The Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) – Singapore’s Settin’ up Franchises…

14 08 2013

… and I went to check it out (with Yan Zhihua and company from Z.H. STUDIO) and came away very, very impressed.

IMG_0518

 

SIP isn’t what I expected. Think about that word… Industrial Park. Now imagine one in Suzhou, one of China’s major industrial cities. What are you picturing?

If you’re like me, you’re probably picturing warehouses… refineries… manufacturing plants… big, belching smokestacks. Not exactly a fun place to spend the afternoon. You probably weren’t thinking of this:

IMG_0634

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




Moving Along

12 06 2013

Module D is almost over, and I’m almost out from under my pile of finance classes. Blogging has been far lighter this year than originally planned; this blog started as part of a marketing fellowship for Hult, and it’s gone through a few rethinks since then, but I’ve decided that I need to take it in a new direction. Before we get to that, though, a few updates:

-iTV-Asia and it’s new sister site, iTV-Vietnam, will soon be back online. We have 40 new content contributors signed to the company, and a few new employees in Ho Chi Minh City who will be taking over a lot of the day-to-day maintenance. I plan to start contributing China Author Forum book reviews again.

-while no timetable is yet official, I plan to move back to the US by September. Exactly where I’m going has yet to be decided- finding a position with a company is a higher priority. If you know of any openings in strategy, marketing or business development with an IT or telecom firm (established or funded startup), or in strategy, marketing and product development consulting, please contact me- I’d be very interested in hearing more. If I don’t have a position or a solid lead by the time I graduate in mid-August, I’ll probably be moving to either the San Francisco or Seattle area to begin my search.

More in a few days…

[edit: I’ve decided I should probably reserve this blog for concerns more directly related to Hult, China & Shanghai; I think anything else would probably not fit the tone.]

 





CSR and Strategy: Mixed Signals?

2 05 2013

Module C has drawn to a close here at Hult, and most of my classmates have said goodbye, off to one or more of Hult’s other global campuses. I’m not rotating- Shanghai Campus offers plenty of good classes, and while it could have been fun, it just struck me as an unnecessary expense that I can’t afford right now. Anyway, I’m probably more valuable here (as an “old hand” to Shanghai life) than I am elsewhere right now. Module C of the Hult MIB program is mainly focused around two core classes, Strategy and CSR, that essentially serve as the capstone classes of the Hult core curriculum. After going through the basics of accounting and management in Module A, and tearing through finance, economics and marketing in Module B, these last two classes (before the electives of Module D and action project in Module E) put it all together, framing how the material we’ve covered so far goes together to create a corporate strategy, and the ethical implications and considerations that should be taken when designing and implementing one. Having now gone through the Hult core curriculum, it’s become obvious to me how much the school’s roots in management consulting influence it- the whole thing is essentially a course in how to be a consultant- a useful set of tools to take into any business role.

The two professors we had for these classes- Dr. Cheng-hua Tzeng, from Taiwan, and Dr. Farzad Rafi Khan, from Pakistan, couldn’t have been more different… except that they shared a very surprising bond- both earned their Ph.D.s in Strategy and Organizational Management at McGill under management theory legend Henry Mintzberg, and even shared the same cubicle as grad students! It was uncanny- and apparently coincidental- that they ended up teaching the same students, at the same time, at Hult… yet what a contrast.

Read the rest of this entry »





Crystal Ball 2013

2 01 2013

I’m not much of a prophet (if I was, my portfolio would be considerably larger), but I’m going to go out on a limb and make some predictions regarding 2013. Come January 1st 2014, you all have a right to heckle me for being so terribly wrong. (This should have gone up yesterday, but I’d just flown back from HCMC and didn’t feel like writing.)

Read the rest of this entry »





Shanghai Entrepreneurs: Shaun Rein

6 11 2012

“The key to building a great company is finding great people.”

Shaun Rein, Managing Director of the China Market Research Group (CMR), has built a controversial reputation and a competitive consulting firm in China. CMR, despite being only seven years old and led by a man in his early thirties with no prior consulting experience, manages to beat top international consulting firms like Bain and McKinsey for due diligence and market research projects in China. The company has become recognized for it’s street-level expertise and thorough (if sometimes contrarian) approach to a frequently opaque and baffling market.

I first interviewed Rein last winter, when he was promoting his book, The End of Cheap China (you can view the interview here). This time I visited him in his office overlooking Lujiazui Park in Pudong, where we sat down for a conversation about his experiences as an entrepreneur in Shanghai, developing a consulting practice, and the ins and outs of doing business in China. Read the rest of this entry »





China Doesn’t Want You

2 11 2012

To my fellow Hult students, and anyone else in a business program who aspires to come to China:

It’s not easy here.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s article “Looking to Get Ahead? China Doesn’t Want You” summarizes just how difficult it can be for aspiring entrepreneurs and young professionals in China, from non-Chinese backgrounds. Between legal hurdles, linguistic challenges, the saturation of most Chinese markets, the slowing economy, and a general anti-foreign prejudice, China can be a hard place to “make it”, and many MBAs and MBA students who came here expecting to become investment bankers, expat managers, or run a start-up straight out of the gate are often disappointed.

Read the rest of this entry »





Seven Rotations – October 17th, 2012

18 10 2012

(A day late, unfortunately, but I was tired last night and needed a rest.)

Busy week, as usual. Just finished up the “Toolbox” module at Hult, which consists of preliminary workshops and classes to get everyone on the same page. The Hult MIB and MBA programs being as diverse as they are, they don’t only attract people with a variety of different nationalities, they attract people with vastly different educational backgrounds. There are many business majors, economists and accountants in my class- but there are also scientists, engineers, doctors, Chinese literature students, English teachers- and even one lonely political science major-cum-researcher-cum-administrator-cum-desk manager-cum-teacher-cum-journalist-cum-entrepreneur. So, obviously, not every class could be interesting and enlightening for every student. Those with finance and accounting backgrounds found the “accounting boot camp” extremely basic; but the class also contained students who had never seen a balance sheet. I’d never taken an accounting class before, but my father taught me to read a financial statement and do basic bookkeeping when I was very young, so there wasn’t much that was new for me. Though I understand and support the principle- the other classes won’t make sense unless you have the foundation.

Read the rest of this entry »