On our recent trip to the south-east provinces of China, twenty Master of Management students and I had the privilege of being hosted by the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection (CECEP) Group. CECEP is China’s largest state-owned renewable energy enterprise and is leading China into a new era of solar panelled, clean energy in an attempt to mitigate previous damage done by other businesses, often foreign.
Whilst in Nanjing, CECEP were extremely generous and hospitable, welcoming us at their impressive Training Centre and Resort in Jurong, Jiangsu. At the resort, we enjoyed banquets, fishing, karaoke, laser tag, fruit picking and everyone’s favourite – the lakeside barbeque. We had the pleasure of being looked after by one of CECEP’s managers, Fan Liang, a representative, who showed us the in’s and out’s of China. CECEP’s Vice General Manager, Mr Zhu, flew in from Beijing to welcome us and answer our questions about CECEP.
As a part of our learning about CECEP and their business conduct, we were taken on a special, one-of-a-kind tour of their solar energy technology plant in Jurong. The buildings were grand and modern, and we were able to observe how an innovative factory operates in China. Some of us were surprised by the high level of automation of the factory (which is contrary to a lot of media reports about Chinese factories!), but were pleased to see that the employees working there were greatly cared for and looked after by CECEP – they had clean and modern working conditions, excellent food provisions and were commonly given accommodation for themselves and their families.
Whilst in China, we also took a day trip to Shanghai to visit Henkel’s Chinese head office and one of their newest production facilities.
Most of us (especially the girls!) knew Henkel as a leading producer of hair care products, owning brands such as Schwarzkopf. What many of us did not realise, however, is that Henkel is responsible for leading the world in adhesive technologies, creating adhesive products for customers producing products such as automobiles.
We were able to see Henkel’s production of adhesives in action, visiting their world-class factory named “Dragon Plant” in Shanghai’s Chemical Industrial Park. Whilst there, we also met with Jason Wang, Henkel’s Chief Financial Officer, who explained to us the importance of having a Chinese CFO in China, especially for foreign companies with offices in China.
Our visit to Henkel was integral to building on our understanding of conducting business in China. With the rate of company internationalisation increasing exponentially, this experience highlighted to us that a global experience, as well as knowing your potential, is essential for success in the Chinese environment.
Our trip to China was one that truly makes our Master of Management degree complete in developing ourselves as future world managers and leaders. Anyone considering completing the Master of Management degree should definitely take the trip to China. Our hosts, CECEP and Henkel, as well as our amazing guides and teachers, Associate Professor Philip Seltsikas, Dr Li Wei, Global Executive MBA alumnus Christine Bishop and Professor Hans Hendrischke, made this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us.
Current student in the Master of Management program at the University of Sydney Business School