[photopress:mba_Joe_Nocera_1.jpg,full,alignright]A longish, fascinating and beautifully written article on the shortage of managerial talent in China.
Zheng Yu-sheng, the associate dean at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business said, ‘The shortage of managerial talent is huge.’
The reporter heard this refrain constantly — and not just from business school professors. Thomas Tsao of Gobi Partners, a Shanghai-based venture capitalist, said, ‘We are constantly looking for chief financial officers who can speak Mandarin. There just aren’t very many people here who have the range of skills you need in that position.’
Mathew McDougall, an Australian who started an Internet ad company called SinoTech in Beijing said, ‘It is very hard to find a chief operating officer. The people who make good C.O.O.’s are usually entrepreneurial enough that they’ll go off and start their own business instead. Eitherthat or they’ll get picked off by the multinational companies.’
Xiang Bing, dean of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, said: ‘We Chinese are so willing to work hard for money. We are intelligent. We have the drive and the passion. But we put too much attention on technology and not enough on institution-building. And our soft skills are a real weakness.’
Lei Yi, the president and chief executive of Caxa Technology, a Beijing software company that caters to big manufacturers. Lei Yi said: ‘Right now the pace of our development cannot meet the pace of the industry’s development. The company is in the process of raising capital, some of which he’ll use to ‘bring in a consultancy or managers from the outside.’
He said, ‘I need to become a professional manager.’
Cheung Kong has an M.B.A. program but its real calling card is its executive M.B.A. program, a four-day-a-month, 19-month program aimed primarily at Chinese entrepreneurs who have come to the stark realization that if they don’t get help fast, they are going to lose control of their rapidly growing businesses. Its faculty comes from places like Wharton and Harvard Business School.
At $68,500, it is by far the most expensive such program in China. Among its best-known alumni are Jack Ma, who founded Alibaba.com, and Jason Jiang of Focus Media.
This is a long and well worth reading article. The author is Joe Nocera, seen in the illustration, who has done a wonderful job in highlighting the possibilities and problems. I strongly recommend you read the full version.
Source: New York Times