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Showing posts from November, 2009

Final days in Chengdu

We made our presentation to the Big Shoe Company. I thought it went pretty well. I presented strategy for online marketing to them. That is what I thought what they wanted to know the most. But selling shoes online is going to be fairly tough for an unknown brand. Once we were done with the presentation, we were back to the hotel and started working on our consolidated SME report.

By Wednesday we had completed the SME report and also the final presentation that we were planning to give Madam Bao Hui, a member of Chengdu Municipal CPC committee, and Chairman of General Labour Union. Loren did not want to present because he had one more presentation that day, so we egged on Vandana  to do the job.

The final meeting with the chamber of commerce was in a swanky 5-star hotel. There was local media coverage as well. The President of the Chengdu Chamber of Commerce was there to greet us. We had four presentations on general themes which was concluded by the final SME report. Madam Bao then i…

The Big Shoe Company

On Wednesday (11/4/2009), we went to visit the bigger of the two shoe companies. We were all hoping that like the first shoe company, the team would get another pair of free high-end shoes!! We went and met the son of the Chairman. He is very young and is in the process of taking over from his father. Their problems were also similar in nature: talent retention, management effectiveness and building an online shoe retail business. We will be going back to them on next Tuesday (11/10) and I will be presenting them on how to market shoes online.

What I saw actually put me off. I am not really very keen on working with this company. This company is the classical example of the "Chinese sweatshop". The workers need to work from 8 am till 10 pm everyday. For 28 days a month. They get only 2-3 holidays in a month. The pay is poor (average worker earns 1300 RMB) and typically stays less than a year. The company has no brand and manufactures shoes for a fairly well-recognized US bra…

The Good Shoe Company

Today we concluded our presentation for the first show company, one which we have termed as Shoe One. The presentation went really well. I discussed in detail about the importance of creating a business plan and how to go about creating one. The things to focus on in a strategic business plan and things to avoid. After me Vandana discussed motivation and HR systems. Loren concluded with a passionate discourse on building corporate culture. In total the presentation lasted for 1 hr 40 mins. The president then called for a break for the employees to get together and gather their thoughts before starting the question answer session. After a short 5 minute break we started the Q&A session and it went for over 1.5 hours. The questions and the candour felt very nice. The general manager herself asked most of the initial questions. Once the session got into full swing even other members joined the fray.

The Q&A over, the president and the general manager thanked us profusely and the p…