Day 10 – Shanghai – Novartis and trip to Guilin

Today we were invited to the Novartis Research facility in Shanghai and shortly after left for the airport and the next destination in our trip: Guilin.

Even though we felt excited to see what else China has to offer, the faces in the bus this morning betrayed that many of us would not mind staying for a bit longer in this unique and modern city.

After a short visit to surprised employees at a nearby Novartis office building, our bus finally dropped us off at the Novartis Research Facilities where we were actually expected and warmly welcomed. Ida Yuan taught us in an eye opening presentation about the massive opportunities and challenges Novartis faces in China. Mandy Ding then impressed us with the potential of the pharmaceutical market: Because the affordability, accessibility and the average age in the Chinese population is rising so quickly and constantly, China will soon become the most valuable market in the industry after the US.

visit at Novartis Shanghai

Ida Yuan finished the presentation with surprising facts about what young Chinese students are looking for in their future employers: With “Work/Life balance”, “Job safety” and “autonomy/independence” being named as the most valued aspects, we recognized that we are not so different after all.

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In the evening we arrived in Guilin and parted from our luggage for the short ride to the hotel. During the ride, we had the pleasure of enjoying detailed information and trivia about everything anyone could possibly know about the city from our new guide Jeremy. Happily reacquainted with our luggage, the group finally vanished into their rooms.

Day 9 – Shanghai – Meyer Burger / Swissnex

Today we were invited to Meyer Burger. Anita Schrag welcomed and guided us through the morning at the company. Her team of individual experts gave us a tour through their present and planned production line, offices and supply control building. The most impressive topic of this morning was the production management. Step by step we were introduced on how they assemble their machines, which produce solar panels through a lamination process. Anita gave us valuable insights on the challenges and opportunities they faced while transitioning to the China market. After an exciting morning we were invited to lunch and then set out for the program at Swissnex in the afternoon.

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The afternoon at Swissnex was filled with interesting presentations about China’s development in the past and present. The last presentation was held by Michael Lehmann and covered topics on how to do business in china and what mindset one should try to acquire before doing business here. The day was quite eventful and we enjoyed the personal anecdotes and insights. They gave us a great foundation if one day we were to do business in China.

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