28. September 2018

K+S global

Laura goes Singapore - Part 5

Adventure Mainland China

In order to finalize the midterm planning for K+S Huludao and to support Shenzhen K+S Trading Co. Ltd with its own planning, I was supposed to stay two weeks in China. Regarding the organizational structure of K+S in China, it’s important to know that it consists of two parts: first one is a K+S production plant, where magnesium sulfate is produced and the second one is a K+S sales company with focus on the Chinese market.

Ready for my first stay in Mainland China, I started my way to Changi airport after having a nice breakfast with a friend. Together with my local boss from Singapore, the CFO of K+S AP and another product manager of K+S AP, we stayed overnight at Shanghai airport.

Seafood-HuludaoAfter a short night we continued our trip to Jinzhou, which is close to Huludao and where the driver picked us up. Carl, the General Manager of Huludao, showed us the compact site with tanks, warehouses, administration and production buildings and introduced me to some other colleagues. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch at the K+S group well known canteen of Huludao, which is probably rather a kitchen with a table than a canteen. Entirely satisfied, I presented the planning numbers and clarified open questions. The day ended with a nice dinner together with some of the Chinese colleagues. Because Huludao is located close to the sea, a lot of seafood was served as well as Maotai, the Chinese rice wine. The day after we continued our way through Shenyang to the second destination: Shenzhen. In the Shenzhen office, we were warmly welcomed too. After the first meeting, where key facts and the framework for the planning had to be clarified, I was on my own as the other two went back to Singapore.

One and a half weeks at the Shenzhen office with my Chinese colleagues reveal me some cultural differences and similarities, too. Taking the example of a common behavior when the sun is shining: I was really happy to feel the sun after four days of steady rain, while my female colleagues used their umbrellas and explained me that they don´t want to become tanned in any case.

Shenzhen at nightGoing to lunch on the other hand reminded me a lot of Germany because they usually go all together. Which was new was the fact of sharing the entire food. Good for me, as it kept me from trying chicken feet and fish hearts!. Even though the problem with the spiciness has not yet been solved, I got used to it a little bit.

Spiciness is what makes Asian food delicious!

All in all, I always felt welcomed and enjoyed spending time with my Chinese colleagues, no matter whether we were at work or went out for karaoke in the evenings. I even took the opportunity to come back to Hong Kong to visit the city again where I once worked for three months. The time in Mainland China was great, since I have not only not only experienced another culture in an intensive way but also expanded my knowledge about the specific requirements and characteristics of the Chinese business.

Now, I'm back in Singapore and look forward to spending some interesting and exciting last weeks over here.

Yours sincerely,

Laura

 

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