Saturday, November 14, 2009

Final days in Chengdu

We made our presentation to the Big Shoe Company. I thought it went pretty well. I presented strategy for online marketing to them. That is what I thought what they wanted to know the most. But selling shoes online is going to be fairly tough for an unknown brand. Once we were done with the presentation, we were back to the hotel and started working on our consolidated SME report.

By Wednesday we had completed the SME report and also the final presentation that we were planning to give Madam Bao Hui, a member of Chengdu Municipal CPC committee, and Chairman of General Labour Union. Loren did not want to present because he had one more presentation that day, so we egged on Vandana  to do the job.

The final meeting with the chamber of commerce was in a swanky 5-star hotel. There was local media coverage as well. The President of the Chengdu Chamber of Commerce was there to greet us. We had four presentations on general themes which was concluded by the final SME report. Madam Bao then invited us for dinner. We had an usual large spread for dinner and really enjoyed the food.

With the presentation out of the way, all our work was done. Officially, our CSC program was over. We went back to the hotel around 8 pm and assembled in Ravi's room. We then had a great party with Black Label followed by Great Wall Chinese wine followed by innumerable cans of Tsingtao beer. Only Vandana and I were not in the drinking club but were happy watching. We played Uno and generally had a great time. Warner played DJ for us during the evening. The party got louder as the evening wore on. Around 1 am we finally called it a day (or night) and went back to our rooms to catch some sleep.

Friday we really had nothing to do. So we had decided that we would take the interpreters out for lunch. We came to know that shockingly Frank's father had been run over by a taxi a day before and he had not told us to make sure we were not upset. It was a shocking blow to us all.

After lunch at Peter's Tex Mex we went to the Tibetian market. It's a area of Chengdu where mostly Tibetians live. Interestingly, we saw that most of the incense sticks (agarbathis) were from India. Also, small Tibetians trinkets with labels of "Handcrafted in India" were being sold in the small stores.

After dinner at the Parkway Thai restaurant and thanking the owner (as she spoke English and had helped us a lot)we returned to our hotel. It was a quiet night with everyone retiring to bed early.

Loren and Ravi left for the airport at 7:30 am on Saturday. Mae and Lauren were here to see them off. Warner, Doris, Hina and Vandana went next at 10:30 am. They are going to Lhasa together for a week of Tibet tour.

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