Our first visit was to Modern Terminals Limited, which provides ocean carriers, manufacturers, and end users with fast efficient sophisticated and customer focused and logistic services. When we arrived we were provided with a brief overview of the economy of China and how it effects their importing and exporting business. Gavin Dow, General Manager/Sales Strategy & Optimization/ Strategy Management of Modern Terminals Limited, and Zoe Tse, strategy management manager, were our presenters. They talked about corporate social responsibility,the history of the company and an overall view of the company and it’s future goals. They were also helpful in answering any questions we had for them about the company. After the presentation, we went up to the control tower where we learned about the logistics of the shipyard and about the employees that work in the control towers, which was very interesting. The control tower is operating 24/7 and is even operating during natural disasters like Typhoons! Unreal!! The tour ended with a nice lunch at the gin drinker where we were treated to some fine Asian cuisine. Kim almost rang the bell at the bar after Jay told her to and the COO said if she did, she would have had to buy everyone drinks. We guess this is some kind of tradition…
The second business we visited was called Tween Brands. This company is a clothing manufacturer for young girls, boys and women. Once we were settled in the conference room, they gave us an overview of the company and answered our questions about what they do in their Hong Kong office on a daily basis. Afterwards, we watched a brief video, and we were shown all the designs that were created in the office, which is a sourcing and development office. Then, employees from each station in the office gave us a brief talk about what they do on a daily basis. We then took a group photo and left the office to go tour the manufacturing building where their design ideas our outsourced.
When we arrived at the Merit Tat International Limited manufacturing building, we were seated in a conference room with water and chocolates, which Willy particularly enjoyed and was a big hit with the group and a great way to start our last meeting. Robert Lok, managing director, gave us a brief overview of the company, which has been in his family for 36 years. Merit Tat International Limited works with other companies like Tween Brands and creates samples that they send for approval back to the companies that outsource to them. It takes around two months for these companies, such as L.L. Bean and Victoria’s Secret, to approve samples. In addition, Merit Tat also has its own brand which is only marketed in China.
While we were at Tween Brands, another group had gone to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. When they arrived they watched a ten minute video of the history of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and were able to look at the stock exchange floor through the glass window from the conference room. On the floor, there were about ten older gentlemen, but apparently they were not doing much because all the work is now done electronically or from other office buildings.
Overall, our first business visits of the trip were very worthwhile and educational, for they gave us a much better understanding of international business. Every employee of the company treated us with respect, and we all enjoyed their hospitality. We wish them the best in their future endeavors!
Mike Botto And Willy Pagliaro