Faculty & Research


An essential process for Chinas overall development and companies survival amid this era of technology revolutions and commercial challenges, industrial upgrade and business transformation have long been the talk of the town. However, before completing this transition smoothly, one needs to go back to the basics.

Ma Li, organization and strategy management professor with Peking Universitys Guanghua School of Management, believes that the so-called upgrade and transformation are, in actuality, a response to changes in technologies and business forms, and its ultimate purpose is always to serve customers well.

According to Ma, industrial upgrade and business transformation are a dynamic process of adaptation against the background that the way things are done in the past can no longer sufficiently meet customers demand.

News technologies such as big data, the Internet and 4G greatly boost productivity and circulation in consumers-oriented industries, and peoples consumption experiences have changed profoundly. Carriages and written letters, romantic as they seemed, belonged to a past long gone. SMS, social-networking, same-day delivery… it is now the era of speed.

And the future? As 5G comes, communication will be much faster, connection more precise. With more efficient coordination between different departments and the absence of human labor, products will be made and handed to clients faster than we can imagine.

By then, only those industries and companies that can adapt to this process will be able to survive and compete for another round, while those that fail to do so will also fail to meet customers demand and thus perish from the market.

In fact, such adaptation is the same old process repeated ever since the first steam engine was invented more than two hundred years ago, be it investing in research and development to upgrade machines or seeking other channels to serve and profit so that a business can go on.

The ongoing technology revolution has been bringing forth many new opportunities for industries and companies that dare to think outside the box so as to serve clients better. During this process, those that can transform technology into production efficiency and better coordinated operations will have a better chance at climbing higher in the global value chain.

There will inevitably be worries and concerns about the challenges brought by new technologies, but companies will be fine as long as they stick to the core belief of serving clients. They need to ask themselves: Do customers really need our products? Are customers well served by the technologies we have adopted? Are there competitors that can better serve customers than we do? Will new technologies create opportunities for our products?…

A company will stay ahead if its entrepreneurs frequently think about these questions and discuss them with experts and colleagues.

With the aim to provide assistance and guidance in industrial upgrade and business transformation so as to help push forward high quality development of Chinas economy, an online business school jointly founded by Guanghua and Tencents Qingteng University will officially kick off on Oct. 19, when leading entrepreneurs and insiders gather to pool wisdom on key topics surrounding digital transformation.

© 2019 Guanghua School of Management Peking University