Study Trip to Bangkok 2023
25 Students of the Faculty visit Thailand for a course on "Asian Management"
In July 2023, a group of students of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences has travelled to Thailand to get insights into Business in Asia.
For several years now, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Fribourg has organized a ten-day Summer School in partnership with the College of Management at Mahidol University (CMMU) in Bangkok. The aim is to familiarize students with the specifics of management in Asia through lectures by Thai professors, company visits and lectures by managers. Lead by Prof. Dirk Morschett, our 25 students also got to know the Asian operations of several Swiss companies this July.
Impressions of the Company Visits and Executive Talks
My sincere thanks to the SwissThai Chamber of Commerce (STCC) and its executive director David Stauffacher, the Swiss Embassy in Thailand (in particular Sophie Steiner Kernen and Marco Rudin) and the Swiss-Canadian entrepreneur Robert Woodrich, CEO of PAPER & PAGE, for hosting us for an afternoon in the Swiss embassy and for giving us great insights into Swiss-Thai relations, Swiss Business in Thailand and how to set up a successful marketing agency in Thailand. Our group from the Université de Fribourg - Universität Freiburg enjoyed the afternoon and learned a lot!
Getting insights into Thai retailing was done not only in lectures but also with a visit to Central World, one of the largest Shopping Centres in Bangkok, where their head of marketing introduced the group into some business figures and explained the marketing activities of the Shopping Centre Group to attract local customers but also huge number of tourists each year to their premium shops.
Impressions of the Lectures at CMMU
Another highlight was the visit to two subsidiaries of companies from Fribourg in Thailand. That great day started at Polytype Asia-Pacific Ltd., a subsidiary of Wifag Polytype from Fribourg. Their managing director Patrick Corpataux gave us an overview of their activities in Thailand and then a factory tour to see the production of their printing machines. In the afternoon, Liebherr Thailand opened its doors for us, gave us an overview of the Liebherr Group, Liebherr Concrete Technology and of Liebherr Thailand and a factory tour to see the production of their truck mixers and mixing plants. Many thanks to Alexander Kuhn and Simon Bruneau for this insightful afternoon. And finally, the students, our friendly company hosts of the day and our partners from College of Management Mahidol University gathered for a wonderful evening at the beach where we could continue our conversations about business in Asia in a perfect atmosphere.
Another Swiss perspective on Business in Thailand was given by Roland Wider, Managing Director of Sika Thailand. The gave a presentation on their activities in Thailand, the markets that are served from Sika Thailand, the cooperation between Sika’s headquarters in Switzerland, the Regional Headquarters in Singapore and the subsidiary in Thailand and in his experience after many years in Asia.
Prof. Morschett explains the benefits of this Summer School as follows: "Southeast Asia is still booming and offers excellent opportunities for Swiss companies. The students should see this themselves, in the countryhave it explained to them by specialists, and feel the enormous dynamism of these countries so that they can later operate successfully in these markets." And not at last, it is also a great opportunity to dive into the culture of a foreign country and to exchange with peer students during this experience.
Impressions of Social and Cultural Events
The participants cover the costs of the trip as well as the course fees themselves. Many of them also take the opportunity to explore the region on a tourist basis following the Summer School.