Business is all about 关系 Relationships ! – China FlIP 2018

Published by: Satvik Bajaj 
The Business School

关系 Ni Hao / Hello

What happens when a few students who do not know each other embark on a 15 day journey to a totally different land. Well I must say  “Amazing things happen.”

On 1 st of May 2018, Shenae, Noushein, Alexandre, Amanda, Jenn, Maria, Illona, Juan and I (Satvik) met at the Toronto Pearson Airport with our lovely professor Mrs. Linda Traill for our flight to Shanghai

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Being a bit nervous we started the ice breaking session among ourselves and we also received our lovely Centennial T-Shirts. The flight was a long and we were accompanied by our friends from the hospitality school who were going to visit the the Suzhou Centennial College for their program. Receiving a warm welcome at the Shanghai airport by the faculty of Suzhou Centennial College, we also Mr. Justin, the other visionary professor from Progress Centennial College who accompanied us on our trip. Believe me when you are tired, the road to home always feel the longest. We arrived at our hotel apartment around 8:30 pm at night, exhausted by our long flight and travel to Suzhou city but we were definitely  filled with enthusiasm for the days to come.

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Our second day started with cheerful welcome by the staff and students at Suzhou Centennial College and we watched the traditional Kun Opera. After the Opera we had a tour of the college and met our Chinese buddies who supported us throughout our journey

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The next coming days we made a lot of connections with the Chinese buddies and faculty who taught about the Chinese economy and the workplace environment. These key insights were a stepping stone towards our final project. When we started this journey we never realized that these relationships or “GuanXi” (Chinese word) will be paramount in our expedition. The other few days were filled with business visit. The business visits are listed below-

  1. Samsung Manufacturing
  2. Black and Decor
  3. Tongzhou Marketing
  4. Canada China Business Council
  5. Hong Couture Embroidery Home
  6. Naked Hub
  7. Fashion Shard

 

 

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The main lessons we learnt from these business trips included-

  1. Relationships or GuanXi is important
  2. They are many competitors in the market, ” BE PREPARED”
  3. Build a strong team
  4. Study the market
  5. Understand the need of the consumer and provide it
  6. Adapt

Apart from all the business visits we had some really fun and relationship building activities as well. Of course we visited a lot of places in Suzhou and Shanghai. It was worth every moment and some interesting facts we discovered

Suzhou-

  1. The city is applauded primarily for the big ancient gardens.
  2. One of Suzhou’s main attractions is the food
  3. Water towns are another popular attraction

Shanghai-

  1. It is a World Finance and Cultural Center
  2. The Locals Speak a Dialect Called Shanghainese
  3. Shanghai Boasts Brilliant Downtown Nightlife and Night Lights

 

 

With all the information gathered through various sources it was time for the real action- Introducing a Canadian Company to Chinese Market. 9 students were divided into 3 groups and each group successfully wrote a report and delivered a presentation of its marketing strategy.

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On 15th of May we finally bid goodbye to our friends and faculty in China for the warmth of relationships we had been receiving for 2 weeks. This voyage was an enriching one with a lot of memories made, friends made, things learnt and experience gained. I would thanks Centennial College for giving us an opportunity like this.

A special thanks to International Department who were providing continuous support from the day of interview and till date. Another special thanks to Mr. Justin and Mrs Linda who accompanied us on this trip. Your experience was an asset to our team and we gained a lot of insights and valuable information from you both.

Written By

Satvik Bajaj

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