Blog post special request from Lemington, here you go bro!
Notes: This is my first blog post in English, from now I’m trying to deliver my writing in English, as practice to improve my English Writing skill, however, as journal reviewer who reject our manuscript said, my English writing skill is “extremely poor”, so please help me point out where I make mistake in comment section.
30 July 2018, on the train again, well, I have no idea why I really like to write on the train, some of my blog posts are published on the train actually. I love to deliver my idea inside this moving things, hear people around me talking in the incomprehensible language in my ear, then looking out the window, seeing some building pass by, some farm and some road. But this time I’m not alone, my girlfriend Chisillia is beside me, we ride the fast train together, back to Shanghai, from our business trip in Yiwu. From Yiwu Foreign Affair Office (FAO) called Global Youth Business Program, the second session. Yiwu is famous for their small commodity market, and yep they have a damn big market. People around the world are coming here to buy everything.
We got selected from a list of the candidate from around the world to join into this program, they provide us with accommodation and everything in Yiwu and the program fee is free, but transport from our own place by our own. For us that’s not a big deal, Shanghai-Yiwu fast train is quite cheap and just take around 1,5 hours.
I will put my activity review below, but before that, since I skip posting May & June, let me give you a brief story about what happened in that 2 months.
Last March http://ahmadarib.com/17th-month-ketika-pendidikan-sudah-gag-gratisan-lagi.html, I write that I have no funding again from LPDP, while my study still until March 2019, there are 6 months to go, without funding. School fee is on my parents, but I’m thinking about the monthly expense, like food, place to live, and some other extra activity that I took, including my plan to take Chinese language class for one more semester, in the same University like before, Shanghai Normal University.
And I try my best to find any opportunity, I apply anything my eye could see, intern, work at Indonesian embassy, fulltime, work back to Indonesia, just anything that I could find. It must be right when people said lady luck favors the one who tried.
I got an opportunity in Indonesian embassy to handle presidential election here in Shanghai and around for next year general election, with the payment quite same with my monthly allowance http://ahmadarib.com/18th-month-man-jadda-wajada.html
That’s enough I guess, but since I already put my CV everywhere, some still calling me even if my problem basically solved at that time.
One company offer me an internship position to handle their web development, they use WordPress. My direct manager is a guy around my age from Iceland, already 6 years in China. He does his bachelor here in China. Awesome guy, his name is Valur, I learn much from him and my new working place, a startup that does Accounting Service on the cloud called Megi China. And I do help them with WordPress web development for marketing purpose. The payment is reasonable, they expect me to work 20 hours a week, which is half of full-time work. And get the same amount as my monthly living allowance LPDP, if I work for the full month, which this month not fulfilled since I go to Yiwu to attend Business Trip. I take this offer since they are welcoming me with an excellent offer, not just work half time, I also have the option to do remote work, since from my campus in Minhang to office take around 1,5 hours, damn, my school is so far from the city center.
And I also get fulltime work offer from Huawei, after the long tiring process in Huawei recruitment, CV screening, interview with Huawei technical people in Huawei Shanghai R&D center, and interview call with Huawei Indonesia. They finally come to give me an offer, but, the one that provides me the offer is Huawei Jakarta. Hmm, strange things, but let’s hear what they say. The HR call me, from Indonesia, really messed up since at first, they insist on calling me via Whatsapp, and I talk to them that Whatsapp is blocked here. Then I suggest skype, we do skype call. And then we discuss salary, she said my salary will be using Huawei Indonesia standard, which is 9 million rupiah. Hmm, well, I just know that this is their HR policy. But yeah, anyway, I hold 1 fulltime offer now back in Jakarta. And I’m still trying another option for fulltime employee before I graduate.
And then below is my review for my business trip in Yiwu as I said before:
22 July 2018 is the day when we must go to Yiwu, to attend Run With Yiwu-Global Youth Business Program 2nd Session, I’m elected to participate in this program that conducted by Yiwu city Foreign Affair Office. When I take Didi Chuxing from my place to the Hongqiao Railway Station，the driver said that everyone in Shanghai just stays in their room. Because today is the first day of the storm in Shanghai, at that time, I just think like what’s the big deal, well yes it’s raining hard, but we’re using train anyway, so I guess no problem.
But it turns out to be a huge problem, when we arrived in Hongqiao, the display shows all red writing, all travel is canceled for the fast train. Waiting in line to change our ticket, so many people in front, then we ask to change our ticket, the officer said we must take the slow train if we insist on being at Yiwu today. So that’s it, we take a slow train, the hard seat from another station, Shanghai South station, retake our luggage, move to Shanghai South Station by subway, arrive and wait there. In the Wechat group, everyone is screaming, flight delayed, fast train canceled, some change their mode of transport using the bus, and some follow our way, taking slow train, but with standing ticket, since all other ticket is sold out.
We spend nearly 4 hours on the slow train, which in fast train Shanghai-Yiwu just take 1,5 hours. We arrived really late night at Yiwu, but we found the hotel anyway, and get into the room, the room is fantastic, big thanks to the committee for the comfortable room. Finally, have rest after a crazy day.
23 July 2018 wake up early, have breakfast in the hotel, it’s halal, and many Muslim people in the hotel, some says the owner of the hotel is Muslim also, which is really helpful for us the Muslim participant. We walk to Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College (YICC), it’s not far from our hotel to this college. One famous college for learning about business and trade.
We’re greeted by YICC campus teacher, Huang Yi, that this college boosts innovation and design for the manufacturer to produce to satisfy the global market taste. The teacher said there are over 1.000 international students in Yiwu, which I consider the vast number, even compared to my University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and the percentage of the foreigner in this small city I believe is higher compared to any other city that I already visit. Finding halal food is super easy, looking out women with hijab is standard sight here.
Then we also greeted by Yiwu FAO officer, Caroline, she said welcome to Yiwu, where the air itself smells like money, so many people in Yiwu do business, trade, sell product, e-commerce, and they have expectation for us, all the participant of this program expected to start our own business related to Yiwu. And some short number about Yiwu business, they look like trying to emphasize on 4 section of the product, which is: fashion, equipment manufacturing, ICT equipment, food/medicine/health product. And so far they focused so much on export from Yiwu to all country around the world, the import to Yiwu just so few, but they’re working on it, with providing 1 district which is district 5 to be whole import product from around the world.
After that, we have a mentor selection and appointment, each one of us delivers our short introduction speech, and the mentor will choose us. If it happens to be more than 1 mentor from 10 that choosing you, perhaps 3, you could select 1 that you like. In my case, only one mentor pick me, and her name is Zhang Jiying, she is a boss of massive umbrella producers, she focused on exporting umbrella to around 100 countries, including my own country, Indonesia. Looking forward to learning from her.
At night we got a lecture from Zhu Yangjin, she talks about the historical story how Yiwu turn to be commodity market, which really interesting to me, how Yiwu people in the past go around and selling sugar for feather, and making the product out of that feather, and sell it again. Then they found out trade is far more profitable than farming. And currently it’s already run for like 36 years, from 1982, and now they are facing high competition from the online platform. For 20 years they win the market, everyone comes to the store, everyone come to Yiwu, but for last decade when the Alibaba and internet come, not much people come to market anymore, usually they just order sample, get into the store that they already choose, and make a deal, the next agreement usually just do by phone or simple message.
24 July 2018, the first class is by Liu Wenying from Kingston Logistic, we learn about shipping option and what is good practice to do shopping from Yiwu to any other country in the world. Like if your product is less than a container, just use a shipping agent, because the logistic company usually only deal with container size order. And she also explains what custom do, and some restriction that we need to avoid when doing the shipping, like don’t ever try to ship counterfeit product, that always means a problem for now. Also, the rate and tariff calculation when you need to do your shipping. So we could calculate how much we need to increase our product price to cover the Tariff Rate, VAT and still get profit from the business that we do. She is a knowledgeable teacher for this session, I really like her course.
Then another lecture from Xiong Aisha, well, she is a teacher, if I’m not mistaken when I see her profile, she is an English teacher for e-commerce, perhaps in this school, so she is not a practitioner on this field. So she just shows some number, research, and some general knowledge that I already know.
After that we go to District 1 International Trade Mart, damn, this market is so massive, so big even from the outside, when we get inside it’s get even better, so many product that they sell, any product is here, even the one that I never think or see before, they produce it all. Definitely, a must visit for anyone that come to Yiwu, and yeah most people come to Yiwu because of this market, too bad our visit here so short. Then we go to District 5, this district special only for imported product, so much product from around the world here. But not find any store from Indonesia, while there is one from Thailand, well, a little bit shame for Indonesian people I guess, we need to open one Indonesia store here that sells Indomie, haha.
Then we go to Yiwu International Trade Service Center, they servicing the foreigner for visa issue, permit, and everything else they need to conduct their business here in Yiwu. In the third floor, there is Yiwu Brand Alliance, they are the most prominent brand maker here in Yiwu that goes international, and my mentor is one of them, with RST Umbrella brand name.
After that, we have fun in Chengxin School, we choose activity that we want to do, and I decide to do pottery making, and my pottery turn out to be really horrible, but I like it anyway, want to do it again another time, perhaps buy the machine to do it by myself in my home later on. Really love the activity tonight.
25 July 2018 we start our class with Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) explanation by Dai Ruiqi, I ever learn this topic before by a teacher that does it from Guangdong, also sell to Amazon in the US, while the delivery, payment and customer service is done by Amazon. We just being the one to supply the product and promoting it on Amazon. But then the lecture is not that I expected to be, there is another speaker that shares his experience at this day called Erik He, he is more down to earth and straightforward guy, I see we could follow Erik He path easily compared to Dai Ruiqi.
Then we visit Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe Freight train railway port, one large train port, but they just show some general knowledge, which most of us already know and take photos. That that interesting activity.
After that, we go to International E-Commerce Town, get a talk from them, ask them out, do discussion directly with them. This complex so big, it’s great to have a government that supports the e-commerce development by providing the entire complex for e-commerce. Compared to Indonesia which our e-commerce is also blooming currently but receive near to zero support from the government. I wish my country have this kind of e-commerce complex. And we also visit STO delivery headquarter in Yiwu, they got swarm robot that does sorting parcel to deliver to the customer. Oh, my God, this is my friend research topic, and I read one of his paper before, not so cool read the article compared to see the direct action of this new technology in real life, so excellent, everything just runs smoothly, without crashing each other, efficient work by the robot.
26 July 2018 today is kind of crazy and tiring days, we must wake up so early, then taking a bus for like 1 hours to go to HC SemiTek Corporation, a high-tech factory company, just take a walk for 10 minutes, they try to explain the product but I have no idea at all. After that we visit Geely machine factory, we are looking at the assembly line for a machine, oh man, really like this one, I want to see assembly line since like a long time ago. People standing for hours doing their specific job repetitively and the product start from raw and getting completed on time, and at the end of the line the product is finished and looks so lovely.
After that, we go to the canteen in YICC campus (really?, it’s so tiring to walk from bus to cafeteria) and back again to bus to go to District 5 International Trade Mart. We have Global Sales Competition, well, we need to sell the product from the specific store, and for me, it’s Thailand product store, yeah, whatever, this activity reminds me of P&G activity where our team needs to sell Gilette product, I’m just not into selling to people.
At night we get to canteen again and get class lecture again, well, so tiring, and the talk about law, tough subject, and the lecturer deliver this in Chinese, oh my, whatever, I just sleep in class in this session, too tired and understand nothing from the lecturer.
27 & 28 July 2018 our team which consists of 4 people, Johny from Israel, Mahdi from Iran and Ashma from Somalia, with our mentor Zhang Jiying in her umbrella store in Yiwu market. We got a really insightful talk from her, she talks in Chinese and her employee translate it for us. Then we prepare our Business Plan，it’s about CRM system, Customer Relationship Management, by the input she said that currently they have around 3.000 customers, and they look forward to serving the existing customer and make a long-term trade with them, this is their first priority. And the same case mostly also faced by the seller in Yiwu market just like our mentor.
29 July 2018, we’re writing the essay about this activity, which is this writing product, and just hang around the town based on the schedule I got on the book. And tomorrow we present our Business Plan and get back home, for me I will be back in Shanghai, my boss in my intern place, in Indonesia embassy and also in the campus lab already waiting for me. 8 days is a long day for a run in Yiwu, the run that I planned since 2 years ago. Since I really want to know how is the export and import business here conducted, and get relevant contact in Yiwu for my future plan.
So that’s all for this month.
Salam pendidikan gratisan!