Between Meetings

Between Meetings

Between Meetings is a series of on-the-go interviews featuring industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovators. In these interviews, we delve into the latest trends and developments in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, catching our guests between meetings in a car ride across town. Along the way, they share inspiring stories, personal experiences, industry insights, and practical advice on how to scale your way to success. Each interview is packed with valuable information and inspiration for anyone looking to make an impact in the tech and innovation world.


August 20, 2023 42 mins

In a recent installment of Between Meetings, I had the privilege of interviewing Ken Xu, a Partner at CMC Capital Partners. Our conversation delved into the formative years of the VC industry in China, his experiences at Gobi Partners, and the pivotal decisions that startup founders must navigate in a post-COVID world.


  • Back in the early 2000s, 75% of Gobi's startups were from Beijing
  • The effects of COVID-19 will st...
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Daydou, Partner at EY Fabernovel, in a recent episode of Between Meetings. We discussed various topics, including her childhood dream of visiting the Shaolin Temple, the valuable lessons she learned while running two startups, her dedication and hard work at Fabernovel, as well as the challenges that international companies encounter in China and much more.


  • What kept me in Chin...
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On the latest episode of Between Meetings, I had the pleasure of interviewing Oscar Sum. He discussed his international background and shared his journey from being a dentist in the UK to founding a tech startup in China. Oscar delved into the challenges of dentistry and candidly shared the mistakes he made as a first-time entrepreneur.


  • Understanding science and practical application are two different skills
  • I sought a ...
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During a recent episode of Between Meetings, I engaged in a captivating conversation with Scott Pollack, delving into his early experiences in Asia, his remarkable entrepreneurial journey, the transformative shift from being a player to a coach, and his ongoing role as a CEO and leadership team coach.


  • One of the takeaways from my early career was learning how a laptop can travel. It's a mentality.
  • I decided to tran...
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In a recent episode of Between Meetings, Mark Bawtree discussed his journey towards sustainability, the lessons he learned while running his startups, the challenges of ESG, and how Akila is aiding its clients in making data-driven decisions.


  • Renewable energy sources have increasingly targeted the local market from a sales perspective, whereas they were primarily manufactured for the international market in the past
  • The...
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I recently hosted Thomas Knoop on the latest episode of Between Meetings. During the interview, Thomas shared his experiences of doing business in China, including the changes he has seen in the business landscape over the past decade, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transformation in his client base. 


  • Doing business in China requires a different approach compared to western countries
  • Innovation i...
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I interviewed Cheng Fu on the latest episode of Between Meetings where he talked about his transformation from a backend developer to a business unit lead. We also discussed Builtopia and its benefits for SMEs and the challenges in the Metaverse industry.


  • I put in diligent effort and smart strategies to attain my opportunities
  • I had a well-structured career plan
  • I understood that sacrifices were necessary for growth
  • I joi...
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I interviewed Shameen Prashantham on the latest episode of "Between Meetings." We discussed the inspiration behind his book "Gorillas Can Dance" and explored the complexities of startup-corporate collaboration. Shameen shared valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs and how CEIBS is grooming the next generation of leaders.


  • What I’ve seen as constant is recognition of the importance of innovation...
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We discussed Vincent's family business, the concept of sustainability in fashion, perceptions of social entrepreneurship, and the role of technology in a sustainable fashion. He shared the story of REMAKEHUB and offered advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.


  • We are going from a linear to a circular model
  • What is considered sustainable today may not be considered sustainable in the future
  • Many things come from unexpected...
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We discussed Cyril's background and experiences as an entrepreneur, the changes and developments in eCommerce in recent years, the use of key opinion leaders (KOLs) in marketing, and the challenges Chinese brands face when expanding globally, among other related topics. 


  • I started in China because it was cheap
  • Admin part of the entrepreneurship journey never bothers me
  • In terms of the business model you ne...
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  • Coca-Cola and Disney in China are still a bit different from Coca-Cola and Disney in the US
  • Act local
  • You have to be agile to product-market fit
  • Find a team that is a mission-driven
  • Execute. Win. Celebrate
  • Les Mills works with over 2000 gyms and clubs in China
  • 70 m people who regularly exercise in China, which is 5% of the total population
  • To fit the local market we need to develop content tailored more toward beginners


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  • As I got older I just did not feel I could have the impact that I wanted to have
  • We sweat and we connect
  • As a generation, we are moving less than ever before
  • Make movement a fundamental human right
  • Movement is medicine
  • If you don’t have guanxi and you are not working with local bureaus and local governments you gonna hit a wall of resistance that I don’t think you can get passed
  • External accountability: do not go alone!
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  • East and West work cultures are very much built on relationship
  • In Hong Kong, the teams work around the clock
  • We have been training these models with historical data, data that created a lot of social disparity and biases, and inherited inequality
  • ESG becomes a little bit more of a marketing conversation and branding
  • The real work comes after you know what your North Star is
  • I hope more people can see the long-term impact ...
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  • Quite a fair amount of international insurance companies are not making much money in China
  • We are counting on the high-net-worth local population eventually will get insured
  • Healthcare cost is really expensive in Shanghai
  • Local players put a lot of effort into digitalization
  • Insurance is still a very traditional industry
  • People are looking for more globally portable solutions
  • Teleconsultation and AI Underwriting are disrup...
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  • Group classes are on the rise
  • Localization is key to the success of the American tech company in China
  • More boutique studios with professional couches coming in 
  • In China, there is still a very low penetration rate for the fitness industry 
  • Traditional big open-space gyms are struggling with their current business models focusing only on long-term membership
  • ClassPass in 30 countries, but only in China ClassPass operates i...
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  • Part of the formula to scale innovations is working with key people 
  • Asia’s biggest advantage is a huge blank slate
  • You can think of blockchain as an infrastructure of infrastructures 
  • We live in very unique times, the most disruptive, interesting, impactful moments in the history of humanity 
  • 10 years of fintech road happened in the space of a year in change over COVID

Prof. Michael Sung is a technology venture build...

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  • Looking at the economic situation, the speed, and the drive that China had, all I could see was an opportunity 
  • Our focus is on creating great client experience and understanding this fast-changing market
  • We work with Western brands to identify how they can stay true to the core and at the same time be sensitive to the local market
  • Our job is to absorb the differences and to facilitate productive collaboration and coopera...
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💡 Through technology you can create little tools to enhance a creative expression. 

💡 I am not educated to educate other people. 

💡 When you are a retailer you grow either by acquiring new customers or by making existing customers more profitable. And those two things are becoming harder to do for home furniture. 

💡 Everything that surrounds us has the opportunity to be better. 

💡 Here you are able to launch things that ...

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💡 Carve your own path

💡 Languages shaped my passion to go and explore different places

💡 In the last few years, innovation has had to lean and point almost directly towards China

💡 Innovation moved from something that was on the edge, things people thought about as something new and different, it moved into the center where everybody should be thinking about innovation

💡 Innovation is a way of thinking

💡 Innovation is a ...

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💡 Every day we change forever

💡 Working for corporates teaches you processes, how to work with big teams, how to allocate resources

💡 You cannot check for understanding when you share training or communication piece 

💡 We find it difficult to convince Chinese companies that we are a better service provider than domestic companies 

💡 We see a lot of localization in recent years in China

💡 A lot of our multinational client...

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