AdVENTURE Challenge: China – Company Visit to Turbo Knitwear Fashion Co.

By Tiffany Lee

After the long flight, the entire group was finally in Hong Kong feeling excited to start the AdVENTURE Challenge: China. Today we were all early birds and met each other at 8 a.m. for the first company visit in China (actually, many of us woke up at 4 a.m. due to the jet leg). The company we visited today was Turbo Knitwear Fashion Co., Ltd, which is located in Dongguan, China.

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Turbo Knitwear Fashion Co., Ltd is a company who manufactures clothes for American brands. The factory owner, manager and UMD alumnus, Steven Begleiter, and his colleague Simon showed us around the factory and the production process. It was AMAZING.

Here are some new findings I would like to share with you:

  • Many junior workers in the factory are only 16-25 years old. Also they have an average salary of 2000-8000 RMB depending on work experience. 
  • Some of the tasks in factory are easier and others are more complicated. The more complicated jobs require workers to have 3-5 years of training.10341766_10152169522491634_1263703755905812033_n
  • There is a “light” located on the top of many of the machines. If there is a problem with the machine or the manufacturing process, the light is turned from green to red. This enables both workers and manager to solve the problem immediately.
  • The materials of clothes 80% are sourced from China; 5% from India; 10% from Europe.
  • They offer workers dorms to live in and they have some food options. 80% of employee choose to live in the dorm.
It was a fantastic experience and most of us thought the tour was a little overwhelming. We probably imagined how factories work, but this was the first time we got close to the production process and the first line workers. We were able to see the dorms they live in, we tried the food they have there (yes, we had the almost same food as these workers did for lunch), we tried knitting, and learned the incredible labor that is required in the clothing factory.
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At the end of trip, Steven and Simon also kindly prepared gifts for all of us – a sweater with the University of Maryland logo.

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I am loving the trip so far and I cannot wait to visit another company in Beijing.

See you all soon!

Lee_C-21Aug13-7Tiffany Lee is a first-year MBA student originally from Taipei, Taiwan. Tiffany is concentrating her MBA experience on marketing, and decided to go on the AdVENTURE Challenge: China to learn more about the Chinese market. She is most excited about using the subway in Beijing during peak traffic hours, although she may not find any classmates quite as courageous to join her. 

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