MANCOSA’s MBA students and academics who returned from the recent Shanghai Study Tour to China gained insights into international business practices; leadership and how the cultural imperatives impacts on business.
The scholarly tour to China was aimed at offering participants knowledge of international business practices; adding a practical component to the MBA degree offered at MANCOSA and building international education relations. The Shanghai Study Tour emerged following a collaborative agreement between MANCOSA, Regent Business School and the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE).
“The study tour was indeed very informative and the objectives set out were to expose the MBA students, via experiential learning lecturers, to the various business models, culture, consumer behaviour and leadership styles in different emerging market economy” said Dr Kiveshni Naidoo, the Deputy Dean at MANCOSA who led the tour.
Visits to diverse businesses were on the agenda for tour participants who caught a glimpse of business operations within an IT company, a FMCG company, a Chemical Company, a Steel Company, a car manufacturing company and a Project Management and Engineering company. “The company visits gave students insights into how business is done in China and students were also given an opportunity to engage with the Management of the companies and gain insights. The issue of innovation and leadership and managing talent came up for discussion as well. Climate change, and greening issues were also discussed at length,” said Dr Naidoo.
From a learning perspective MBA students benefited in that opportunities arose for the sharing of ideas; they established networks and participants gained knowledge that would be useful when undertaking their jobs in the diverse sectors they represent.
According to Dr Naidoo the tour took cognisance of challenges, solutions, best practices and innovation in the area of management and leadership. Emphasis was also placed on culture, heritage, diversity, logistics, infrastructure, technology, sustainable environment, globalisation and the quality of life and its impact on business.
This sojourn to China proved to be an eye-opening experience for participants who found the tour beneficial for their careers and educational on a personal level.
One tour participant, Mr Martin Malatji said:
“I learnt a lot from the tour particularly doing business in China and with the Chinese. The efficiency and cost saving in production was amazing and will help a great deal in my professional endeavours. “
Mr Leonard Booysen was impressed by the in-roads China had demonstrated since introducing economic reforms in the late 1980s. From a business perspective he found it “awesome” been exposed to businesses across various industries and conversing with top management at Fortune 500 companies on diverse business topics.
“The insight I gained from the tour is that Exceptional Leaders build powerful teams and ensure that everyone on the team is focused on a common objective, aligned with each other on roles and responsibilities, and communicating effectively. The team’s success is dependent on the contribution of each and every member,” said Mr Booysen.
He commended MANCOSA and SUIBE for organising an exceptional educational tour which incorporated an element of fun.