Impression of Erdenet
In the context of the Center’s business training mission, I arrived in Erdenet, a city of 80,000 said to be the second city of Mongolia, after a five-hour drive over paved roads, to hold a day-long training on “Industry Management.”
The city was already familiar to me, afer having read the eighth chapter from of “Industrialization Revolution during the Market Economy Transition in Mongolia,” which discussed Erdenet as a center of copper and copper ore mining.
“Erdenet, a rural city in the European style, which was established and built according to the former Soviet Union’s city planning guidelines, is one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. The city has developed the mining sector since 1976, and has established carpet and other manufacturing industries since 1980,” says the book. The city is considered the only city with the potential to develop independently.
After the breakup of Soviet Union and Comecon, the city experienced numerous changes due to the introduction of democracy. Before arriving, I thought that I might meet Russian folk heros (there are still many Russians working in the mines and factories, and they can be seen in restaurants and bars) while walking in the calm city center with snow-covered white buildings and streets.
A man, graduate of the business training program at the Mongolia–Japan Center and co-organizer of the present training, said that his parents moved to the city from the country side soon after it was founded, like most of the city residents. With several colleges and universities in the city, much of the population is young.
The Japanese tourist guidebook, “Chikyu no arukikata,” and the previously-mentioned book listed our hotel as the best in Erdenet city. In fact, we stayed in the hotel for two days and it cost more than others, payment was required in advance, and its service was not good.
The receptionist was not at their place and never came unless they were called; the hotel restaurant did not open during its posted open hours; there was no door for the shower in the room; no toilet paper; no towels in the bathroom; and they did not provide a bed sheet even though it was late).
One might think that this low level of service is common everywhere. To be honest, I wished that the hotel managers could take part in the training at the Center.
One could learn of customers’ impressions of the service in Erdenet by letting tourists fill out questionnaires. I think that hotel service can be improved by focusing on little things.
(Director Nakamura Mitsyo)
“Today’s loss bring tomorrow’s profit”
The training titled “Sales Management,” was the second course of the series “Small and medium manufacturing company’s management and evaluation” workshop, which was started on October 1 in the Center and continued on October 29 and November 3. The training was led by Kato Akira, the expert of small and medium manufacturing companies, who was invited from Hokkaido.
In prior years, only workers in the services sector were involved in the training. Now, workers in the industrial sector are also involved in the trainings.
The class provides general knowledge about products and service, skills at shop organization and sales as well as internship in the shops.
During the class, there were numerous interesting and comparative questions about service and purchase offices of Mongolia and Japan. It shows the involvers’ desire to study and share the experience of the developed counties. Let me say the question that might be necessary to Mongolian sales offices.
Question: “Mongolian customers do not have right to redress. Is this correct?” Answer: “It is impossible for Mongolian consumers to seek redress for faulty products or for injury or damage resulting from the use of goods and services because sales persons do not offer warranties and refund policies. It is different in Japan. There is a proverb, ‘Today’s loss brings tomorrow’s profit,’ among Japanese people.
Therefore they offer the full right to redress. The meaning behind it is that it is worthwhile to remedy any condition of customer dissatisfaction, because they will keep customers for future business, despite taking a loss once.”
We hope that the training involvers will succeed after the training thanks to the knowledge and skill that they received during the class.
(E. Odgerel, officer of Business course）
Planned open workshop: “Gender issues in Mongolia”
T. Amgalan, director of the Center of Gender Rights Development, was invited to the 27th open workshop to give his lecture titled “Gender issues in Mongolia.” Although it was snowy on the 24th, there were about 50 people to take part in the lecture. Let me express my gratitude again to the lecture attendees.
Since the concept of gender is broad, there are few people who have a deep understanding about gender. The workshop was very efficient because the workshop participants received the general knowledge and understanding about gender and gender-related issues in Mongolia. The lecturer and interpreter played key roles to organize the workshop successfully.
The lecturer explained gender-related issues based on his own life experience in a way that was very simple and understandable. During the workshop, the lecturer focused more on the differences between men and women, and taught how to resolve problems by understanding and respecting one other. Like before, let me give brief excerpts from the present workshop.“… gender:
Briefly, basic concept of gender is a biological sex difference between male and female and the potential to separate the social responsibilities and duties of both sexes. While the biological differences do not change, the social differences can be changed with intelligence and political experience.Therefore, “gender”
is the changeable social status and responsibility of male and female persons which are different in every culture, but it is not purely the natural biological difference between sexes.Gender equality
means males and females should have the right to receive or share the social wealth and products equitably. Some current gender-related issues in the economy of Mongolia:Since the labor market change caused by social reform, the gap between participation of women and men in the economy has spread.
By 2006, the percent of salaried women employees working in all sectors except agriculture sector was up 53.9% since 2000, but the rate of unemployed females is higher among all unemployed persons.
The average salary for men is 10,000 MNT more than for women. However, men spend only 17.5 hours on average doing domestic activities, while women spend an average of 31.8 hours per week.Women and men have not received the market opportunities equally.
The economic areas of service, food, piecework, and retail sales, where females dominate, were privatized early and a lot of women were forced into work in the unregulated and unsecured sectors with little preparation and experience.The load of unpaid labor among rural women is high.
During the transition period to a market economy, many of the first independent companies’ operations were dependent on women labor and natural resources.
Today the services such as food preparation, house cleaning, care for children and elderly as “domestic activities” and do not include them in the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP). It is certain that women spend 2.5 more hours per week than men doing unpaid work.Many more women than men live in poverty.
According to statistics, 47.1% of the women led families and 36.1% of rural families led by women are living below the poverty level. Most of the families consist of four or more children and elderly. More specifically, 24.6% of the poorest families and 18.3% of poor families are led by women.In recent years, domestic violence and other violence against women have been considered social problems.
One women in ten has experienced physical domestic abuse. 60.2% of the questionnaire respondents said that children have been injured in domestic violence.The abortion rate is high because of unplanned pregnancies.
The increase in the abortion and early pregnancy rates indicates that women do not have equal rights and powers in sexual issues. Even though Mongolia legalized abortion in 1989, the country discourages it as a method of family planning.
After the lecture, I was very proud of Mongolian women who get over their difficulties and stresses with their hard work and strength. In addition, I realized that women deal more with gender issues than men.
Break time – Asimo robot
Japanese leading car manufacturer Honda first introduced the humanoid robot in 2000 and released the more human and flexible Ashimo robot in 2007. Newly released Asimo is stronger and more advantageous than the previous ones. He walks like man and if you want he will hold your hand which is useful for disabled people.
Asimo has new advanced control system which allows him to perform waiter duties such as carrying drinks and serving food. The new model is more flexible, can run at 6 km per hour, and can turn its
head around. The body size is:
- Height: 130 cm
- Length: 45 cm
- Width: 37 cm
- Weight: 54 kg
- Speed: 6 km
- Capacity of battery: 40 min
(E.Battulga, officer of Computer course)