Moutai Uni­ver­sity brews up plans for growth

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - A4: By ZHU WENQIAN in Bei­jing and YANG JUN in Guiyang

Ed­i­tor's Note: China’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct ex­panded at a rate of 6.9 per­cent in the first half of this year. In a se­ries of in­ter­views, China Daily asked econ­o­mists, an­a­lysts and busi­ness lead­ers about the prospects for eco­nomic growth in the coun­try. role in the growth cy­cle. It helps the econ­omy through the fis­cal chan­nel, as lo­cal gov­ern­ment rev­enue from land sales im­proves.

While the prop­erty mar­ket has been re­silient, ex­ports also per­formed well with help from strong global de­mand. In the sec­ond half of 2017, the chal­lenge is to avoid re­ly­ing too much on the hous­ing mar­ket and de­velop a more sus­tain­able strat­egy for the hous­ing mar­ket.

Moutai Uni­ver­sity, China’s first uni­ver­sity named af­ter a liquor com­pany, will start to re­cruit its first batch of stu­dents this sum­mer.

The uni­ver­sity was estab­lished in May, fu­eled by the boom­ing growth of the liquor busi­ness in China.

This year, the uni­ver­sity plans to re­cruit 600 se­nior high school grad­u­ates from Guizhou prov­ince, in­clud­ing 550 sci­ence stu­dents and 50 lib­eral arts stu­dents. The ad­mis­sions will be con­ducted be­tween July 27 and Aug 6. Next year, it is ex­pected to re­cruit stu­dents na­tion­wide.

With an in­vest­ment of more than 2 bil­lion yuan ($295 mil­lion) from Kwe­i­chow Moutai Co, the dis­tiller of the iconic high-end spirit in the town of Mao­tai, the com­pany aims to train more em­ploy­ees and im­prove the struc­ture of its staff.

Cur­rently, some col­leges in China have been founded or spon­sored by pri­vate com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Bei­jing Geely Uni­ver­sity that is named af­ter car man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ter­prise Geely Hold­ing Group, and Wuhan Col­lege, which is spon­sored by Ten­cent founder Chen Yi­dan.

Feng Xiaolun, pres­i­dent of Moutai Uni­ver­sity, who used to be the ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Guizhou Uni­ver­sity, said prepara­tory work to es­tab­lish Moutai Uni­ver­sity be­gan in 2012.

Feng said there had been an over­whelm­ing num­ber of in­quires about the uni­ver­sity from stu­dents re­cently.

“There are not many higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions in Guizhou, and those en­ter­prises with eco­nomic prof­itabil­ity should show their com­mit­ment to so­ci­ety. The liquor sec­tor is the back­bone in­dus­try in Guizhou, and Moutai Group has been en­deav­or­ing to con­trib­ute to the eco­nomic growth of the prov­ince.”

Moutai Uni­ver­sity, lo­cated in a small town in Ren­huai, Guizhou prov­ince, has estab­lished five un­der­grad­u­ate ma­jors, in­clud­ing liquor-mak­ing, grape wine-mak­ing, food qual­ity and safety, re­source re­cy­cling sci­ence and en­gi­neer­ing, and marketing. Ul­ti­mately, the uni­ver­sity plans to re­cruit 5,000 stu­dents.

Cur­rently, Moutai Uni­ver­sity has a to­tal of 376 full-time and part-time teach­ers, in­clud­ing 126 pro­fes­sors and 102 as­so­ciate pro­fes­sors. It is con­tin­u­ously sup­ply­ing ad­di­tional teach­ing re­sources, and plans to re­cruit 50 more full-time teach­ers soon.

Mean­while, Feng said the uni­ver­sity doesn’t guar­an­tee that the grad­u­ates can all work at Moutai, but it will help to rec­om­mend out­stand­ing stu­dents. Be­sides, gradu- ates will also have an ad­van­tage if they ap­ply for jobs at other liquor com­pa­nies.

“Cur­rently, there are not many staff that have been specif­i­cally trained at Moutai. Nowa­days, mod­ern en­ter­prises need those core em­ploy­ees with pro­fes­sional back­grounds to help the com­pa­nies to con­stantly in­no­vate and grow,” Feng added.

“The uni­ver­sity will also con­duct more re­search about brew­ing tech­nol­ogy and arts, in ad­di­tion to fur­ther pro­mot­ing Chi­nese wine cul­ture.”

Shen Meng, di­rec­tor of Chan­son & Co, a bou­tique in­vest­ment bank, said as a listed com­pany with core tech­nolo­gies and re­sources, Moutai has a con­stantly grow­ing de­mand for pro­fes­sional per­son­nel.

“Those em­ploy­ees it re­cruits from var­i­ous sec­tors are un­cer­tain to meet its re­quire­ments, there­fore it has set up a col­lege, as it aims to di­rectly train core hu­man re­sources and lower the costs of hu­man re­source devel­op­ment.”

In June, Moutai posted a re­cruit­ment state­ment on its of­fi­cial web­site, say­ing that it plans to hire 337 new liquor­mak­ing work­ers, aged be­tween 18 and 28, in­clud­ing 312 men and 25 women. The web­site later crashed af­ter more than 300,000 peo­ple reg­is­tered on­line.

In early July, Moutai an­nounced a list of em­ploy­ees who have been ac­cepted, and those who were born in the 1990s ac­count for the ma­jor­ity of the new staff. Among the to­tal, nearly half of the new em­ploy­ees grad­u­ated from uni­ver­si­ties in Guizhou prov­ince, and some others grad­u­ated from Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties such as Sichuan Uni­ver­sity.

In the past five years, the com­pany has not been re­cruit­ing new staff on a large scale, and this year, it hired new staff in an aim to meet its ex­pand­ing ca­pac­ity.

Wu Tianx­i­ang, a pro­fes­sor at Guizhou Uni­ver­sity, said as Moutai has con­tin­u­ously seen its mar­ket value grow­ing, the de­mand for skilled work­ers has been ris­ing as well.

He said that af­ter a few years of mar­ket volatil­ity, the bai­jiu, or liquor in­dus­try in China is grad­u­ally re­cov­er­ing, and de­mand has ex­panded as con­sumer spend­ing has risen.

“In the wake of the gov­ern­ment’s aus­ter­ity drive and anti-graft cam­paign, the main con­sumer group of high-end spir­its such as Moutai has shifted to mid­dle­class Chi­nese con­sumers, and their de­mand re­mains sig­nif­i­cant.”

The uni­ver­sity will also con­duct more re­search about brew­ing tech­nol­ogy and arts ...”

Feng Xiaolun, pres­i­dent of Moutai Uni­ver­sity

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

CHEN YONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

A cor­ner of Moutai Uni­ver­sity in Ren­huai in south­west­ern China's Guizhou prov­ince.

CHEN YONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

A road sign in Moutai Uni­ver­sity.

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