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Showing posts from October, 2009

Meat, meat and more meat!!!

Today we went to the electrical company to present our recommendations. The presentations went really well. Loren did a great pitch on developing marketing channels. I really like the way he puts a lot of effort in his preparation. That's an important lesson to be learnt. After Loren, I did my pitch on production planning followed by Vandana on HR team motivation and best practices. The finishing touches were provided by a very passionate pitch by Ravi on branding.

After we were done, the General Manager thanked us profusely and took us out to lunch. This was perhaps the largest mean in China so far in terms of variety. The dishes included baked fish, sardines, oysters, crabs, prawns, chicken, pork, beef, duck, frog, rabbit and other vegetables. In total, there were about 24 dishes, give or take a few!!

While returning Lauren helped me pick up ibuprofen and a Chinese mouthwash for my toothache. After taking the medicine it feels a bit better now but the soreness remains.

Tomorrow we…

Last few days

The last few days I have been really busy with work so did not get a chance to update my blog. After we came to Dujiangyan we spent the rest of the day more or less lazing around. The hotel we are staying looked really nice at first. It's the Tiandiren Business Hotel and the rooms looked really cozy. It was later that we realized the food (breakfast) served is awful. Loren and I bought marmalade from a nearby store and we have Chinese bread with it everyday. Also, there is warm orange juice (never had warm juice in my life!!), and fried eggs. I call them the "saviour eggs". Then we also have eggs boiled in green tea, which should been tasting different as per the local people here, but tastes the same to me as any other boiled egg in the world.

We have "discovered" a small Chinese fast food restaurant close to our hotel where we have been going for our food. The place has good fairly good food. The chicken and mushroom rice was quite like the Chinese food we hav…

Pandas, Pauguang Monastery and Jinshe Museum - Sunday Sightseeing

Today we spent the whole day in sightseeing. We left Chengdu early morning. Well, not really early morning. It was around 9 am when we left the hotel and got onto the bus. I was surprised to see the driver wearing a red IBM jacket. It seemed it was presented to him by an IBM group that he had taken on a tour previously. We first went to the Panda zoo. The weather was extremely foggy and damp. So, we were told that most of the pandas may not be coming out and playing in the open. After walking (and it was steep - like climbing up in a hill station) a fair bit, we did spot a few pandas. We were lucky to see about 10 pandas including red pandas. We then went a saw a nice short documentary on the life of the pandas.

After the panda zoo, we headed towards the Pauguang monastery in Chengdu - the 4th largest in China. It was really beautiful. The startling thing there was the food. We ate at the canteen run by the monks there and all the food was vegetarian. But, the dishes looked and tasted…

A Small & Medium Enterprise: Our First Client Visit

Yesterday, we went to our first client visit. Loren, Doris and I were accompanied by our two interpreters who had actually setup the meeting. The company had sent a 6-seater Buick for us. We drove for about an hour before we reached the company. The office was located in a pretty shabby neighbourhood. But the office and factory itself was very very big and swanky. I was, in fact, very surprised to see such a large campus for a supposed SME. The company was the largest private sector player in its domain and was planning an IPO in the near future.

We were welcomed by the CFO, Vice President and Head of Corporate Management. We were served with Jasmine tea and hot water! Then we went through a preliminary introduction of the company's profile. We were also shown a video about the company that was fairly comprehensive. Then we went into a detailed discussion about the company's operations, challenges, future strategies and growth plan. It was a fairly detailed and frank discussion…

Hot Pot, Welcome Dinner from DOT and sight seeing in Chengdu

Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon Loren, John and I went out in search of lunch and thought we would get into KFC. There was a Japanese fast food joint right next to KFC called Tonya - which apparently means "Three Pigs" in Japanese (translation courtesy Kenji). I had Eel rice and Miso soup. The food was pretty good and very cheap. Only 25 RMB. We then came back and after a while all 7 of us (Ravi, Vandana and Hina had still not joined the team) decided to go and walk around Chengdu. Zach and Belinda were our local guides. We started at around 2:30 pm from the hotel and walked around Chunxi Lu and also the main town square. We kept walking and walking and walking. I think we walked till about 6:30 pm. I have not walked so much in a long time. But it was not very tiring because the weather was pleasant, maybe a bit on the colder side.
After all that walking we decided to have Hot Pot for dinner and walked some more to find a restaurant. Zach and Belinda did not have much idea so…

China-Day 1

From Bangkok Airport
I am sitting and penning this down in the Bangkok airport. My flight, for the first time in my life, was 50 minutes ahead of schedule! After getting off the flight, I had to walk what seemed about a 1.5 kms to get to terminal C3, where I sat down waiting for John to arrive. He arrived within a few minutes and we started chatting. Before joining IBM, he was a school teacher! Now he works with the GMU team in STG. We went and had coffee together. My cold coffee had too much cream and a lot of ice-cream in it!! My stomach am still filling full. This is after a decent late night dinner (1:45 am) served in-flight from Kolkata to Bangkok. The braised chicken was really nice. I had diet coke to go with it. Need to keep a check on my calories. Have made a lot of effort this last year to lose over 10 kgs, so cannot just pile them back on. It's 8 am in Bangkok now and John and I are waiting for our connecting flight to Chengdu which starts boarding at 9:35 am.


Leaving for China today

Tonight I will be leaving for China. Packing is complete, courtesy my wife :-) I almost was making a mess of the start. My flight from Kolkata leaves at 2:30 am on Oct 16. I was under the impression that my flight was on Friday night. I was telling about my itinerary to my father-in-law and he told me that Oct 16 2:30 am is Thursday night and not Friday night as I was thinking. I immediately realized my mistake! So, spent fast-forwarding all my pre-travel arrangements by a day. Now, more or less everything is done. Just need to get some sleep in the afternoon as its unlikely that I will get any sleep in the night.
The toughest part of traveling on work is leaving the family behind. I specially miss my two-year old son. I spend most of my free time playing with him or talking with him. so, will miss him a lot. Next post will possibly be from China!!

A week to go for the in-country assignment to start

Just a week to go for the CSC China team 5's in-country assignment to start. I have already received my Chinese visa. Now we have received information about our hotel bookings in both Chengdu and Dujiangyan. I have also got my e-tickets for a Thai Airways flight from Kolkata to Chengdu via Bangkok. The only thing I need to do is to pack my bags, which I think I will leave for the last day :-)

Work Routine in Life

Some people need to have a well-defined routine in life. They follow that routine diligently and any deviations from it are despicable. For others, routine is abhorring. They much rather “go with the flow”. I am in the first group. It is important for me to have a well-defined routine. I get fairly disturbed if my routine is interrupted or disturbed in any way. I am open to changing my routine over time, but it is usually not a sudden impulsive change.
Knowing myself, I have set about to fix a routine for myself which will help me put focus on my life's priorities: Health, Friends & Family, Career and Money.
Here is the outline of the plan (open to changes):
WeekdaysBetween 6:30-7:00 AM – Rise and Shine :-)7:00-7:30 AM – Walk for 30 mins7:30-8:15AM – Daily dose of Newspaper (Telegraph, Business Standard, Anandabazar Patrika)8:15-8:30 AM – Breakfast8:30 – 9:00 AM – Get Read for Office9:00 – 10:00 AM – Drive to Office5:00 – 6:00 PM – Drive back from office6:00 – 9:00 PM – Conferenc…