While “Swiss Made” is considered the symbol of quality and even luxury, “Made in China” is much more controversial. When “Swiss Made” meets “Made in China”, the spark of innovation is generated. To trigger that spark, swissnex China, together with Swiss Cham, Shanghai Swiss Center and Newhuadu Business School (NBS) invited Mr. James Breiding, author of the book Swiss Made: The Untold Story behind Switzerland’s Success, Mr. Lifeng LI, chairman of Shanghai Excilon New Materials Co.,Ltd and Mr. Kelvin CHEW, Vice President and Head of Building Systems of Sika China, General Manager of Sika Sarnafil Shanghai , to share with the audience their experience and stories of doing business in China.
The event was held at the swissnex China office, and attracted a large audience. The registration system was even forced to close early because people registered for the event quickly outnumbered the seats available at the site.
The event started with a welcome speech by Mr. Pascal Marmier, CEO of swissnex China and Vice Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai. Then Dr. Lifeng LI shared with the audience his story of starting his own business in China, and how he developed his business into a leading company in the industry. He also shared with the audience his understanding of the “New Normal” in China, and his advice for business to survive and thrive in China under the “New Normal”. Then, Mr. James Breiding introduced the development history of Swiss companies, with fascinating success stories of some of the world’s best-selling brands. After Mr. Breiding’s speech, Mr. Kelvin CHEW generously shared his experience of how to manage a Swiss company in China, how they learnt from their failure, and how to constantly innovate to eventually make Sika China a great success.
Following the speeches is a panel discussion and a Q&A session moderated by Dr. Prof. LIN Hua, Vice Dean of NBS and Executive Dean of NBS Switzerland, which provided a golden opportunity for business starters and interested students to consult and to exchange ideas. And as always, with words from the wise to serve your minds, we still hoped to provide something that can give you a great appetite. Delicacies were prepared and the guests were served with good wine.
The event on March 17th is the first of a series of lectures on “Swiss Made and Swiss Innovation”. A seminar has also been held at Antai College of Economics & Management–Shanghai Jiao Tong University on March 18th, where Mr. Breiding delivered a lecture on the Swiss method of Innovation and how it differs from Silicon Valley. Followed by a Q&A, the class, which included several international students, had the opportunity to question Mr. Breiding on both his work and personal life.
- Contributed by Joy Zhao, Junior Project Leader Academic Affairs