As we promised, we are publishing an interview with Kamil Isaev, R&D CEO, Intel Russia, who heads Innovation Design Lab together with Dmitry Repin.
The first part of the interview will describe details of Kamil’s trip to China and his meeting with Sam Park, SKOLKOVO representative in China.
The second part (coming later this week) of the interview will be devoted to a concept of Innovation Design Lab and Intel’s interest in a joint project together with SKOLKOVO.
Have a nice reading!
— The trip was officially related to a start of a leadership programme in China. It’s a programme launched by Intel to develop managers, train and cultivate them as leaders. Intel is a global company, and big engineering teams are often strongly distributed. That’s why Intel pays much attention to the development of leader managers in remote countries, such as Russia and China. We were in Shanghai, where an Intel office consists over a thousand employees. It’s interesting to observe Chinese people working when you know the way Russian people work and compare corresponding peculiarities based on cultural background and specific upbringing and education of people. That was quite an interesting experience.
— Please can you expand on differences?
— There are several things that drew my attention. Within the bounds of this leadership programme people are divided into teams, receive business cases that they should discuss, suggest their solutions and after all make a final presentation for a relatively short period of time. Chinese employees usually have livelier discussions than Russian ones. In fact, it didn’t surprise me. I refer it to a peculiarity of Russian mentality. In general, we are not much of a talkative nation, we customarily think several times before saying something. Not only Chinese people but an overwhelming majority of other nations act differently – their discussions are more volcanic, extrovert. At the same time a quality of final presentations is rather comparable, i.e. I didn’t notice any striking differences between Russian and Chinese colleagues in depth, understanding, etc.
The next thing that draws your attention there is that in China a role of the Chinese government is extremely great actually in all events that take part in the country. In particular, internet is known to be in heavy control. Therefore some of e-commerce projects being launched by Intel (particularly software sales via internet) require special licenses which are difficult to obtain. One should present obvious and quite serious grounds, convince the Chinese government that all is done in compliance with applicable regulations.
— Thank you. You also met Sam Park, Head of SKOLKOVO office in China. What are your comments and impressions of the meeting?
— Yes. One of the purposes of my trip to China was to tell my Chinese colleagues about our project with SKOLKOVO business school. Since one of the activities planned together with SKOLKOVO is called Tech Lecture Serie, it naturally occurs to us to try to involve in this activity not only Intel Russia office but also offices in other countries.
My meeting with Sam was devoted to the same topic. Since Sam is a SKOLKOVO representative in China and a head of an institute for emerging market studies, his role in joint projects is very important, and it was interesting to me to meet Sam. We had quite a long interesting talk covering not only joint and potentially joint projects, but also a variety of areas.
Sam is a man with an interesting experience: he is ethnic Korean with an American citizenship who has been working in China for the last 8 years and is now working at a Russian company. One can hardly imagine a more cosmopolitan background. That makes him a very interesting person, he is broad-minded; in this world he has a good knowledge of both the USA and China and now perhaps Russia, because he deals in it on a professional level. Problems of the South-Eastern Asian region are well-known to him too. Therefore it was quite an interesting talk on various topics.
— How much do you think it’s sound nowadays to meet personally or can one just confine oneself to online communication? Your opinion would be very interesting.
— I’m a great enthusiast for off-line communication. Apparently, there should be a reasonable combination. As a rule, more reasonable decisions are always compromise. It’s wrong to say that only on-line or only off-line communication is required. Internet has made the world smaller, reduced distances. For instance, some time ago it was nearly impossible to imagine how Intel employees in various countries of the world – China, the USA, Israel – would participate in our joint projects with SKOLKOVO. Now everything is possible. But I think that one can’t or hardly can do without real communication at all, because true understanding can be reached only in personal communication.