Professional praise for student business report

Eliza Lee

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Students of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) received a high commendation from a mainland chain restaurant for their professional business report in the Strategic Management in Chinese Enterprise Consultancy Project award presentation ceremony held on 21 May. These Year 3 students in the CityU BBA (Hons) China Business with the Department of Marketing, received the honour for the detailed analysis, careful research and creative proposals compiled in their report.

Fifty Year 3 students worked together to provide consultation services for the Shenzhen Helu Rotary Sushi Co. (Helu Sushi) between February and April this year. Divided into seven groups, they conducted research on different areas of corporate development, industry analysis, marketing strategies, competition strategies, product development, corporate image and advertising, and human resources management.

They collected data through random interviews with Shenzhen citizens and field studies. After meticulous analysis of the data, they made proposals to the company aimed at boosting its market competitiveness.

Mr Wu Lin, President of Helu Sushi, praised the students for their outstanding detailed market analysis and the many highly-feasible and creative proposals. The company is interested in adopting the students' proposals by way of commercial cooperation and hopes to continue its collaboration with CityU.

Professor Kenneth Chan Shun-yuen, Associate Dean of Faculty of Business, said the project allowed students to gain valuable practical experience and better understand actual market needs on the mainland. It also exemplified the dedicated efforts of CityU in nurturing competent professionals. Professor Chan expressed gratitude to Helu Sushi for providing support and assistance to the students and helping them to learn from the project.

Professor Zhou Nan, Head of Department of Marketing, said CityU encouraged students to apply theory to the commercial environment and that the project helped students to better understand mainland business.

Dr Daniel Ding Zhiqiang, Associate Professor at the Department of Marketing and the supervising teacher of the project, said students were highly involved in the project. During their research, they frequently

travelled between Hong Kong and the mainland to get hands-on experience of corporate management, which will enhance their individual competitiveness. “Their reports have high market value as they compared and studied the Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. Their hard work is well recognised by the company,” said Dr Ding.

All the students who participated in this project felt it was a valuable opportunity to practise what they have learned from CityU. Chan Siu-yin, a member of the group responsible for product development, said she could apply in the report all the theories she had learned in the past three years. "We felt excited to have the chance to work and learn at a major company. Compiling the consultation report has helped us understand the problems and solutions in running a business on the mainland, especially issues surrounding the operating environment of the food and beverage industry in Shenzhen, the consumption behaviour of Shenzhen residents, and the future development of Japanese restaurants," she said. After careful study of the food offered by Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, and analysis of survey data, her group made bold suggestions to Helu Sushi to change the design, colour and arrangement of its menus to align more closely with its corporate image and consumer behaviour.

Tai Ngai-chuen, a member of the group responsible for competition strategies, said running a business was like fighting a battle. Therefore, business studies should not be limited to learning theory, but should expand to practical experience. "We will soon join the workforce and these practical experiences will no doubt prove very useful," he said.

Another student in the group responsible for corporate image and advertising, Kwan Kei-kwan, said the project was the most special assignment in her three years of studies. "Hong Kong people have gotten used to questionnaire surveys but it is not a common practice in Shenzhen. When we conducted our research, we had to spend more time patiently explaining our questionnaire to the interviewees," she said.


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