Munich. Chinese participants in the Manager Training Programme (MP) learnt a lot about the successes and problems of German family enterprises, the latest branding methods and intercultural differences. At the same time, they established valuable contacts to German companies.
The beer gardens were packed as usual in July; the Alps panorama was inviting – but the 17 Chinese executives from the middle and upper management levels hadn’t come on holiday. The participants of the Manager Training Programme organised by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria had a stiff programme with the focus on business relationships with German companies and German-Chinese economic topics.
“The Programme is perfect for me. As the founder and managing director I need to know how to organise myself globally and how to put my company on a consistent course”, said Weili Li, Managing Director of Mecechem Co. Ltd. in Wuxi, eastern China: “I learnt a great deal through the visits to several companies.” She was particularly interested in visiting Bavarian companies that are also active in China, among them Maccon GmbH in Munich. “I was impressed by this small company’s presentation and its professional way of working”, Weili says.
Maccon develops and manufactures high-quality electrical motors and controls for the fields of traffic technology, medicine, science and aerospace. The medium-sized company informed the guests from China extensively about its quality management. Ted Hopper, Managing Director of MACCON, took the opportunity to establish contacts: “Up to now, the focus of our business activity was on the Federal Republic of Germany and other European countries. However, we want to gain access to new markets; China as a rapidly developing market is of particularly interest for our high-tech products. We were therefore very glad to receive Chinese managers, to present our company and products to them and exchange ideas. We are now in contact with some of the participants regarding possible cooperation.”
Hong Jiang, Managing Director of United Faith Auto Equipment Group in Guangzhou in South China, sees German and Chinese family enterprises faced with comparable challenges. Within the scope of the group programme, he visited Spinner GmbH in Munich, a family-owned company established in 1946. Today the company offers solutions in the field of high-frequency technology to customers all over the world. “I am glad to have met Ms Spinner-König”, said Hong Jiang. “She spoke openly about the transition of the company from one generation to the next and about her management philosophy, providing me with new insights.”
Besides the company visits, the Programme included training modules, and it wasn’t only the summer weather that caused temperatures to rise in the group discussions. In an interactive course, Trainer Angela Lehmann conveyed relevant branding methods to the participants for their international business. Weijiang Zhang, Vice Director of the company Yangling Tiangong Industry Co. Ltd. in the province of Shaanxi, commented: “Now I understand German sales methods much better and see the difference between them and Chinese sales methods. The training will help me very much to establish our brand in China and Germany.”
The intercultural training was very important to the participants as they were able to put the knowledge gained into practice during company visits. The Chinese Programme participants made Interesting contacts during almost 60 individual appointments with German companies. Weili Li, for example, visited the company Franz Schubert Consulting, whose managing director was so impressed by her professionalism that he already brought her into contact with several of his customers during her stay in Germany. Weili then visited five further German drug and pharmaceutical companies.
By the end of their stay, the participants had gathered numerous ideas for making improvements in their companies and established valuable contacts in Germany. They even had time for an outing to Neuschwanstein and the Tegernsee lake – including a weissbier with the Alps panorama in the background, quite according to the motto: business before pleasure!