Today, we were going to do two company visits: to the Sunshine Insurance Group and Xiaomi companies, and it is needless to say that I was so excited and looking forward to the visit. I enjoy going on many different company visits, as you are able to learn about the company in a short period of time, as well as their company culture, which is extremely evident. As we all dressed in our professional attire again, we were able to reflect a little on the bus about what it was we all liked/disliked about the previous visit and the types of questions related to finance, supply chain management, and engineering that we wanted to ask the company. I was so grateful that the companies were giving us the time of day to talk to us about their business strategies and plans for the future, as we were really able to learn about some valuable insights given by industry leaders themselves.
I was awestruck by the Sunshine Insurance group visit-it was a University campus in itself! The Sunshine Insurance Group is a premier leading insurance company in China and has international presence as well. The campus that we were visiting that day was their training ground for all of their interns and employees looking to start or further their careers with the Insurance Group. It was so interesting to see how this was a completely self made company-as we walked in, we heard from an RPI alum about her experiences with the company and with the business world in general, as she used to attend RPI in New York, and then worked in Manhatten for a few years. As for the company history, we watched a video about how their founders started this on a sofa in the living room of their house, and expanded it to what it is today after so much struggle, ups, and downs! As an individual who is hoping to start my own company one day, his success story truly struck a chord with me, and I learned that success comes through slow, hard work, but dreams can come true. The most unique part of the visit was seeing the Sunshine Museum in their main building-it was memorabilia dedicated to their founders, and paid a homage to all that the company has done and what it is yet to do! At the museum, we saw the same sofa that was shown repeatedly in the video! In addition, the museum contained copies of their statements, training manuals, and different accolades that the company had won over the years. I have never seen a company that is based on insurance having such a museum like this, and it was wonderful to see how much pride and respect each of the employees had for the company and for the work that one another did. Afterwards, we were able to converse with many of the employees there as we walked around the campus-it was beautiful! The campus looked to me like a traditional university campus, fit with dorms, green fields, and beautiful lakes. The architectural design of the campus was actually inspired by the West, so for a second, I forgot that I was in China and not at home! I was able to converse with one of the managers at the Sunshine Group while we were walking, which was great because I will be working in the insurance field this summer, so it was definitely wonderful to hear some of her insights.
Once we left the Sunshine campus, we headed to the second visit at Xiaomi. As an aspiring Finance and Supply Chain major with a little bit of experience in engineering, I definitely enjoyed the site visit. Xiaomi is a major smartphone manufacturing company in China with international domination, especially in India where it captures the most percent of the market, and is looking to head into the United States as well. The presentation was given to us by an expert in the Supply Chain industry, and he explained their business model and process extremely thoroughly, after which we were able to ask questions. He talked about how they have three distinct teams in their group: finance, engineering, and marketing side. I asked a question on how their integration process is within each of the teams, and how they cohesively bond together and tackle differences in thought with the finance and engineering teams, which he explained was a multi part process where all decisions were made keeping the greater good in mind. After we all satisfied our questions, we walked over to the neighboring mall and got to see the Xiaomi store! It was our first time entering the store, and there were so many products! From T.V.’s to smartphones to daily home appliances, this company truly manufactured it all. We all had a great time exploring the many products that Xiaomi had to offer (at such great prices too), and headed out of the visit truly feeling like we got more insight into the competitive Chinese business world and what it had to offer. Tomorrow was a day full of cultural visits, and we couldn’t wait to see what it would bring!