Tour blog: Week of Immersion in Shanghai 2019

7 days! 6 companies! Plenty of insights and innovation! We would like to give you the most interesting information, received from experts. This country is full of surprises!

FastForward and МВА25 undertook a project with the involvement of IE School of Human Sciences and Technology. The aim of the visit was to make students of a master program aware of the Chinese business specific character, enable them to participate fully in all space innovations, to ask the market giants and Big Data Analysis experts all essential questions.

7 days! 6 companies! Plenty of insights and innovation!

We would like to give you the most interesting information, received from experts. This country is full of surprises!

What do you have to know in case you’d like to introduce your company to the Chinese market or find there a partner?

The first and most important is to create your clear position. It means:

  • To understand the motivation, both yours and your potential partner’s and also the final decision maker’s one.
  • To know the history of the company you are negotiating with ideally. Furthermore, you have to know the most successful cases, key figures and partners.
  • To have useful contacts. You will be met more quickly and more eagerly, being introduced by a credible person.
  • To broadcast an impeccable image on social media. You shouldn’t be wasted on all of them. To be active in "WeChat" is enough. Be sure they will check it before confirming the meeting.

So, here is our Tour journal

Day 1
Huawei Technologies Co. LTD is known as one of the biggest world telecommunication companies. It was funded by a former engineer in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Ren Zhengfei in 1987.
Huawei welcomes guests
  • Nowadays the company has a status of the second world supplier of well-known smartphones Huawei.
  • It’s one of the three companies in the world (together with Apple and Samsung) creating chips both for own devices and for the needs of other producers.
  • Company employs 180000 people all over the world (excluding shop assistants).
  • The big part of Huawei’s business consists of cooperation with governments and big telecommunication companies in the field of signal transmission systems.
  • The company is already testing the 5G system at its Shenzhen headquarters.
  • It earned206 billion of US dollars last year.
  • Throughout its history, the company founded 30 Research&Development centers all over the world. They employ 45% of all company’s staff members, which means 80000 people are taking action to create and implement new developments!
  • The company expects to achieve double growth for the next 5 years. 
Day 2
We moved to HEMA.The company’s logo is hippo thatbecom very popular nowadays.
The logo of the company HEMA is a beloved Hippo.

Hema Fresh Hippo and He.Robot Cafe were founded in 2016 by well-known company Alibaba.

  • The first year was the year of trial and error. Only 13 shops were open during it. Up to now the total number of them raised to 168, mostly located in Shanghai and Beijing and also in other large cities. On the top of that, new stores are being opened not only in the first-rank cities but also in the second-rank ones! The great bright supermarkets operate both off-line and on-line. 
  • All price tags at their stores are digital. The consumer has to scan QR-code to receive all necessary information about the good.
  • It’s a rather difficult task to pay in cash at their shops. Normally, payment will be made via Alipay e-wallet. Each store has only one checkout for cash payments.
  • The company’s plan is to doubleits presence on the Chinese market.
  • Seafood is the main product focus in Hema Fresh.
  • A fresh fish or a lobster might be cooked for a consumer directly at the store.
  • Home delivery of their goods usually takes 30 minutes and is carried out from the nearest to the final destination storage. Each store is equipped with on-line orders assembly line, lying on the ceiling. A staff member of the division receives the ordered and places it intoa bag, which leaves to a packaging section. As soon as all the parts of the order were received, a delivery man drives the order to the receiver. That all takes not more than 30 minutes.
  • The buyer pays for all purchased goods by himself or herself. If payment was not made or failed, facial recognition identifies the consumer on the way out and it will send a bill to person’s Alipay.

He.Robot Cafe. To visit this restaurant, the special application should be installed. You can order through QR-code scanning. The application helps to choose dishes and live fish or crab for it out of the tank. The He.Robot Cafe chefs are the masters, who gained experience at the best restaurants (including Michelin-rated ones). Be ready to receive your order from chef without any waiter. It will be delivered by one of those futuristic robot, like in Alibaba storage).

Immersion week China together with IE School of Human Sciences and Technology examine AI recent trends and leave for
  • Shanghai company Сtrip was founded by James Liang, Neil Shen, Min Fan, and Qi Ji in 1999.
  • In 2003 it was listed on the NASDAQ in the offer of Merrill Lynch, as the one received 75 million US dollars.
  • In 2006 nearly 70% of Сtrip sales falls on four Chinese cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
  • However, in December 2013 Ctrip acquired an American travel company Tours4fun for more than 100 million US dollars.
  • In May 2015 The Priceline Group announced that it is investing an additional 250 million US dollars into the company.
  • In November 2016 Ctrip acquired a Scottish travel company Skyscanner. Same month Jane Ji San became the new CEO of Ctrip.
  • Ctrip has grown substantially in recent years. In 2015 Ctrip net revenue was 1.7 billionUS dollars, increased by 48%.
  • In 2016 net revenue increased by 76% compared to the same period last year and amounted to 2.9 billion US dollars.
  • On November 1, 2017, Ctrip acquired a US travel research website and turned it into a global brand site.

140 million tourists travel from China to other countries annually and their number is growing rapidly.

Ctrip is second to none in booking tickets from China: the company is fighting not only for the lowest price but also for the clients, offering them different benefits like hotel discounts and shopping coupons in various stores.

We managed to immerse ourselves not only into the company’s atmosphere, but also to the atmosphere and culture of the country in general. So, for example, we were lucky to receive a master class from a real guru of tai chi (martial art, a type of wushu).

В покупке билетов из Китая Ctrip нет равных
Day 4
China Accelerator - the birthplace of progressive startups

Immersion Week in Shanghai gave us even more insights and practical knowledge.

Before starting to work on their own projects presentations, all tour participants visited the birthplace of progressive startups. China Accelarator is part of a huge venture capital fund SOSV (world funds TOP 10%), along with HAX, IndieBio&RebalBio and Food-X.

During the meeting participants learned the main principles of work organization, main differences between an accelerator and business incubator. And on the top of that they found out what to do to attract an investor to one’s project.

Interesting fact about China Accelerator: out of 100% of the inhabitants of the incubator, only 5% were found by active search.The rest 95% were carefully selected from those who submitted external applications. And the so-called "rate of adoption in the family" is the lowest in the world and is only 5%.

Startups ... startups ...

China Accelerator coddlesits young talents with such conditions:

  • 120 thousand dollars of investment.
  • Additional benefits in the amount of 800 thousand dollars.
  • Free office for 6 months.
  • Global communication platform of local and international companies.
  • Assistance of 290 high-class volunteer mentors.
Day 5
The final

The final day of the first week of immersion in the world of Chinese innovation we decided to spend outside of Shanghai.We set off to the city of Hangzhou to visit the Robot City exhibition center.

Innovation Center was founded with the support of the Ministry of Commerce, as well as Korean robot manufacturers that have succeeded in the Chinese market. Participants experienced new helicopter flight simulators, found out the body temperature and pressure in a second, received a hand-painted robot portraits and three times beat the computer in air hockey.

Robot City

And for dessert, we have reserved for you a piece of insider information that you can learn by visiting our tours in person:

  • First meeting is not about business. It is important for the Chinese to understand what kind of person you are. You should not be surprised being called for dinner or a cocktail at first.
  • Tactics of manipulation and pressure is not acceptable here.
  • Avoid the comparison with a competitor, as it might result in non-cooperation.
  • Keep your emotions with you.
  • Signing a contract is just the beginning of negotiations. You will be checked for flexibility and tested for strengthby constant postponement.

Join FastForward’s management tours and gain the unique experience by industry leaders!

Participants’ impressions of previous management tours: 
Having already taken part in educational tours, these people are happy to share their knowledge and impressions.
Anton Nesiforov
Anton NesiforovProcess Manager for fruit and vegetable preservation, beverages, and alcohol

On our tour of Germany, we visited the most famous food exhibition, the Green Week, as well as numerous retail chains and enterprises operating in various interesting industries. We have a lot to learn. We must take the best and use it. Thank you, FastForward, for your careful approach to creating this tour.

Alena Nesiforova
Alena NesiforovaUnified Concept Manager for Izbenka and VkusVill

We visited several retail stores in Germany, as well as manufacturing facilities. What we liked the most about the stores we visited was the high quality standards of German retail. Retailers know how to sell high-quality goods at affordable prices, and this is probably the main secret of Germany's retail success. As for production, we were inspired by some of the small family businesses we saw.