As part of Experiential Learning – Asia Pacific Study (RMG 917), a group of 17 TRSM Retail Management students are visiting China for a two-week learning experience exploring the Chinese retail market. The group began their journey in Beijing on Saturday, May 7th.

Here, students Nurul Mohd Hasbi and Tamour Sheikh describe the experience of visiting the 18th Annual Beijing International Toys & Preschool Tools Exhibition.

Nurul Mohd Hasbi:

Today marks our last day in Beijing before we embark on the second part of our experiential learning trip to Nanjing. After a refreshing yoga session with Professor Frances Gunn, we made our way to the first visit of the day, the 18th Annual Beijing International Toys & Preschool Tools Exhibition. There were over 300 local and foreign exhibitors showcasing various products including toys, children’s apparel, books, and other educational tools for children ages 3 to 6 years old.

Toy Expo

Toys at the 18th Beijing International Toys & Preschool Tools Exhibition

I had the opportunity to interact with one of the co-founders of Huaxi BMSC Technology Co., Ltd. After spending three years in Africa on a volunteer program, Mr. Edwin started a company selling over 100 educational products to preschools in China. Mr. Edwin believes that his passion for finding new and innovative ways to help children learn has contributed to the success of the company. Within three years, the company has grown to 27 cities in China. Most of which is in 2nd and 3rd tier cities. Other contributing factors that Mr. Edwin mentioned were establishing a close relationship with clients and having strong team dynamic within the company. In the near future, Mr. Edwin plans to enter the international market, particularly in Africa and Latin America.

There are numerous opportunities in the retail industry. The first step is to find our passion.

Next stop: Nanjing, China.

Tamour Sheikh:

Last day in Beijing and it was another amazing day. In the morning our first stop was the annual Beijing preschool toys expo, which was like something I personally have never seen before. The expo included vendors from various industries from interactive technologies, to interior design to plastic toys. We spoke to several vendors and although language was indeed a barrier, it didn’t hinder the passion and sales pitch of the vendors. I listened to about six vendors pitch me a product in Mandarin and they had me engaged through their passion and presentation skills alone.

The takeaway for me from this expo was that there is opportunity everywhere, we just have to find the right niche.

Landing in Nanjing

Landing in Nanjing

For now we part ways with Beijing, and move on to the historic city of Nanjing.

Want to learn more about the innovative experiential learning opportunities offered by the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management? Visit the Retail Management website.

Posted by Shane MacInnis

Shane MacInnis is TRSM's Writer/Content Specialist.