When our 40 MMM members travelled to China in May 2017, little did they know that they would get a taste of MMM culture at its best during their 13 days of uniquely amazing impressions in the 'Middle Kingdom'. The trip took them to Peking, Guilin and Yangshuo, with its dramatic cone karst landscape in the south, Hangzhou and, to crown it off, the booming metropolis of Shanghai. China blends history and a forward-looking present: the changing face of China is evident perhaps nowhere more so than in Shanghai. Modernistic skyscrapers as far as the eye can see – the group, quite literally, got the picture when they rode the world’s fastest elevator to the top of the Shanghai Tower (632 m).
Back to “business”, Alibaba’s Andreas Kerschner (Business Development, Alibaba Group, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Eastern Europe) offered an insightful narrative of the work of the retail giant during an exclusive visit to the headquarters in Hangzhou. Just as intriguing was the introduction of Alibaba’s offline format, the HEMA Food Market, a cashless store specialising in fresh produce that is picked and delivered straight to the customer’s door. At a reception held in the Metro headquarters in Shanghai, CFO Kees Kerremans stressed the point that retail companies can actually learn and benefit from each other. Metro operates its own Internet store on a platform provided by the Chinese online retailer, but also cooperates in other segments.
Needless to say, our MMM friends were given a comprehensive, and authentic, taste of the country’s cuisine, along with the opportunity to rattle the pots and pans themselves at a Chinese cooking workshop, demonstrating once more that MMM truly connects people and provides room for many new ideas.
This China trip was a tangible demonstration of the Club’s mission of ‘connecting people, imagining and feeling the future’. The ‘Middle Kingdom’ in the potential conflict between tradition, new beginnings and optimism about the future was a trip for all the senses.
Andreas Land, Griesson - de Beukelaer
A huge variety of modern stores, fascinating insights into the modern, digital world of Alibaba – my expectations were exceeded by far. This fascinating country was well worth a visit, the organisation was perfect and the inspiring atmosphere in our group, simply fantastic.
Jürgen Schröcker, former Hornbach CMO, marketing expert