16 Aug Inspiring Company Visits
I have really enjoyed being in Shanghai for the past 6 weeks. There has been so many opportunities for growth as a business professional, a person, and as a citizen of the world. One of the main aspects of my learning about the world was the numerous company visits and career speakers. Most of the companies were European with a few being Chinese.
It was interesting to learn how European companies made their way into the Chinese market and have been so successful. Although, I would have liked to have and American point of view, it was great to see how all parts of the world conduct businesses and how they transfer their specific skills and ways of life into China.
One company in particular that stuck out to me was WAGAS. This company started out vey slow but has gradually expanded into an extremely successful restaurant chain in China. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I got from the speaker was that as a foreigner in China you cannot impose your ideals on the Chinese and expect them to react how you want.
The Chinese have a set of values and a way of life that has developed over thousands of years. You cannot change that all at once. If you want to implement something new, you must wait until the people are ready and willing. Her example was with her food. At first, she served cold sandwiches. The Chinese are used to hot food so she was forced to accommodate in order to be successful. It is important to understand Chinese culture if you want to be successful in business in China.
Another one of the events that inspired me was the Dutch man who works with e-commerce in China. Although, many social media and e-commerce platforms are popular around the world, they may not be popular in China. If you do not accommodate to the Chinese market, you are missing out on over a billion people that you cannot reach otherwise. Also, it is important to note that you must build your credibility with the Chinese over a long period of time in order to have them trust you and for you to be successful.