German Field Trip

Since coming from London to Germany I have been busy and was rarely online. Landed in Berlin more than two weeks ago, and met friends there in the first of these. It was really nice to catch up and I enjoyed to see people which I was accustomed to in front of a Chinese backdrop, now to be in Germany. Sometimes it looked like a collage of different worlds. Berlin has become a very international city. There is a lot of talk about innovation taking place there. Maybe that’s true. But as I came in from London, I was not utterly impressed. My feeling is that London still attracts far more talent and a good global network. But the low cost level in Berlin, allows for more experiments. The mayor of Berlin once said, that the city is bankrupt but sexy. I can relate to what he means with that. But, to stay with this metaphor: Berlin also looks like carrying a few STDs. So better just look at it, but don’t engage too closely. It seems that the scandal which happened to the construction to the new airport is somehow symptomatic for a complete incompetence of the Berlin municipal government to manage anything. No doubt, Berlin is very special.

A bit more than a week ago then, more than 60 EMBA Students of the bilingual (Chinese and English) programme of the Business School of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) landed in Berlin on a field trip I had the privilege to lead. It was a great honor that the Dean of the School, Professor Jitendra Singh, also joined and it made discussions and conversations extremely interesting. The trip was titled “German’s Hidden Campions” and I had the challenge to show exactly that when we visited companies and Universities. It was great. More than once, the students - which are mostly senior Chinese executives - were interested not to buy a product, but a share of a company. And this somehow became an underlying mood of the trip, even it was not the official topic. From Berlin, we drove to Wolfsburg, Dortmund, the Sauerland, passed the Rhine-Ruhr-Area to Cologne and finally in Frankfurt they took off back to China again. We had wonderful hosts and speakers, and it could not have been a deeper insight. And of course, the logistics challenge was handled extremely well by the HKUST team and their support. On Friday night I arrived exhausted but content in Montabaur: my meeting point also with Feibai, who has been traveling separately since I was engaged with the students. We now spend time with the family and enjoy the early summer in the green Westerwald. What else can you wish for?

 Group photo at the end of our field trip.

Group photo at the end of our field trip.