Friday, May 22, 2009

2009 China Trip - Part 1

Recently I was in China for a week on a business trip. Every trip to China is like a shot of glucose into my veins. There is so much energy and entrepreneurship in China! The pace of innovation, the pace of replication.. is just amazing.
Those who compare India and China in the same breath are nothing but fools. China is waaaaay ahead of India in terms of infrastructure and industry development.

This is not the first time I was traveling to China, but I noticed more things about China in this trip than any other trip.
While traveling around in Shenzhen I noticed these gigantic numbers on top of big sky scrapers.

These were numbers to call if you wanted to rent/buy office/residential space! Pretty interesting way to advertise. Compared this to the usual clutter of boards they'd have at our construction sites in India! Or probably a small board at the entrance to the site!
I also learnt another interesting aspect to these numbers. Chinese consider 8 and 6 as very lucky numbers, and 4 as an unlucky number! (And hence the no. of 8s or 6s in those phone numbers you see in the pictures).
Si - is 4 and the same word is used for death (different tone)

Ba - is 8 and is the luckiest number in China (Olympics were held on 8/8/08).. ba also means rich (diff tone) and Baba means father :)

Liu - is 6.. supposed to mean 'will go smooth'

This is also one of the reasons why there are no 4th floors in most buildings in China!

One of the other nice things that I noticed was that unlike the US, people even in the swankiest apartments, used the clothes line to dry their clothes! Go Green!

Bad thing about a lot of the big Chinese cities is that they're bloody polluted! Check out the smog on the streets! The sun is always shining a dull grey through the smog! Not much fun when you don't see the blue skies! Notice the next picture you can't see the hills at the background.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

you desperate fuck....

ISB MBA and your insight is Numbers on Buildings and drying clothes...

I am a fool to have you on my feedreader...

I added you and others when u ppl passed out thinking that somebody will prove to me that MBA is more than just a degree...alas i am disappointed

and One less motherfucker in my feedreader..

2:04 AM  
Blogger Rhapsoder said...

Lol. I'm sorry to shatter your dreams. But, till the day you figure out that your MBA is not the holy grail to everything, it will always be just a degree to you. If you were hoping to go into an MBA and come out as the next "God's gift to mankind", you're absolutely wrong.

An MBA is what you want to make out of it. Just like the above post.
Just to prove a point, I can extract at least 3 'MBA'ish lessons from the above post that you wouldn't have. From what you refer to as "numbers on buildings" and "drying clothes", I personally have learnt the following..
a) I'd never quote a price to my customer which had a 4 in it.
b) If I were going to price my product higher, I'd add as many 8's in it as possible, just for the feel good factor. It may actually work.
c) Making a clothes dryer for China would never be a good product idea.
d) If I were to name a product that I was trying to sell, or even name my company, I wouldn't go about it as "4 roses" or "Windows 4". Few people in China would be willing to do business with me 'cause it'd be considered 'unlucky'.

Watch and learn buddy.. Watch and learn :-)

8:30 AM  
Blogger b a l a j i said...

I am impressed :)

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Nithya said...

good one manu :)

10:23 AM  
Blogger Archu said...

Wowowow.....I liked the post but I loved the way u have responded to the first comment....Truly an ISBian :)

11:30 PM  
Blogger Rhapsoder said...

reading it again.. ennakke konjam feelinga irukku..
cha! ennayum avanoda levelukke reply panna vechitaane. Ivalavu nakkala naan reply paneerka thevai illai. He's just a poor misguided soul.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Archu said...

Parva illa....sometimes u jus need to give them a taste of their own medicines.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Abhinav Vinayakh Shankar said...

I have always wondered why 'Ba Ba Black sheep have you any wool...' was SO popular in China and why people kept saying it randomly. Imagine politician on stage saying nursery rhyme...

Now I know.

1:01 PM  

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