K.C. Pang is big on opportunity. When it shows up on your doorstep, he says, you better not take too long to embrace it.

UAB Business Professor K.C. Pang is taking eight students to China in June to study Chinese language and cultures as part of a UAB exchange program with Anshan Normal University.

“I tell my students opportunity is like a breeze coming in,” says Pang, a business professor in Management, Marketing and Industrial Distribution. “If you don’t feel it, it may leave quickly. And there’s no guarantee the breeze will come back.”

Eight of Pang’s students are taking their opportunity to go to China in June to study Chinese language and culture through a UAB exchange program with Anshan Normal University. This will be the second year Pang will take a group to Anshan for a hands-on, month-long study of China and its business practices.

Pang believes if the United States wants to compete with China in the global market, we must learn more about the language and culture of the country and the way in which business is conducted there.  “The reason I wanted to set up this exchange program with Anshan Normal University is because China already knows much about us and our business practices. But we as Americans don’t know a whole lot about China. And the Chinese are major players in the global business world. China’s is the fastest-growing economy in the world,” Pang said.

Who is K.C. Pang?

• Joined UAB School of Business in 2003 as full-time faculty member after more than 20 years of business experience with companies FedEx, World Development Federation, GTE Wireless and Holiday Inn.
• Was featured in Birmingham Business Journal as one of “7 People to Watch in 2007.”
• Spoke on “China’s Next Phase” as part of the Harvard University China Review Conference in March 2006.

Alabama certainly realizes that fact. China is one of our state’s largest trading partners accounting for almost $1 billion in trade this past year, according to state statistics, “and it’s going to keep growing,” Pang says.

Intense month of learning
So, Pang’s plan is to take some of the best and brightest in UAB’s School of Business to meet community leaders, visit economic development zones, explore the culture and study in a Chinese classroom with fellow business students.  He and his students leave for China May 31 and return June 29.

Pang, a permanent visiting professor at Anshan Normal University, has a project planned for both his UAB and Anshan students. He will divide his Chinese students into groups that include a UAB student, and each group must form a joint-venture company and write an international business plan in three weeks.

Pang also has planned a four-day tour of other Chinese cities, including at stop in Cangzhou, home to a factory owned by Birmingham-based McWane Corporation.

Connections to China
Pang has more than 20 years experience in strategic planning, business development and other strategic partnership and joint-venture partnership development. For more than 15 years, Pang, a Malaysia native, traveled extensively in Asia and has traveled to more than 20 cities in China.

“I have been doing business in China for many years, and I have many contacts there and know many government officials,” Pang says. “I think that’s why this program has been so successful so quickly.”
There already are successes in the program on both sides.

A professor from Anshan Normal University is coming to UAB this fall to observe the way in which American universities teach students. She will also study how the United States and China conduct business with one another from our country’s perspective.

Also, one student from Jinan has already applied for UAB’s MBA program. “Of course we want to bring more, but after one year, that’s pretty good,” Pang says.

Negotiations also are under way to bring 15 Chinese business executives to campus next spring to participate in the Express MBA Certificate Program, and he expects to establish a second exchange program on this trip with Shandong University in Jinan.