Cherbourg, le Marine hôtel pas près d’être mise à terre

Un projet qui date depuis longtemps, la construction d’une gare transatlantique dans Cherbourg a été sujette à différente réflexion. Les travaux devaient prendre forme sur la place de l’hôtel Marine après destruction ce celui-ci. Et pourtant malgré la fermeture de l’hôtel depuis plus d’un an, le projet ne s’est pas encore concrétisé.

Quand on se réfère au communiqué de presse fait il y a de cela six mois par le Maire de Cherbourg. Cela laisse entendre les biens faits qu’aura de la destruction de l’hôtel Marine pour la ville. Compte tenu de l’état d’urgence de la décision, le projet est toutefois en suspens depuis presque un an.

Raser le bâtiment va coûter cher

Après des études et analyses le projet que la commune de Cherbourg-en-Cotentin tient à instaurer semble être perdu d’avance. En terme financier, la place qu’occupe l’hôtel ainsi que ces environs semble émettre une abondante quantité d’amiante. Ce qui pour objet d’augmenter au centuple la valeur du chantier. Après des évaluations, le chantier rapporterait jusqu’à deux millions d’euros. Du coup en se plaçant du côté des propriétaires, l’investissement pourrait alors rapporter beaucoup plus que la vente.

Détruire, mais pourquoi faire ?

Si l’objet de cette démolition revêt d’un aspect purement social, d’autre question se pose. Face à une telle initiative, la population de la ville de Cherbourg a émis des avis quelques peu troublant. En gros, elles suscitent  des questions d’ordre de priorité ainsi que d’intérêt. On se penche sur les avantages que ces nouvelles installations pourront offrir à la ville. Beaucoup sous-entend certes que cela  redonne une touche de charme au centre-ville, et pourtant serait-ce une raison valable pour le faire. D’ailleurs, si ce projet fini par aboutir quand est ce que la gare transatlantique sera érigé.





Deforestation in China, a factor harmful to the development

Deforestation in China is a term we hear almost daily in recent times. This is a fact that can be caused by many intermediaries that lead to the disappearance and degradation of the forest environment of nature. Although this phenomenon is spreading in almost all four corners of the world, China’s situation is of particular concern since many of its regions are currently affected by this phenomenon. Moreover, much of this forest will be illegally exploited. This risks undermining the development of this country, which reflects the image of a model for many countries in terms of economic and industrial development. This implies an alert for each brand through the media and social networks in china to fight against this serious phenomenon or at least to curb it.

Deforestation in China: A country full of hope.

Seen from all over the world, China has always been ranked among the biggest countries that have taken advantage of their resources to make an asset in the good progress of its economic and international situation. Very often imagined by the large factories which manufacture almost every instrument we use daily, in all fields, we can see here that China also hides behind it a sad reality that will risk to hinder its development. Deforestation in China, a phenomenon that many of us often tend to neglect is far more serious than we think. It is indeed the disappearance of a fairly large part of the Forest that constitutes the territory of China. Very often left light, it must be remembered that this could cause many negative consequences on the whole environment around us. Moreover, the results of surveys carried out on the case of China even indicate that the part occupied by the forest zones would be reduced to a very small percentage, which is 10% of the territory of that country. It will be time to think about raising an alarm to raise awareness not only of the population but especially of the Chinese government officials to launch a national program to protect the forest.

The different causes of deforestation in China

As we have seen, it is a phenomenon which is exclusively caused by the actions of the human being, with a view to obtaining a certain precise well-being without taking into account the negative effects that might result Its way of acting. With regard to the causes of this deforestation, we can say that they can be very varied according to the regions concerned by the phenomenon. There is, for example, the overcrowding that is currently occurring in China. Lack of habitable land is pushing people to get rid of the forest to save space. Then there is agriculture. A slash-and-burn system is known for high yield. People then go to deforestation so that they can grow there quietly. Secondly, the manufacture of firewood which is known throughout the world, which is also one of the most important causes of deforestation. Few exploiters think about the future of the exploited territory. And finally, for remote or uninhabited areas, the risks of fires are very high during the hot and rainless seasons. Thus we have seen that many parameters can be at the origin of this phenomenon which is about to harm the future environment of our generation.