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Visiting BASF VPC in Nanjing

By students of IBAIT program

While training at Tongji University, we, a group of German students, were given the case study to the BASF YPC, China’s biggest Sino- German joint venture to get a comprehensive insight into the Chinese business culture.

 BASF YPC, or short BYC, is a 50:50 joint venture between BASF; the world’s biggest chemical company, and YPC, the chemical division of Sinopec, a Chinese company operating in the energy and chemical sector. The joint venture was initiated in 1994; the construction of the first Integrated Petrochemical Site began in 2001. In 2005 BYC was able to start commercial business. Since then, BYC expanded quickly, bringing its second Integrated Petrochemical Site into service in 2012.

On the 9th of July, 2014 we arrived in Nanjing and were picked up and driven to the company site. The central part of our visit were presentations, given by the colleagues working for the BYC. They provided us with a unique opportunity to learn from the first hand about the company, its core principles of work and several business administration issues. On the other hand we got the chance to know what it is all about to work abroad and how to deal with a foreign culture in the daily business.

The presentations began with a general introduction of the BYC, its history, operating divisions and the core principle of “Verbund” within the BASF, which can be translated from German into English as “network” or “integration”. Later the topics like efficiency and HR-issues within the company were covered. They all correlated well with the theoretical material we learned before at the university, that’s why our visit war a great opportunity to see how theory works in practice in China. As most of us have already done several internships within BASF in Germany, getting acquainted with the BASF YPC allowed us to experience the international scope of the company.

As for working in China, nobody in our group has made such an experience before. That might be the reason why the part of the presentations dealing with the intercultural communication and cross-cultural managerial strategies turned out to be especially interesting for us. A lot of questions have been asked during and after the presentations and vivid discussions took place. We appreciated very much the knowledge sharing by the BYC colleagues as well as their practical pieces of advice. We are sure that they will be useful for us in our future careers.