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1999-09-21: Workshops "Unternehmensstrategien" (Englisch)
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1999-09-21: Workshops "Unternehmensstrategien" (Englisch)

The project held two workshops for private entrepreneurs in Qingdao and Kunming on "Enterprise Development Strategies" from September 12 to 18. Twenty-five prominent industrialists from various prefectures of Shandong province participated in the Qingdao workshop, which was organized jointly by DIHT, ACFIC, the Shandong and Qingdao Chambers of Commerce. The Kunming workshop was a cooperation between the project partners and the Yunnan Chamber of Commerce who had invited 36 select member entrepreneurs from Kunming, Lijiang, Simao, and Xishuangbanna.

Gatherings of so many well-known entrepreneurs are quite exceptional. When asked about his reasons to participate in the workshop for three days, the president of Guangming Machine Co., Ltd. in Jinan (Shandong), Pei Mingming, said, "Since all enterprises work under the same market conditions, I need to strengthen my competitive advantages in order to further develop my business. The development strategy of my enterprise is a top-level decision, so I need to personally participate in this workshop. Through the workshop, I am finding a new orientation, which would hardly be possible in my daily working environment. In the future, I will focus on improving the usage of all potentials in my enterprise." His company is China's largest manufacturer of equipment for door and window production, market leader in modern plastic window frames equipment.

Participants both in Qingdao and Kunming represented a wide variety of educational levels, enterprise sizes and business success. Lin Lidong, president and CEO of Yunnan Ziyuan Goup Co., Ltd., was one of the youngest, yet already holding a masters degree in economics. His company is in the tourism, real estate and stock trading business. Wang Lihua, CEO of Simao Foods and Beverages Co., was one of the few women entrepreneurs. Her small factory in a remote and poor mountain area of southwestern China has found a market niche despite all difficulties. Conscious of her moral responsibility not only for her employees but also for the development of the whole area, she is exploring ways to increase the popularity of her fruit drinks in Yunnan province and beyond.

Key speaker of the workshops was Prof. Dr. Dieter Schneidewind, Board Member and former Chief Executive for Asia and Europe of Wella AG, Germany. Under his leadership and strategic guidance, Wella had been the first German enterprise to establish a joint venture in the People’s Republic of China nearly twenty years ago. Schneidewind shared his rich experience in international enterprise management and the development of enterprise strategies with the Chinese business leaders who appreciated his entertaining presentation and his upfront stance in the discussions. The participants were also keen to learn how Wella solved the relationship between ownership and management. Wella, just like most Chinese private enterprises, is a family-owned company.

The Chairman of the Board of Beijing Topteam Consulting Co., Ltd., Qiao Huicun, focused in his presentation on key elements in developing business strategies, giving practical examples and using case studies. Qiao, concurrently Senior Consultant with the CITIC Group, was among the first experts to specialize on the newly developing private enterprises in China. In the plenary discussions, group discussions, and even outside the workshop program, he offered succinct advice to participants in tackling their individual strategic challenges.

Dr. Wolfgang Pauly, Program Director of the German Management Academy, explained the theoretical framework as well as procedures and instruments of European and American enterprises’ strategic planning. Although his presentation was highly compressed from a four-week seminar to a few workshop hours, Pauly succeeded in communicating the western systematic approach to enterprise strategies. Many participants, who already utilize analytical methods in their enterprise, encountered the complete structure for the first time. Pauly’s introduction to western business strategies aimed not only at upgrading the development of Chinese private enterprises but also to strengthen their ability to cooperate with foreign partners.

Completing the picture was an in-depth look at the corporate strategy of one of China’s most successful enterprises, the Legend Group of Beijing. Zou Bo, Manager of the Corporate Business Development Department of Legend Holdings Limited, described the development history and the strategic planning elements of this largest producer of computers and related equipment in China. In his presentation, Zou emphasized the need of constantly adjusting an enterprise’s strategy to the changing demands of the consumers while carefully watching one’s competitors and maintaining one’s structural balance. Although Legend Group is not formally a private enterprise, her detailed and scientific strategies were taken as a model by the participants to adjust their own strategy.

Ms. Li Yue, Vice-President and Secretary General of the China International Public Relations Association and Ms. He Chunru, Project Assistant of DIHT, supported the German experts and interpreted their presentations. Mr. Zhou Shengkun, Associate Professor of the China Agricultural University, skillfully moderated the workshops, extricated and elucidated the focal points of discussion.

In addition to the presentations, plenary and group discussions, the organizers carried out a survey among the participants on the importance of various enterprise strategy elements and the related difficulties each enterprise is facing, and presented the results at the end of each workshop. In the evenings, participating entrepreneurs took the opportunity to present their ideas on possible cooperation with German enterprises to DIHT China Project Director Helmut Schoenleber.

Schoenleber and ACFIC Division Director Lü Shaoxin, expressed contentment with the workshops: "We believe the participants in Shandong and Yunnan will return home to their own enterprises with many new ideas and we hope their modified business strategy will multiply their success in the new millennium!”

Entrepreneurs during the Kunming workshop

Prof. Dieter Schneidewind

Qiao Huicun

Li Yue, Dr. Wolfgang Pauly, Zhou Shengkun during a group discussion (from the left)

Another group discussion with Zou Bo (white shirt), Lü Shaoxin (to the right of Zou) and Yunnan entrepreneurs

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