Opening Event of the Corporate Course on Luxury Industry
On the 10th April, School of Management Fudan held the opening event of the Corporate Course on Luxury Industry, jointly organized by LUISS (Italy, Rome) and Fudan University (China, Shanghai). The course are held by senior managers of luxury companies located in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and provide students with practical industry insights.
LUISS and Fudan University started a partnership in 2005, when the Chinese and Italian Ministers of Education signed the University Cooperation Memorandum. In that year, the two universities, together with Bocconi University (Italy, Milan), launched the Double Degree in International Management program (DDIM). Currently at the 12th edition, the program has already admitted over 700 students from China, Italy and other countries; they have achieved great results in some influential international competitions, and alumni have obtained high-level jobs. DDIM students have the unique opportunity to receive outstanding education from professors of the three universities, while living in two amazing cities, Shanghai and Milan or Rome. The internationalized curriculum features 56% overseas faculty members, 55% overseas students and 50% study time spent overseas. In order to attract top talents, Chinese students of this program are awarded with full scholarship, covering all tuition and living costs in Italy.
Prof. LU Xiongwen, Dean of School of Management Fudan, is happy that FDSM and LUISS share the same vision and that their partnership is strengthening. As China is implementing its “One Belt, One Road” strategy, the collaboration between Italy and China in undergoing an unprecedented development; the multi-cultural DDIM program has the honour and the responsibility, not only to connect two universities, but also to favour cross-regional cooperation and deepen cross-cultural understanding. The corporate course on luxury industry is another important step in this direction.
Also Prof. Paola Severino, Rector of LUISS, is enthusiastic about the growing collaboration between LUISS and Fudan University. Many of the Italian students of DDIM program liked Chinese culture and lifestyle so much that, after graduation, they came back to China for work. For this reason, on the 9th April there was the launch of Chapter ALL Shanghai, LUISS alumni association.
With regard to the corporate course on luxury industry, Prof. Severino highlighted its interdisciplinarity, one of the most important values in new professional figures: topics include marketing, financial control, business development and “Made in Italy” management.
Mr. Stefano Beltrame, Consul General of Italy in Shanghai, explained that the success of so many Italian luxury brands is due to their long-standing values; originated from the great industrial culture and very long history of the country, luxury brands uniquely represent the Italian high quality of life. He also emphasised the important role played by FDSM and LUISS in the New Silk Road, which involves the trade of goods and services, as well as the exchange of knowledge.
Andrea Prencipe, Deputy Rector of LUISS, briefly presented the mission and structure of LUISS University. He explained that the reason why LUISS focuses on educating students in social sciences is to make themable of inspiring a better society in an increasingly technological world. LUISS is an independent university accredited by the Italian Ministry of education, and affiliated with Confindustria, the largest association of Italian industries.
Finally, Prof. Giovanni Fiori, Academic director of DDIM from LUISS University, conducted a panel discussion with three guests from the luxury industry: Mr. William Wang, VP Commercial of Beaumanoir Garments, Mr. Justin Chen, China Retail Head of Salvatore Ferragamo, and Mr. Ernesto Miraglia, Regional Director Asia Pacific of Damiani.
All the three guests highlighted the importance of the Chinese market for the success of Western luxury companies, as well as the difficulties of satisfying local consumers’ tastes.
Mr. Wang explained that, although the Chinese Market is the number one for sales in the luxury industry, it still lags behind the US in terms of influence. In a very dynamic market, Chinese customers on one side are becoming more international, while on the other are maintaining some local, traditional tastes. The strategy he suggests consists in digitalizing and opening a low number of stores only inkey economic cities.
Mr.Chen agrees with Mr. Wang on the need for digitalization, however he considers having a high number of stores in many Chinese cities the priority number one. Furthermore, he thinks that distribution should be carried out through multiple channels, and that it is time to combine high fashion with street fashion.
Mr. Miraglia explained that, although e-commerce in jewelry industry is still very small, digital instruments are essential for maintaininga high brand image. As he said during the panel discussion, “luxury is details”; the expansion strategy in China can be successful only if both the products and the experience delivered are modifiedaccording to the local consumers’ tastes.