Mr Ji gives a voice and a face to the daily realities of 200 millions of modern migrant entrepreneurs in China, who seek a better life in a rapidly changing society. This is the world’s largest human migration in history. Mr. Ji left his home of farmers in rural Renyi Shandong province and came to Shanghai to earn a living and support his family. He opened a small breakfast stand preparing his secret hometown recipe for “Cui Bing” (crispy pancake).
Mark Secchia discusses Sherpas’ business model in terms of marketing, finance and growth strategy. He shares his experience and rationale for decisions such as focusing on servicing the English-speaking expatriate community exclusively and expanding the business by offering the same service in different cities, instead of trying to service other customer segments or deliver other products in Shanghai.
He also provides valuable insight on Sherpas’ self-sufficient approach to finance issues and tells us about his plans and strategies for future expansion.
China is now the world’s second largest economy and a hotspot for direct foreign investment. It holds enormous potential for entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises are now emerging as a significant source of the nation’s industrial output. Understanding and navigating inherent cultural differences and the constantly changing legal and regulatory environment are critical to survive and thrive in this dynamic arena.
The service industry psychology is that the customer experience is paramount. Georgie Yam warns that taking care of your employees should also be a priority, lest their unhappiness trickle down throughout the business. He recommends that entrepreneurs in the service sector invest themselves in genuinely caring about improving the quality of life of their staff, so they can in turn focus on their job and deliver the experience customers expect.
Calvin discusses differences between the business environments in the US and China as they relate to tech startups. He argues that even though Qifang had a long development period compared to a similar venture in the US, this delay allowed him and his partners an opportunity to learn more about the community and the customers they would be serving before launch. This extended “learning period” also uncovered advantages such as a flexible regulatory environment when it comes to social entrepreneurship in China.