RIT’s Center for International Business Invites Local Executives on Tour of China

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China remains a vast frontier for western companies looking to expand their global influence. A new program at Rochester Institute of Technology invites local business leaders to explore the potential for their companies firsthand.

“Competing with and within China,” sponsored by the Center for International Business and Economic Growth in RIT’s College of Business, is geared toward top-level managers. These business leaders are invited to take part in a two-week tour of China—including visits to state owned enterprises (SOEs) and western-based companies in Shanghai and Chengdu.

The program, which opens with a two-day workshop on the RIT campus, explores relevant international business issues emphasizing the China perspective.

“Participants will return from the experience with a better understanding of the competitive threats that exists there, as well as the major opportunities,” says David Reid, director of RIT’s Center for International Business. “The key for them is to factor that into their visions for their own companies.”

Reid, whose research focuses on the strategies of international companies doing business in Asia Pacific, has conducted personal interviews with executives from dozens of western-based companies in China. He indicates many firms that enter China are unable to compete there because managers fail to perform adequate analysis of the market.

Raymond Ruby, president of Ruby-Gordon Furniture, is more concerned about how competition from China is impacting the domestic market. About half of his furniture inventory is now manufactured overseas. Ruby, who will be among the local executives taking part in the program, hopes to gain valuable insights that he can share with fellow retailers.

“We need to figure out very quickly how we’re going to source our production in the future,” states Ruby. “Either we start paying closer attention to how logistics are being managed over there or we risk becoming irrelevant.”

The workshops for “Competing with and within China” will take place in August, and travel to China is scheduled for the first two weeks of September. While overseas, participants will meet with top-level executives from Corning China, Corning International, Kodak China, McKinsey, Siemens China, Unilever China, and the European Chamber of Commerce. There will also be an opportunity to meet with representatives from China’s government.

The program is open to 20 senior executives from companies across western New York. Details will be shared during several information sessions. The free and open forums are 3:30–5:30 p.m. on May 19, 20 and 26 at the Country Club of Rochester.

To learn more on “Competing with and within China” or to register for one of the open information sessions, contact Angelo Fuino at 585-475-7431 or afuino@cob.rit.edu.