China Study Tour 2016 – Day 8 (One)

Written by: Linda Bui and Clinton Windhorst (MBA Candidates)

May 9, 2016

Following an epic night of karaoke fun, the group welcomed the later than normal start (8:45 AM). Many people took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in and some didn’t even start breakfast until 8:30 AM. Nonetheless, everybody boarded the bus on time for the 1.5 hour commute to our company visit with Mr. Bret Walter at Highkelly, a Canadian-based company with manufacturing facilities in Shanghai.

Highkelly specializes in the manufacture of drilling rig equipment, but the recent downturn in the oil industry has forced the company to take on other projects related to manufacturing facilities for educational purposes. Bret discussed some of the challenges for doing business in China as well as some tips. One of which was to “lay low” to avoid competition from larger firms. After the company tour, Bret treated us to a traditional peasant meal at a nearby farm with all homegrown delicacies. These types of meals have been growing in popularity as people become more interested in their roots and associated traditional foods.

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Our next visit was at the Shanghai GM factory where we took a tour of the fairly high tech assembly line. We saw cars move along the production line starting at the stage where the body shell had been painted and ending at the final product with the assembly of doors, windows, tires, etc. It takes about 90 minutes for one car to make it through the assembly line and approximately 1200 cars are produced each day.

 

After the tour, the group was sad to say “farewell” to Edy, who was making his way back to Beijing to welcome another study tour group. Next on the agenda was dinner. To balance the traditional peasant food, the group opted for a more “traditional” Canadian meal at Pizza Hut. Many of us were impressed by the fanciness of Shanghai’s Pizza Hut – not exactly fine dining but much classier than the Pizza Huts back home in Canada.

 

In the evening, we dispersed to explore Shanghai. Some went shopping while others grabbed a snack at Starbucks. A group of us went to Bar Rouge, an upscale bar in the Bund district, to enjoy a relaxing time with bottle service, expensive drinks, and good company before calling it an “early” night (1:00 AM). All in all, a remarkable and memorable third day in Shanghai!

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