Chuntao Xu – Company learning environment: aiming for intercultural management skills

The BMWi Manager Training Programme in the summer of 2009 was an important event for Chuntao Xu and her company.

Through her training in Germany, Xu made contact with potential business partners and gained useful intercultural insights, which helped her understand why her company’s endeavours to develop business relations with Western companies had so far failed to bear fruit.

After completing the BMWi Manager Training Programme and returning to her company, Xu was promoted from her position as head of sales and purchasing to that of managing director. Her aim was to arrange co-operations with overseas companies – perhaps even German ones. Within the space of just one year, she had developed close business relations with a German manufacturer of natural ingredients for the food and beverage industry. She had already visited the Heidelberg-based branch of the company during her internship in Germany, but her new knowledge of European business practices and thinking allowed Xu to communicate effortlessly with the German partner.

Yitong now purchases flavours for dairy products from the new supplier, and in the coming year, will also start to buy flavours for beverages and ice cream.

Another company from this branch, which Xu visited in Hamburg as part of the training programme, has built a test laboratory in China. The existing contacts mean Xu’s company stands a good chance of being selected as a business partner. Xu forged even more new contacts with overseas companies through her participation in an international trade fair in Frankfurt. She now feels “particularly sure of herself when dealing with German companies”, because she is familiar with their mindset.

Name: Chuntao Xu
Company: Xuzhou Yitong Food Industry Co. Ltd, Xuzhou, China
Sector: Food industry
Position: General Manager
Training in Germany: 4 July – 1 August, 2009
Training centre: Baden-Württemberg International, Stuttgart