German manager says 'harbor of automobiles' is the best place to be
German-born Kai-Marcel Dodel has been living in China for about 12 years. He has worked as a senior project manager at several global companies.
Having completed his MBA degree in international project engineering in Germany and the United Kingdom, he joined German autoparts maker ZF in 2015.
"Jiading is the harbor of automobiles so for an automotive company it is the best place to be because you can easily find talent and build your network," Dodel observed.
A world leading automotive supplier which focuses on latest technologies, ZF settled in Jiading in 2011.
Automobile companies can thus rely on this fertile land to obtain good infrastructure and reasonable management environment, according to Dodel.
"I'm very proud of the fact that it's most likely that the car you are driving has one of our components inside," he pointed out.
As a channel manger, Dodel is not only proud of having a very independent team, but also of the team culture.
He often learns about their unique experience and Chinese culture when interacting with them.
He said that Shanghai has always been a city with endless opportunities where it is easy to establish interpersonal networks and learn from each other.
"A team is like a family," he said. "We are always moving toward the same goal."
In his spare time, he likes to stay with the families, go out for a walk with his two dogs, and play with the children.
When night falls, he likes to go with his Chinese wife to the night market, buy a cup of milk tea in the dessert shop, and then have a few barbecue sticks before going home.
Triathlon and hiking are also his hobbies. Whether it's sunny or raining, he always wears his equipment and rides his bicycle to office on weekdays.
Along the 15-kilometer trip, he has been often surprised by the changes that have been taking place quietly in Jiading with the emergence of new schools and shopping centers.
Occasionally, he also prefers to empty his mind, just feeling the speed of the wheels, and shuttling through the streets and alleys of Jiading.