Judgment Day

The day finally came for us to present our research (all 10 weeks worth) in a two-hour presentation in front of the C-Level executives at Philips Healthcare China. Our emotions were running high, from nervous to excited, insecure to confident.

Philips - PresentationWould we provide Philips with novel ideas that they had never thought of? Had our ideas already been implemented? Were we completely off track? There was a level of uncertainty that was present throughout the project, due to the ambiguity of the assignment. We were going to address that uncertainty today. Would it be a success though? That was the big question.

109Fortunately, the presentation and our ideas were a success. After in-depth questioning of our research and recommendations, we found out that we reaffirmed ideas that Philips was currently working on, as well as presented new ideas for the Home Healthcare team to further explore. Philips was impressed with our presentation, our ideas, and our professionalism. And more importantly, the Philips team was impressed with us as individuals.110They even treated us to lunch with live octopus being cooked right in front of us.  It was definitely a new experience…




Although there was an air of sadness as we finished the day, this was an experience that neither we nor the Philips team will ever forget.

Special Foods

China is full of special and exotic foods.  Although we only tried a few, here are some of the pictures (for bragging rights, of course):

Duck head anyone?
Crab and meat (?) on a stick
Chicken feet. Good for strong bones.
Live octopus being cooked at the lunch table…
Definitely had to try some octopus brains



Baijiu – the everclear of China



Cobra heart and blood. This was in Vietnam, but still very cool!












Great Wall

We meet again. Team Philips and Team Momentive met up, along with fellow classmate Yiran, to conquer the Great Wall. In our quest to climb this more ancient and lesser-traveled section, we woke up bright and early and drove almost 3 hours away from Beijing. But it was definitely worth it.

Even Phil, having been to the Great Wall several time previously, was stunned by the unadulterated section that we trekked.

Great Wall Pic 1

When we got to the top, we had to scale up the Wall with all of our stuff! The ladies regretted bringing our purses (we foolishly thought this was a tourist excursion)….

Great Wall Pic 2

The view was amazing – the Wall stretches as far as you could see in both directions. Anna, our tour guide, said a friend of hers took two years to walk the full Wall East to West. I believe it – it took us 5 hours to go about 2 miles on the Wall. It is crumbling, and huge boulders and trees are in the middle of the Wall in random places. To navigate the ups and downs there were steps, but some were ridiculously steep.

Great Wall Pic 3

And it took a while to go downhill since the rocks/steps weren’t always super stable (we had a couple of rock slides on our tour).

Great Wall Pic 4

There were a few harrowing moments – like when we had to cross a 6” wide portion of the trail on the OUTSIDE of the Wall to get around an unpassable portion of the hike – there was a sheer drop behind us and a crumbling, smooth Great Wall in front. But we all made it!

Great Wall Pic 5


Fun Photos Time?

Ok, I promise our Beijing trip blog will be coming soon. But until then, it’s time for some fun pics…

Shanghai subway groupie
Subway Groupie


Fun Pics - Pudi on lap 1
What does little Pudi want for Christmas?
Fun pics - Human cutouts
Way to blow it, John…
Fun Pics - Dumpings and girls
Girls and dumplings
Fun Pics - At the Bund
Does anyone have a telephone book?
Fun Pics - Muse shot 1
A little nightlife fun!
Fun Pics - The Perfect Woman 2
The Vitruvian/Peruvian Woman
Fun Pics - Squatting
Embracing Chinese culture…
Fun Pics - Katie's Gansta Pose
Katie’s gangsta pose…
Fun Pics - Drinking beer with pudi
A bromance in the making…







Hangzhou invasion

This past Sunday, we escaped the sprawling metropolis that is Shanghai in a quest to find a glimmer of old China. Recovering from our travel snafu the previous day, we hopped on a train for the hour-long train ride west.Philips - Hangzhou - scenery

Hangzhou, as opposed to Shanghai, is far more traditional Chinese city—as evidenced by everything being written in Mandarin and the conspicuous absence of any western restaurants—and the presence of some truly spectacular examples of historical Chinese culture.

Philips - Hangzhou - Phil hiding
“Yo! Check it!” – Pudi

Our first stop was the former residence of Hu Xue Yan—one of the richest men in Hangzhou at the turn of the twentieth century.

Philips - Hangzhou - groupie

It was amazing to see such a tremendous feat of craftsmanship of the entire complex—providing a stark contrast to the metal skyscrapers which seem to multiply on a daily basis in Shanghai.

Philips - Hangzhou - Poltergeist

Perhaps the coolest feature of the home was a series of caves leading from the lake to various homes on the western side of the building.

Philips - Hangzhou - Rock climbing

Both Phil and Pudi “did the most” by spelunking through the caverns—and taking pictures of each other as Chinese tourists looked on in what can only be described as a mix of contempt and disappointment.

Philips - Hangzhou - Phil Eating
Phil eating street food over the garbage. Classic Phil.

Venturing onwards, we realized that at some point we had lost track of Pudi. Unbeknownst to us (at the time), Pudi had aimlessly wandered down a side alley and was subsequently sucked into a time vortex and sent back to 1600s feudal China. Despite not knowing the language, Pudi quickly gained the respect of the people of that era with his uncanny ability to flex and prolific use of the word “bro.” After a series of unfortunate run-ins with Ming dynasty officials, Pudi reorganized and united the various Manchurian factions, consolidated the Eight Banner military system and launched an assault on the forces of the Wanli Emperor.

Philips - Hangzhou - Pudi fighter

After a prolonged campaign, the Ming forces were eventually overpowered by Pudi’s far superior forces (who had the advantage of intensive weight training and a steady diet of protein pancakes—but no cross-fit. Seriously, do you even lift?). Pudi was subsequently crowned Emperor Pudi and thus began the prosperous reign of the Pudi Empire.

Phlips - Hangzhou - Pudi being crowned

“He’s so tall!” – Chinese observors
“He’s so tall!” – Chinese observers

Justin and Phil (who through his expert broken-Mandarin was able to piece together what had happened) subsequently traveled back in time, found Pudi, apologized to the Ming Dynasty and had any record of the Great Pudi Conquest stricken from the record—however it later became the basis for the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.

Duck anyone?
Duck anyone?

We ended our trip with another traditional Shanghainese sit-down meal, which Phil expertly ordered through his amazing ability to simultaneously point to pictures on the menu and stutter in broken Chinese.

Sorry, John.  Had to add this one...
Sorry, John. Had to add this one…

Venice… without the gelato…

After a late wake-up (see pics from night before), and forgetting that we needed passports to travel (again, see pics from night before), we finally went to Suzhou around 3PM.

Philips - Suzhou - At Night

Suzhou is called the “Venice of China,” but Venice usually doesn’t serve pork brains for dinner. And no, my team didn’t allow me to order it… so lame!!! But I did get to eat fried crab-on-a-stick and fried squid!

Philips - Suzhou - Crab eating

We didn’t eat any “Crispy Stinky Tofu,” but the name was definitely spot-on. We could smell it from blocks away…Philips - Suzhou - Crispy Stinky Tofu

Suzhou is a much more traditional Chinese city than Shanghai, with beautiful gardens and waterways. And we even met up with the other Shanghai GAP team.

Philips - Suzhou - Other Group
Team Momentive

Of course each team had to brag about how the other team’s experience was sooo much better. But isn’t this what blogging is for? 🙂

Philips - Suzhou - three dudes 2
Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Being the obnoxious Americans we are, Pudi and I did push-ups on their national landmark…. While Pudi yelled “ ‘Merica ”…

Philips - Suzhou - pushups


Work Hard, Play Harder!

Friday was awesome!! Three biggest highlights:

1.  We finished our first week of work. It was a blast! We feel accomplished with our job and had collected a lot of resources. Definitely took a lot of collaboration and trust to get this done.

Philips - Friday Night - Working

2. It was the end of the quarter for Philips, so President Thio invited us to get American food and drinks with his team. We got to collaborate with senior level executives and realized the importance of having fun and getting the work done well.

Philips - Friday Night - Good Times

John was the designated bartender, and as you can see in the pictures, he did an excellent job!

Philips - John pouring whiskey

We hit a few bodybuilding poses. You know. Bam!

Philips - Friday Night - Bodybuilding

Philips - Friday Night - Thumbs up
Good times with Desmond and Lillian

3.  We then hit the club, Club Muse. We met up with some new Swedish friends.

Philips - Friday Night - Clubbing

“Work Hard.  Play Harder” – Desmond Thio

Case Closed!

Go Shorty, It’s Your Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Melissa! We were excited to celebrate Melissa’s thirty-th… er… twenty-first birthday in Shanghai! It was a busy day, but we still fit in some fun.

Of course we had to start the day off with some donuts.  What?!  The local Donut King doesn’t open til 10AM?!  Apparently donuts aren’t eaten for breakfast here, but are rather considered a dessert.  It’s really strange that sugar-coated fried bread is considered a dessert here…

Philips - Donut King Tai Chi

 But at least they’ve got Tai Chi (which we have vowed to participate in).

Next, we became “mystery shoppers” to see how medical sellers operate in China.  We went to Shanghai No. 1 Pharmacy (BTW, most everything starts with “No. 1” here, so the “No. 1 Chinese Restaurant” in Columbus now makes sense…).  This pharmacy was huge, spanning three stories!

Philips - Shanghai No 1 Pharmacy

The first floor was all Eastern medicine.  There were tons of herbs, and some that looked like dried starfish ran between $200 to $5,000.  Yes, $5,000!

Philips - Chinese herbs

The medical device companies like Philips were on the second and third floors.  OTC (over-the-counter) is one of the newest channels for Philips in China, but accounts for less than 30% of total sales for respiratory products (I know you were very, very interested in that…)

Philips - Distributor Front Desk

Next, we met with Ni Libin, one of the most successful Philips distributor owners in Shanghai.  What a dynamic entrepreneur!  The interview was conducted in Mandarin, and we had to wait through 2-5 minutes of Mandarin dialogue before getting an English translation.  It gave Justin plenty of time to beat his high score in Angry Birds (or 2048)….  Just kidding.  But Ni was great and despite the language barrier, he made us feel very welcome.

Philips - Distributor photos

When we got back to the office, Philips surprised Melissa with a cake!  And we presented Desmond with a thank you gift for supporting our GAP experience (he loved his OSU white coat!).

Philips - Cake with Desmond

Philips took us out to a phenomenal Japanese restaurant, Dozo, where we had lots to eat.  And maybe just a little bit to drink…

Philips - Justin and sake

 And a rhino may have also been involved…

Philips - Rhino riding 2