From rags to riches

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is one of the largest growing economies in the world. Its growth has led to a marked decline in poverty. In the first School of Business Industry Speaker Series of 2016, Dr Peter Thong, CEO of Multinational Corporations and Chairman of the Malaysian Chamber  of Commerce and Industry in China, shared some insights with his talk, “Getting Out of the Rut: Lessons from China”.

Dr Thong explained the different types of ruts - temporary and long term situations. “I’m sorry to make you all feel miserable, but I want to make a point,” he said while sharing some heartfelt photos of PRC from decades ago, including the famine it suffered from.

He shared an overview of the Chinese economic landscape over the last 32 years, and focused on China’s strategy of getting out of the poverty rut, which had plagued it for decades. Dr Thong also revealed how Hong Kong changed drastically decades ago to become the financial centre of the world,  that was until Singapore took over the spot.

China had extricated itself from a deep rut consisting of poor housing, bumpy roads and outdated technology into a nation with the latest state of the art technologies, with extremely strong foreign currency reserves.

First generation Chinese developers, financiers and lawyers rose to become the nation’s top tycoons. The Chinese and Multinational Corporations had adopted to mitigate adverse market circumstances and the results impacted their company performance, industry and the country’s overall economy.

The new generation Chinese are graduates of Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Oxford. These graduates bring back with them the latest in technology, thus giving the Chinese what they want.

At the end of his talk, Dr Thong shared photos of the China today, comparing them to photos from yesteryears, reinstating that with the mindset to get out of the rut, the Chinese were able to rise to the top amidst the country’s huge financial burden. China today is now known for its iconic buildings  and automotive industry.

A question lingers. Can we become parallel to China, by applying the strategies that the Chinese have incorporated into their lives and businesses?