By: Himanshu Garg
A group of seven Kelley Evening MBA students are spending two weeks in Lianyungang and Beijing as part of their China in Transition class taught by Professor Marjorie Lyles.
After three amazing days of China, we are finally getting settled in! The weather, slightly musty, is great – not too hot, not too cold! Hengrui, the Chinese generic drug manufacturer that we are consulting with in Lianyungang, has been a great host! After overcoming some challenges in regard to building guanxi, relationships and good rapport, we were finally able to unlock some vital information that we needed to analyze the situation. After our three diligent translators walked us through the numerous meetings we had difficulty setting up, we were finally able unlock a wealth of global strategic alliance data. The company definitely is facing a unique set of challenges that most American companies don’t generally face. The difference in culture, business environment, and unique challenges we have faced are the best part of this trip so far.
Since we clearly don’t speak Chinese, note to those wanting to come in the future, trying to figure out what we should say to our translators is key to unlocking the proper information. Simple, precise questions and statements make for easy translation, but multi-layered in-depth questions are challenging, and may result in loss of translation.
The food has been quite an experience every meal. The shared style food meals have made for some great bonding among our team members during meal time.
If I had the opportunity to take another endeavor such as this again, I would do so in a heartbeat!