Ross Asia Business Conference

February 11, 2013

Feb 1st and 2nd, six of our Asian Business Club members went to Ross Asia Business Conference at Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a great opportunity for our club members to gain professional insights about doing business in Asia or Asian business in US. This year’s theme is “Asia: Riding the Wave of Change”. Be a part of a conference that indulges our members to think as a global citizen and broadens their horizon of knowledge by virtually taking them across countries in Asia. There are panels from different asia countries and scholars researching in Asian business. Our club members all gain deep insight and knowledge of the current business environment, as well as build their new networks there.

Here are some of their take away from the conference:

Siying (Claire) Gong

It was an honor to be invited to Asian Business Conference held at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. This year the theme of the conference is riding thewave. The most impressive panel to me is the technology panel, especially the sharing from Hon Mun Yip, the President of China Operation in Thaicom. He introduced some useful guideline about how to launch a technology product into a new market. He shared his experience of launching blackberry smart phone into Thailand, a pilot market, and what challenge he had to overcome. He mentioned that when he firstly assigned to Thailand, he couldn’t speak the local language. What’s worse, even the local teams didn’t believe the blackberry phone could successfully penetrate into the Thai market. So he used the patience,tolerance to failure and face- to -face communication to make the legend ofblackberry in Thailand.

Also, I met with the director of the conference governance and discussed how to prepare the conference and what the big challenge of the conference host. He mentioned that the big challenge for him was to how to catch companies’ interest to participate in the conference and also persuade them to sponsor the conference. He said the talent resource at the Stephen M. Ross Business School was always the key reason for companies to come. As the president of ABC club, of course, I hope we can host our own Asian business conference in the future.


Wei Yang

The 23rd Annual Asia Business Conference explored trends in the region and provide students and local professionals with a unique glimpse into the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Asia. This year’s 23nd annual Asia Business Conference was held on February 1st and 2nd, at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. This year’s conference featured more than 20 speakers from Asia and the United States and attracted nearly 300 business leaders, students, faculty and others interested in learning more about Asia. The program included regional panels on China, Japan, India, and ASEAN, as well as functional panels on Finance, Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Transportation. The keynote speech addressed the prospects for macroeconomic growth and rebalancing in individual Asian countries, including the impact of likely policy changes following recent elections in Japan and Korea, currency shifts and regulatory reforms, on manufacturing competitiveness, the auto industry, and intra-Asian and U.S.–Asian economic relations in the coming year. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to network with political and business leaders from throughout the US and Asia, Michigan business students, and Ross alumni whilst also building a long-term relationship with the University of Michigan. This year ABC are proud to have Siying Gong, Wei Yang, Jiaji Zhou, Qing Lu, Jing Lu and Kai-Hsiang Shih represented at the conference.


Kai-Hsiang (Jimmy) Shih

A six hours drive in a snowy day just for a conference may sound crazy, but it is worthy! The conference is called Asian Business Conference, and the topic is riding the wave of changes. Of course, this conference intended to provide people with insights into Asia. In the conference, I learned not only the local view of a particular country, but a global view that focuses on a country. I joined China panel, Japan panel, and ASEAN/Finance panel. In the China panel, diversified background of speakers gave us different perspective of China. The sociologist discussed how Chinese government rebuild countryside in short time and the harmony common value of China. The businessman told us his life experience and let us know that dealing with Chinese government is a crucial thing if you want to do business in China. The last speaker stated his knowledge in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and how Chinese government tried to pursue this value. In the Japan panel, speakers are from banks, rope manufacturing company, and railroad company. I learned how they perceive Japan’s role in Asia and how they adjust business strategy according to situation from time to time. In short, Japan recognized the importance of Asia market, using their advantage, which is technology and sufficient funding, to extend their business. In the ASEAN/Finance panel, I still remembered the complicated political situations among ASEAN members. They gave us sufficient time to ask questions in each panels. In addition to those talks, I find those speakers were also friendly in the later networking session. I like the way they design the dynamic of conference: speeches and then questions, and you got the chance to choose topics. For example, If you are not interested in China, then you can go another panel which is transportation. In summary, the time being University of Michigan is short, but the value and friendship we gained are enormous.


Jiaji (Ashley) Zhou

Feb. 2th, 2013 we attended the Asian Business Conference in UM. Before going there, to be frankly, I might just be curious about it, but attending it really provided me a good opportunity to learn a lot from both the guest speakers and the great people I met there.

In the conference there were nine panels for attendees to choose. What I chose were China panel, Technology panel and Entrepreneurship panel. The China Panel’s talked about the fast paced development in every aspect in China, and the related pros and cons. The general manager for Asian Pacific Area of Southco- Stefan Wu, talked about a balance, balance for speed and quality, balance for development and moral, balance for work and life, which were really deeply thoughtful. For the technology panel, Mitchael I. Schmedlen (Lenovo) talked about trend and something worth attention about Asia’s technology industry, such as local consumption pattern, government issues, etc. Hon Mon Yip-president, China Operation & Corporate VP, Thaicom talked about the leadership, company strategy and how to nourish the networking. And for the Entrepreneurship Panel, two sentence impressed me most. First, get customers before building anything- Edy Sulistyo, CO-founder and chief technology officer, eEvent. Second,ailure to prepare is preparing for failure.- Grace Lee, CFO, Logic Solution and VP, Asian Pacific American chamber of Commerce.

Besides what I learned from the conference, I want to say “Thanks” to Krannert for the great opportunity. Also, I hope we can hold an event like that in Krannert soon. And I encourage everyone to actively participate in this kind of event, let people see how Boiler Makers rock.


Jing Lu

I would use two words to describe this fantastic trip to Asian Business Conference: networking and experience-sharing. Speakers were pensionable of sharing their personal experience and giving their suggestions on careers for certain industries or regions.

Two panels I learned most are Technology and Finance Panels. We had speakers from Intel Asia, Thaicom, Deutshe Bank, Ford and professors from University of Michigan. For working overseas, one critical factor, which all speakers pointed out, to succeed is to be familiar with local culture, especially local language.  Also, surprise in career comes with flexibility with plan changing and take opportunities. It benefited me on my own career plan by listening to their own experiences and career paths. Moreover, it gave us chance to know more about the companies where these speakers are from, for example, their business strategy and current challenges in Asia.

After all the panel discussions, it followed with a reception at night. It was a great opportunity for us to network with these speakers as well as University of Michigan professionals. I would strongly recommend you to participate in the Asian Business Conference next year to help build your network.


Qing (Emma) Lu

The Asia Business Conference is the pioneer conference about Asia at the Ross School of Business whilst also being the longest-running student-organized business conference about Asia in North America. This year’s topic is “Asia: Riding the Wave of Change”. It has six panels which are China, Japan, India, ASEAN/Finance, Entrepreneurship, Technology and Transportation. They all reflect the fast speed of the business development of Asia and give us a good insights on trends, global influence, and strategies to tackle challenges.