In China, Knigge Akademie finds a niche market

created: 2011-08-29, August 27, 2011  
Knigge Akademie, an etiquette training company based in Germany, signed a cooperation contract with Beijing Chateau Changyu AFIP Global, a European-style hotel, to offer etiquette training lessons, the latest in a series of push into the world's fastest-growing economies.
According to the contract, the training grogram will give 260 hotel workers an opportunity to learn Western etiquette in a Western setting without going abroad.
Knigge Adademie will offer vibrant, dynamic and authentic etiquette classes to give the employees a more comprehensive and in-depth look at the full picture of Western etiquette, from how to greet a customer to how to open a bottle of wine.
"The hotel has reached a very high level already, and we are increasing that," said Peter Hoeker, Knigge's chief China representative.
Behind the cooperation is a booming niche market: More and more Chinese want to know how to behavior properly in front of Westerners.
"There are so many Chinese companies making deals with foreigners and so many groups of government officials going abroad for a visit, but they know little about Western etiquette," Hoeker said. "Here is our market.”
Knigge Akademie, which has already gained a firm foothold in European market, opened its first branch in Beijing six months ago.
Knigge's foray into China comes at a time when the country has grown more powerful and assertive in the international arena, with the need for knowing Western etiquette becoming more urgent than ever.
Michael Klein, CEO of Knigge Akademie, expected the market of etiquette training will grow about 20 to 30 percent annually.
"Knigge will accelerate its expansion into China, which has a very big market that no company can afford to ignore," he said. "The company will open more offices in more cities within the year.”

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