Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Small & Medium Enterprise: Our First Client Visit

Yesterday, we went to our first client visit. Loren, Doris and I were accompanied by our two interpreters who had actually setup the meeting. The company had sent a 6-seater Buick for us. We drove for about an hour before we reached the company. The office was located in a pretty shabby neighbourhood. But the office and factory itself was very very big and swanky. I was, in fact, very surprised to see such a large campus for a supposed SME. The company was the largest private sector player in its domain and was planning an IPO in the near future.

We were welcomed by the CFO, Vice President and Head of Corporate Management. We were served with Jasmine tea and hot water! Then we went through a preliminary introduction of the company's profile. We were also shown a video about the company that was fairly comprehensive. Then we went into a detailed discussion about the company's operations, challenges, future strategies and growth plan. It was a fairly detailed and frank discussion. It appeared that the top management was very clear on the challenges that the companies face. After the discussions, we were invited to a lunch and were driven to a restaurant a little distance from the office. It was  fish-specialty restaurant and we had about six dishes of fishes. A couple of them were very spicy. The food in general was good.

We went back after lunch to the office and talked to the head of the marketing, HR and International business. We discussed their plans and challenges in detail.

After the work was done, we drove back to Chengdu and went to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. We started working on the presentation for the company and did a fair bit of research. For dinner, the consensus was that the team had a lot of Chinese food and would go and have something "familiar" so went went to Pizza Hut. I had a veg pizza and Wurberry juice. It was nearly 10 pm before we returned to the hotel and went to sleep.

Today we started working from the morning and have nearly completed the presentation that we are to give them on Thursday.

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