Thursday, June 12, 2008

eClips Asia Team Visits Wuhan, China

With excitement and a little bit of anxiety, fellow Cornellian, Johnson Chi Fan Cheng and I entered the office building of Sante Cooperation. From that moment on, we started our eClips Asia journey in the mid-south part of China-Wuhan this summer. We scheduled four interviews on June 10th and three interviews on the 11th. Interviewees were carefully selected from the most successful chief executive officers and business leaders in Wuhan. They had very different backgrounds and experiences and represented a wide range of fields in the business world of China. There were self made entrepreneurs who started their own businesses from scratch; there were chief executive officers from nationally-owned enterprises who lived through the transformational age of Chinese economy; there were also well educated businessmen who developed a contrasting philosophy of conducting business in China.

Our interviews focused on six main areas: Career Development, Ethics, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Cultural Differences and Diversity, and Work-Life Balance.

Being born in Wuhan and raised in a business environment, I have always felt that I knew the area's business practices well. These two days of interviews, however, opened up my mind so much that I started to look at the subject in a different light. From talking to these great businesspeople, I was inspired by their insights and was able to learn about their business endeavors under the special context of economic development in China during the past several decades. I also noticed that most interviewees emphasized integrity and sustainable development when discussing ethical business practices. Additionally, their understanding of the differences between traditional Chinese culture and Western cultures and their impact on business practices in the East and West were rather interesting and offered me a fresh perspective.

Special thanks to eClips for giving us this great opportunity to learn, to challenge ourselves and to gain new appreciation for Chinese businesses. We can’t wait to share our interview content with our audiences on the eClips website and we hope that you will be as inspired as much as we have been through this learning experience with eClips.

From left to right: Johnson Chi Fan Cheng, Rui Zhang, and Mr. Hui Li, Vice General Manger of I’d Garment Co.,Ltd – a leading brand name in China.

By Rui Zhang
Rz53@cornell.edu

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