THE INGRAMS: A SCHOOL AS WELL AS A DYNASTY
With regard to "Inside a $15 billion dynasty" (People, Sept. 29), it is people and their relationships that help create innovation, creativity, and prosperity, which in return provide profits and longevity.
I would also like to add something that was not mentioned. The Ingrams' company should, in a sense, also be considered a learning institution. As a past employee of Ingram Software (1984-87), I--along with many others, I'm sure--was provided with the knowledge, professional experience, skills, and understanding to manage a successful business. It is these past experiences that one can use to make the best decisions as an entrepreneur.
The Ingrams are living proof that anticipating change and creating a management culture of respect for each other and for their employees are the fundamental factors for success.
Newport Beach, Calif.Return to top
THE WAY IT TREATS WORKERS, CHINA DOESN'T HAVE A CHANCE
Your frightening picture of Chinese steelworkers operating a hammer forge without safety glasses speaks volumes about the challenges facing China ("Can China reform its economy?" Special Report, Sept. 29). Until employees become valued partners in enterprise, not disposable "cogs in a wheel," ideological fine-tuning and Jiang's reform package can never build an economy free of the risk of labor unrest. Eventually, the basic need of any enterprise to respect people and their ideas in order to succeed will collide with old-line goals of political stability. If old-line political stability prevails, China's full economic potential can never be attained.
After reading the article on China, I feel it is my duty to make potential foreign investors who are lured by new financial opportunities in China aware of the high risks involved.
The risks relate to problem-solving. If there is a problem, one would rightly presume that it may be solved through the operation of the law. Yet our experience has shown that there may be no way to obtain redress of one's torts in the province of Shandong.
Foreign investors and companies seeking to invest and/or do business and establish contractual ties with enterprises or co-venturers in China should be aware of the behavior of the Chinese judicial system--which may be reluctant to apply the sanctions of law to local parties.
Andre G. Gigon
Chardonne, SwitzerlandReturn to top
HOW HONG KONG'S YOUTH MEASURE UP
I appreciate your attention to "China's youth" (International Business, Sept. 15), but the article lacks objectivity, especially regarding the comments and findings on Hong Kong Chinese. As a native Hong Kong-born Chinese, age 24, I might not be able to address the issues and differences of mainland Chinese and Taiwanese, but I believe I have a good knowledge of Hong Kong Chinese.
In the article, you say that Hong Kong youth "[might] not be as hardworking as their Chinese and Taiwanese counterparts." What is the proof of this statement? Can you provide any figures on the average number of working hours in these three different regions?
The success of Hong Kong as one of the world's leading financial centers did not come easy. It is the result of the effort of our parents' generation, but without the commitment of us (namely, Hong Kong youth), the prosperity will not continue, and no foreign company will establish its Asia headquarters in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is famous for the quality of service that its workforce provides, and the turnaround time, efficiency, and effective rate of production of goods and services, compared to the other two regions, are always the highest among the three. I think additional study will show that, contrary to your article, Hong Kong Chinese are a lot more hardworking and assertive than Mainland Chinese and Taiwan Chinese.
Hong KongReturn to top