Earlier this year, eLC had the opportunity to be a part of Singapore's most anticipated national event - the National Day Parade (NDP) 2011
It is eLC's honour and privilege to become a sponsor and major partner of this year's NDP working shirts. With national interests at stake, the job of ensuring over 15,000 sponsored t-shirts and polo shirts had to be properly printed, sewn and delivered in time and ready for rehearsals. This called for close collaboration with the various local stakeholders involved in the designs as well as management with our China supplier.
As timelines were tight, it proved to be a gargantuan task that saw the team, consisting of Ken, Justin and Ryan on a flight to Guangzhou, China in May-June 2011. The teams primary purpose in Guangzhou was to ensure that the NDP shirts were produced to meet satisfactory standards and be delivered on time.
The work trip to Guangzhou is definitely a different experience from working in an office environment. Countless trips were made to various sewing and silk-screen printing factories situated in the suburbs giving the team practical insights to how a seemingly humble t-shirt needs to be produced by the hands of so many different agencies. This opened the team's eyes to the world of garment manufacturing.
At the silk-screen printing factory checking the designs.
During the trip, the team experienced how driven the Chinese were. They work daily including weekends and rest only on public holidays. The team was flabbergasted when they learnt that in addition to working almost every day, factory workers in China work up to 15 enduring hours from 8:30 am till 11:30 pm. To sustain the long day, was interestingly an afternoon nap after lunch which they will take for an hour. It was a cultural eye-opener for the team, who witness the 'can-do spirit' of the Chinese.
Immersing in the hustle and bustle of the sewing rooms.
The warmth and hospitality of the Chinese also touched the hearts of the team. Very often, team members would be greeted with fresh cut local fruits purchased from the nearby market and offered to the team to try. In addition, during the eve of duanwu jie (or dumpling festival), rice dumplings or zongzi were presented to the team to include them in the joy of celebrating a national holiday.
As always, the team also embraces fun amidst all the work by scaling the Canton Tower and having a go at the local cuisine. The Canton Tower is China's tallest structure and had briefly held the title of the world's tallest completed tower. The climb up the tower was as exhilarating as it was physically tiring. At 1km long, it is the world's longest staircase with 1028 steps. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.
Up at the Canton Tower.
Similarly memorable was the food in Guangzhou which left the team craving for more. Top on their list was this particular roadside stall near the factory, which dishes out barbecued meats and vegetables on a wooden stick. Their flavoured roasts tasted superbly well when paired with an ice cold beer.
Favourite foods stall for the team in Guangzhou.
Ultimately, the work trip to Guangzhou was physically tough yet rewarding in so many ways. The experiences gained and lessons learnt from the trip unquestionably give rise to eLC's motto: "Where learning never ends".