As part of the Business Planning for International Markets (BPIM) course, students of the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) 2015-17 of IIM Visakhapatnam visited China during their fifth term under the guidance and mentorship of Prof Debraj Ghoshal. The students shared that their visits to factories of Lenovo, Volkswagen, Coca-Cola and Bao Steel were quite eventful and exciting. It proved to be a great opportunity for students to acquire first-hand experience/knowledge on China in terms of its economy, functioning of state-controlled enterprises, the way policies are framed and implemented, work culture and finally the cultural similarities and differences between India and China. The factory visits and interaction with business leaders spanning banking, automobile and service sectors gave the students an opportunity to witness various concepts which are part of the curriculum of their courses. Few concepts like Kanban card systems at the Volkswagen plant, as well as product-process layout combinations at the Lenovo plant gave practical ground to the theories studied. In addition to this, the presentations shown at the companies gave the students an insight into what it takes to operate a business and succeed in a country like China.
Overall, the China visit, in addition to being informative and presenting life-size models of concepts taught in classes, was also an opportunity to check whether some of the conceptions the students had about China were truths or just myths.
IIMV students at the Baosteel factory
Visit to the Coca-Cola bottling plant
To the land of Mickey Mouse - Disneyland
At the Indian Consulate’s office in China
Students with the Lenovo officials outside the factory
At the Volkswagen factory after a session on the manufacturing process of the cars