Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dubai Bash - Photo Blog

There is so much written and said about traveling to Dubai. What more can I say?
Maybe how I felt or what all I saw?
So I have decided to cover this travel journey via photo blog – the pictures I clicked as I was exploring this land.

So I was traveling with my lovely family – Dad, Mom & baby sister. This was planned to celebrate my birthday in Dubai. Sounds so fancy right? Our family is ;)

Here I am looking at my flight from the HK airport – All I was doing was being thankful to God, because I was almost in the verge of missing my flight. ..but I made it!
We took our metro passes on 20th Jan & decided to explore the city. Few bullet points to describe Dubai:
  • Sky raised buildings
  • People from all over the world – Truly International
  • Lots of good-looking people
  • Expensive cars
  • Rich People
We entered the Desert - Sand Boarding and the ride was something I can’t forget… now I don’t want to ride on the roads anymore ;)
My parents were more daring than me when it came to camel riding…yes you can laugh at me.
 Some amazing performance – belly dancing, fireman, dancing horse show
Hina Tatoo  & BBQ Dinner
Burj Al Arab I am coming. The sea was so clean and blue I didn’t feel like leaving that place.
Atlant Hotel – Nothing great just a hotel on a man made island. Well I know it’s a dream for most.. but how about a house on a palm island.
Burj Khalifa – My heart was beating fast as we were going on the 126th Floor. And when we reached the view was mesmerising
Look whose posing?
We drove to Abu Dhabi and visited Grand Mosque of Sheikh Zayed. I wore a burqa to enter & I loved the entire experience & felt so peaceful.
Dubai has to be magical. U know why? Because this land is not a desert any more. It rained when we visited the Miracle garden.
The only place on this earth where we can talk about golden carpets
Global Village where u can taste & buy anything from any country you want.
Spice Souk Dubai – Each Day has a color, a smell
You want to feel the culture of Dubai – take a Dubai creek boat ride. 
If you want to experience more of the culture – try hunting & tasting camel milk & meat.

Last not the least – I was totally distracted and in a way really amused to see how the local people dress up in Dubai.
It was time to say goodbye to Dubai. We always have a build up perception about a particular place or people ..what I can say is travel so that you know how it will challenge and break all our perceptions.
Dubai inspired me in a way that makes me believe that one must not wait for things to happen.. make things happen. Create your own beautiful life & take full control of it. You can achieve any heights, Dream Big!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dear 2016!

Dear 2016,
I welcomed you with a great bang along with the people I loved the most in my life. I didn’t expect much & I really don’t remember asking you anything or wishing anything very specific. Because, I was happy then and didn’t want to change anything.

You got me to china and threw so many challenges at me. But they never looked like a challenge, because I was strong, because this was the choice I made consciously and I till date never regret.

You gave me the best family, friends & career, I could ever ask for. You also gave me uncertainties that I was dealing with. You gave me love, but you caged me in it. You said live with it or set yourself free.

You took me to so many new places and most of the time the hotels became my house.  I forgot the definition of home, but you kept me safe everywhere I went.

You gave me new friends who will be part of my life forever.  Made me realized how beautiful I am and vulnerable.  Gave me a peaceful job that I never had in my past 9 years. I felt like I was living.

You got me tears when I saw my loving world that I created falling all apart. The dreams I had were not going to be real. You got me the courage to get out of the struggle in search of a new faith & experience.

You taught me that life is going to be uncertain and I have to be ready for it. You saw me falling badly, but you also assured I had people to pull be back to a happy land.

If I look back I wanna say thanks for all the experiences, thanks for the memories, thanks for keeping me alive & giving me a hope that no matter what at the end it's going to be ok.

You know I lost, but you found a new hope for me
You know I lost faith, but you helped me believe in goodness
You know I was away from my home, but you gave me a new paradise
You know I was missing my friends, you gave me new best ones
You know I cried, but you also made me laugh
You know it was not easy, but you made me stronger
You know I lost love, but you found it again for me

You made me realize that I need to get better with every passing day… and in 2017 I will do everything that will keep me happy.

If sky is the limit, I have achieved it. This is a reminder to myself for 2017 that whatever I will aim I can achieve it. So I won't stop dreaming big

2017, I already know that you are going to be awesome and that I will be truly happy. 
Happy New Year!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

50 reasons why I love China

It’s in total 6 months of me living in China & I have gathered these below 50 reasons why I love my stay in china. All the below reasons are based on my experiences that I have encountered living in Shenzhen & Beijing:
  1. Getting all the attention in public places for being a foreigner
  2. Kids staring at me as If I am an alien
  3. Random strangers asking if I am from India with lots of excitement
  4. Strangers  Complimenting “You are beautiful”
  5. At tourist places young & old people's asking for picture with them – making you feel someone important
  6. At metro strangers taking pictures of me as If I don’t come from this planet
  7. If I was ever lost & asked people for directions…they have walked me down to my destination to assure I don’t get lost.
  8. That big smile on the driver's face when I hop in his taxi
  9. Connected with our Local police officer on Wechat …now he is just a ping away in case I get into any situation.
  10. My team back in office that spoils me & are there to always support me.
  11. Joy & fun in learning Chinese
  12. The eyes which sparkle when I say some words in Chinese to my vegetable vendor
  13. Making new friends coming from all over the world & learning more about their culture
  14. Weekend events -  Workshop,  tech/ startup meetups.
  15. Getting to buy electronics from the city which is called the silicon valley for hardware
  16. Having the coolest boss who is inspiring as a women leader
  17. My Chinese friends who look forward to eat Indian curries cooked by me
  18. When people in china talk so rich about Indian culture & bollywood..,making me feel so proud of the land I belong!
  19. Making genuine new friends and exploring new places in the city
  20. Reliable & easy public transportation which give me more time for myself
  21. Clean beaches & green parks to cycle around
  22. City which believes a lot in recycling & up cycling
  23. Money when you donate plastic bottles in this machine
  24. Wechat – not only for communication but for money transaction & translations
  25. mWallet – no worries of losing money or thrift
  26.  Korea, Japan, Philippines are now easy and cheap vacation destinations.   
  27. Why worry about Google apps not supportive in China when we have apps like Baidu maps, Weibo, WeChat which are way too perfect.
  28. Helpful people all around
  29. Too many options for vegan restaurants
  30. Feeling so safe let it be any time in the day or night.
  31. Freedom to wear whatever you want – as people around give Zero F***
  32. Chinese are amazingly hospitable and more sensitive towards others
  33. From the Great Wall of China to Buddhist temples – china surprises me with its rich culture.
  34. Diverse Landscape
  35. Chinglish – The way Chinese translate single words or full sentences is just too funny
  36. The Chinese doctors prescribe herbs for any ailment and it really works
  37. Random Silliness
  38. Street & talent show
  39. There is always lot of food, alcohol & fireworks with some breath-talking performance talking place all over china
  40. Old couples in evenings practicing dance moves keeping their love alive and making attempts to stay young as they exercise while dancing
Cheese Cake, Avocado, Ackee Fruits, Green tea, traditional music of China, sunny Climate, cute chinese kids, sports clubs, English & Chinese corners. 

Having said that I still have lots to explore in Mainland China. At this time, I am great full for all that I experience here in China & cheers for more 50 reasons that I will explore in the coming months.

Friday, August 26, 2016

This & That Shenzhen

All that it takes to keep our city clean
Tech Expo
Why do we prefer our phones over real human interaction?
You will find artist all around the town
This is how a veggie like me survives in Shenzhen.
No matter what time it is .... lets work towards staying fit 
Learning the art of eating with Chinese chopsticks
Street Dancers & Hipsters

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rebag: Suitability Design Story

I happened to hear Yi Wang today who is a social enterprise working on sustainability fashion. She is an inspiring woman who has founded Rebag. Here is her story:
What is Rebag?
Rebag is a social enterprise and creative accessories brand which discovers and integrates different elements of fabric, techniques, and accessories across culture and regions.
How do they make Rebag products?
It's through upcycling process which is higher than recycling. The goal is to make current things better than it was before. They not only use used products but also products from access inventory from clothing brands or online stores like Tmall, Allibaba etc.
They re-innovate, re-design to build handbags, phone cases & laptop bags. While in this making journey they engage with social workers, craftsman, designers to promote green life practices & build value added products.
The vision of Rebag?
Yi wants to see rebag become a platform in 5 to 6 years where if you have an old jeans and put this in the rebag the platform can suggest it be redesigned  & produced to be a pillow, bag, purse, pouch, toy etc. A platform for sustainability believers to remake products.
How do they sell?
Online – through their website
Offline – flee markets, clothing fairs, etc

Her advice about building a team?
Hire people who are passionate about your vision
Skilled people who are ready to go through the ups & downs with you in this startup journey
Never compromise when you are trying to hire people as there are talented people out there.
Current business & distribution challenges:
Driving traffic to the website, making the product count as a fashion brand, reaching out to people with the brand vision, figuring out shipping expenses, profit margins and dealing with operational cost.
Current marketing challenges?
Saying the story of the brand, driving traffic to the website. Making people love the products & showcasing it as a fashion accessory.

Her inspirational story:
“We started as clothes refashioning company with jobs of dignity and moved on to become a creative design brand which believes that sharing stories of people and culture behind our accessories products brings inspiration and empowerment.”

She believed that the world needs to embrace sustainability. Thus she started up with Rebag.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Highlights: Start-up Your E-Commerce Business in China

This week I happened to attend a Seminar on how to get started with eCommerce in China for foreigners. I have got you some key highlights of the event & some not so good snaps of the keynote, but useful ones :-)
Despite the opportunities that the fast growth of e-commerce presents to Foreign SME’s to access or expand their operations in China Market, there is still a lack of understanding concerning the establishment, development and maintenance of an online business. In this context, the set-up of an e-commerce platform should be tailor-made to attract online shoppers’ appeal, without overlooking China’s online legal and tax framework.
China loves foreign brands, but you need to consider the logistic part of where to import your products & how much tax you are supported to pay to the china government to assure you get the best price into the market & yet make your profit.
Real cases will be used to simulate this journey, from the ideas conception to the execution, as well as the daily back-office operations of running an online shop. This seminar aims at showcasing the tools that a company needs to successfully run an online business. During the seminar direct and practical questions will be presented and covered, such as:
You should ask the right questions before you start you business:
- Are my products or services suitable for online business? 
- What are the steps to take in order to open an online store? 
- Can I open and run an online shop if I only have a representative company?
- What kind of web designs do Chinese customers like?
- How do I promote online?
- How do I handle online transactions and what payment options do I have?
- Will my company be facing double taxation?
- How does it work with invoicing? - Where should I store my stock?
Last not the least - the Proz & Cons of getting started in China market:
1. China user base is very big, an interesting market which you can't ignore.
2. Instead of starting your own eCommerce website, use the china market place. Get started with TMall.com
3. Always work with Chinese vendors to get an easy start.Use Chinese marketing tools & langues to reach out to locals.
4. China government rules are very dynamic and are very different. Obey them to survive.