We believe intercultural competence is a skill which cannot be learned solely from books – it must be experienced.
True to this motto the students of the MAS European and Chinese Business Management and CAS Chinese Business Management during the company visit to Scintilla AG were able to get practical insights into the company wholly owned by Bosch.
Ute Lepple, Senior Vice President Finance and Bosch-Representative in Switzerland, introduced Bosch with its impressive track record in several business sectors and discussed their impact on the global scale of the company.
Scintilla AG was founded in 1917 and is well known for the development and production of accessories for power tools. In the early years they were known for their combustion engines for cars and airplanes. Over the years their focus shifted to power tools and accessories. Notable inventions and patents, for example, the electric jigsaw were developed at the company site in Solothurn.
The private tour through the Scintilla Museum showed the impressive history of the company through its early periods until today’s state of the art production of machines and accessories. Through constant development of their product portfolio and strategic acquisitions or partnerships they are able to remain at the forefront of what is possible.
Three Bosch representatives entertained us with their anecdotes about intercultural experiences. Peter worked for two years for Bosch in Hangzhou, China and was surprised that the question “What did you do during the weekend?” was not something that was discussed in the office there. Min who moved to Switzerland shared her experiences about living in an apartment and dealing with neighbors, washing schedules and noise complaints. Guanghui who left China a few years back pointed out that he had to learn to answer the question about the weekend since this is always discussed over lunch on Mondays here. Cultural differences are indeed something that no book can prepare you for.
The students were very satisfied with the different viewpoints this corporate visit provided. The view of Bosch’s global strategy today was complemented by the historic review of where Scintilla comes from. The anecdotes of the three international employees closed the loop by providing the daily work perspective.