Craftsmanship & Innovation of Family Businesses---A Rewarding Tour to Benchmarking Companies in Hang

On March 30 and 31, members of the Pando Association visited an array of Hangzhou-based benchmarking companies including Wensli, Alibaba and Hupan University, where they were warmly welcomed by Wensli General Manager Teng Junkai, Alibaba Cloud Computing President Hu Xiaoming and leaders of Hupan University. These visits turned out to be highly rewarding ones for every participant.

Part 1. Visit to Wensli Group---China’s leading silk brand and active promoter of silk culture

On the afternoon of March 30, members of the Pando Association arrived at the headquarters of Wensli, hoping to explore the company’s success recipes for industrial transformation and family business succession. At the Wensli Silk Museum, they appreciated and were fully overwhelmed by the exquisite cultural relics and the sophisticated silk making process.

“Never stop chasing our dreams.”
They were deeply touched by Wensli’s efforts to excavate, inherit and carry forward Chinese silk culture, to develop a craftsmanship into an art, and to make the best of silk to create a better life for people.

“With a decade of unremitting efforts and a consistent focus on cultural leadership, innovation orientation and brand building, Wensli has become a ‘Hangzhou-based role model’ in facilitating the transformation and upgrading of China’s silk sector.”
Visitors marvel at the perfect silk craftsmanship

During the ensuing roundtable, Wensli General Manager Teng Junkai shared the company’s brand story, highlighted its determination to carry forward the traditional Chinese culture, and gave a brief introduction to the status quo of the silk industry chain. His sharing enabled the participants to gain a glimpse of Wensli’s road of transformation from product manufacturing to cultural creation--- “traditional industry + cultural innovation + high technology=new silk industry”.
While applauding Wensli’s achievement in combining “culture” with “business”, and “craftsmanship” with “innovation” for successful corporate transformation, the participants also shared their personal experience in managing or setting up businesses and had a heated discussion on “craftsmanship and innovation” in groups.
Shining points on “craftsmanship and innovation” from the participants:

“Innovation requires creative thinking, while craftsmanship involves surefooted working. Innovation without surefooted working makes no sense; craftsmanship without creative thinking is merely labor consuming. Only a combination of innovation and craftsmanship can deliver creative fruits.”

“Craftsmanship is the soul, requiring perseverance, pursuit of excellence and accumulation over time; innovation is the spirit, requiring an attitude of scientific research, market and user orientation and an organizational culture. Craftsmanship lays the foundation for innovation while innovation is an elevated form of craftsmanship. A combination of the two is a prerequisite to making breakthroughs.”

At the end of the roundtable, Prof. Oliver Meng RUI, Co-Director of CEIBS Kaifeng Centre for Family Heritage and Director of CEIBS Shoushan Centre for Wealth Management, shared his academic insights and underscored the sustainable development of family businesses with a combination of craftsmanship and the spirit of contract.

Part 2. Visit to Alibaba Group--- a company with a strong sense of mission

On the morning of March 31, the participants paid a visit to Alibaba’s Xixi Park in Hangzhou where they were received by Alibaba Cloud Computing President Hu Xiaoming. Mr. Hu introduced in details Alibaba’s big data, B2B foreign trade, social credit system construction, Cainiao logistics network, and cloud computing services, patiently addressing questions from the participants one by one.

Mr. Hu shares the cutting-edge data with the participants
Mr. Hu suggested to the participants that they should pay close attention to consumers of their companies and industries, collect end user data, keep an eye on technological trends to drive corporate reforms, and focus on and decode big data.

Notes taken by the participants:

“At Ali, we come to see the importance of ‘computing power’. We should drive our own ‘CPU’ to extend our ‘computing power’ to the greatest extent!”

“Internet is the basis of everything, and carves the framework of future!”

“Ali is a company with a strong sense of mission. The biggest financial reform is the credit system reform.”
“Internet is an infrastructure, just like the electricity; data are a kind of resource to be referred to for future judgment; computing is an ability to predict the future.”

Part 3. Study tour to Hupan University--- a university focusing on practices

Following their visit to Alibaba, the Pando Association members set about a study tour to Hupan University, “the Huangpu Military Academy for Chinese private enterprises”. Founded by Jack Ma, the university is committed to fostering a new generation of modern entrepreneurs. The participants couldn’t wait for a class on cutting-edge technology.


Mr. Wang Yuquan broadened the horizon of participants by elaborating on the whirlwind theory, the barriers and time theory, the emerging technology whirlwind and the modularized innovation from the perspective of business practice.
Participants’ impressions on this study tour:

“Hupan University is a place to nurture real entrepreneurs.”

“From our study tour to Hupan University, I come to understand that enterprises standing in the draught cannot become the productive force unless they are able to leverage the advanced technologies.”

“Only those entrepreneurs possessing advanced technologies can be deemed as the productive force; modularized innovation is a new format of innovation.”

“From today’s study tour, I have a deeper understanding of innovation---it is more like a closely-knit social network where people with different expertise collaborate with each other.”

“The visit to Hupan University reshapes my knowledge about the American silicon valley. There are actually three silicon valleys in the United States, namely, the silicon valleys of engineers, Internet and universities.”