I have fully recovered from what appeared to be a contaminated gallon of water. I continue to enjoy China and my internship experience. I continued my education aboutf the Coca-Cola business by receiving a two day orientation at the 2nd Coca-Cola China Office in downtown Shanghai. I learned all about the CCMG division which stands for the China Customer Management Group.
This division handles all Coke’s customers such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, and a local Chinese company called CRE. Basically, anywhere coke products are offered in China with the exception of McDonald’s (they are Coke’s most special global customer and are handled by a separate division within the company). I will be doing a combination of finance and operations analysis on our 6 key customer groups within China which is very difficult given the unique nature of the Coca-Cola China System (Coke, Bottlers, and Customers).
I had the opportunity to visit the KO lab - there might only be three total in the world. It is within the R+D section of Coca-Cola China and is where a lot of the new drink products are created. Within this area, Coca-Cola has a full simulation set up of a McDonald’s restaurant, 7-11, and other key customers.
These areas can be specifically altered to their various customers which allows Coca-Cola to develop marketing strategies, display new innovative programs and provide suggestions to these groups for product sales optimization. Sorry, no pictures were allowed! I even tasted a new product that will be rolled out in China shortly… I will keep that a secret as well!
As I stated previously, every Friday after work I eat American type food. I have been craving pizza the last few weeks. I never thought I would consider Papa John’s as a viable solution for quality pizza, but in China there are not too many options. I tried Pizza Hut last Friday and the menu is rather localized which is consistent amongst the YUM brand in China. This is one of the reasons KFC in China is currently much more successful then McDonald’s is here. Pepsi has the YUM account currently.
To all those who have inquired about my chopsticks adventure, I am glad to say I conquered that hurdle about two weeks ago! One day I was using them and then all of a sudden it felt right and since then no other issues. I have also learned that if I was to work in China, given the position I would be starting at, I would need to learn mandarin. Pam Reilly, (New GMBA candidate, Fall 2010) you already have a huge advantage!
I feel that learning Chinese would be a necessity and my boss concurs. I have been in a few meetings where it was all in mandarin, and sometimes that can be difficult, but I always make sure to have them email me the power point slides that are usually in English.
A few times random people have come up to me on the metro and asked me if I was coming home from work and asked me if I was a journalist or an actor (No Megan not Ray from 90210). The actor label came up a few times so one time I decided to play along. I told this one girl I was from Backstreet Boys the music group. I picked them because everyone knows them here. I signed a few autographs and took a few pictures and was on my way. It was quite funny to say the least.
I continue to enjoy interactions with my team members. My father will be traveling here in two weeks and I will give him a tour of Coca Cola-China and we will travel to Beijing for the weekend. For those who do not know, it is a two hour flight from Shanghai and we still stay near the Forbidden City and visit a section of the Great Wall. I look forward to that. The weather here is still not sunny, but it has been more comfortable getting around. That's all for now.