Sunday, May 13, 2007

dik went to China

This is the third installment in a series of posts by dik founder Marcus. Enjoy!
Two months back I had the opportunity to travel to China for our company. The whole purpose of the trip was to meet, face-to-face, our exporter over there and to get a better understanding of how things work. As great as the internet is, with email and Skype etc., there still is no substitute for working with someone in person.

To enter China via Canada you need a visa. I was required to get a business visa so I had to get the company we’re dealing with to fax over a letter indicating I must enter the country for business. The consulate here in Toronto was very fast in processing the request and I now have access to China for business until August of this year.

It’s a 15.5-hour direct flight from Toronto to Hong Kong. So, 31 hours of total flying time for the return trip. I was actually in China for only 2.5 days. I usually do not suffer jet lag, but this time it caught up to me! Landing in Hong Kong, I took a ferry to mainland where I met our exporter and his business partner.

I felt like royalty. They had a driver in a company car, took my bags for me, never let me open a door myself, and drove me while I sat in the back. While things are very similar to the West, they are also very different.

The biggest thing for me was the pace at which these guys did business. Nothing started until noon, and there was always lunch that occurred first. I must admit, they were gracious hosts, but I’m used to starting at 9am and finishing around 5pm, not starting at 12pm and ending around 10pm.

But it was a very worthwhile trip. I got to see how the whole process works from there. They showed me how they interact with the factory, and the things they have to do from their end. If anyone is thinking of starting up any type of business that deals with manufacturing, not just in China but anywhere, I would strongly recommend you go and visit the people who are doing this work for you. It’s allowed me to conduct better business with them, knowing where they are coming from, which in turn has equaled greater efficiency and quality.

But the flight? Take a sleep mask, an iPod if you have one, and do your best to sleep on the plane as much as possible. I’m sure plenty of soon-to-be dik wearers have traveled for business and know this, but 30 hours worth of jet lag can knock the hardiest of travelers out for a while.

Maybe next time I’ll go for more than 2.5 days and get to spend some time in Hong Kong. It sure would be nice to spend more time on the ground there than in the air.....
-Marcus
founder of dik
Update Note: The photo is simply added by UMan and is not a photo of where Marcus visited (although the photo is a photo of China).

3 comments:

HE said...

o god, u went to my city?? Guangzhou (Canton) is definitely a lovely place to visit~

Marcus said...

Hi there. I must admit, the blog added the picture for 'colour' on their own, and alas, I did not visit your city. I actually went to Shenzhen! :-)

UMan said...

Yes, Marcus is correct. I simply added the photo myself (just did a Google image search). Sorry for the confusion.