One of the key highlights of 2014 was a short trip to Yiwu City in China. I had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s largest wholesale market which boasts of over 65,000 traders/manufacturer outlets. The trip gave me a very small but impactful exposure to the business processes of the country and probably a brief understanding on why the country is poised to become the next super power.
In the next few paragraphs I am going to share some of my observations & notes from the trip. Although a disclaimer that these are from a short 6 days trip to Yiwu City only.
Hard Working Bunch of People
The Chinese are very hardworking. The Yiwu Wholesale Market operates 7 days a week 9am – 5pm come rain or shine. No weekly offs and we the city doesn’t seem to take it slow even on a Sunday. I think the only time they close down for business is during the Chinese New Year when most of them go back to their villages to spend time with the family.
They are out there manning (pun not intended) the stores, negotiating & closing business deals. Superb at their sales and very tough when it comes to pricing – the ladies do a fine job, trust me. When work calls they even show their muscle power and are seen packing huge cartons and getting them across to the delivery vans. All in a days job. Bravo!
Learning to speak English
They have realised and are putting in a lot of effort to learn English to be able to engage & communicate better with the world outside. A lot of the young staff members have a better command of the language making business talk a lot more easier.
Shopping isn’t cheap
Contrary to popular belief, the retail market isn’t CHEAP just because its CHINA. Priced a bit higher than your average shopping in Mumbai, the product quality was superb. Shoes, leather bags, clothes were fabulous.
We didn’t see a lot of the country but the 2 hour drive across the highway which connects Hangzahou Airport to Yiwu City was fantastic. Superb well managed roads, smooth vehicle movement made the long journey very easy.
The happiness of seeing vegetarian indian food available in abundance very close to the hotel. After a long tiring day in the market, good food really kept us going.