After working in strategy consulting and corporate roles for over 13 years, I’ve chosen to take some time off. Read more about who I am and my reasons for leaving the rat race.
Who I am
Leaving the Rat race to find what matters
My family was entrepreneurial not by choice, but by circumstance. As first generation Chinese immigrants, my parents came to The Netherlands to pursue a better life. Without a formal education and without speaking the local language, this better life came in the form of hospitality.
I’ve had the privilege to attend a bilingual high school (International Baccalaureate). After high school, I studied International Business at Tilburg University.
After my getting the Bachelor’s degree I went to work for Oracle in Ireland as a business development consultant. After a year, I went back to university for Master’s degrees in Strategic Management and Supply Chain Management.
At Capgemini Consulting, I worked on projects for clients in diverse industries. From financial services to materials, from pharma to logistics, from industrial equipment to lighting. The team I worked in specialized in what we called ‘business model innovation’:“How can your company make more money in a different way?”.
After three years, I was headhunted to work for Simon-Kucher & Partners, a strategy and marketing consulting firm specialized in pricing, a niche in which they were and still are the best. Here I had the privilege to work with clients in software, media, professional services, ingredients, heavy machinery and many more. How to price butter, how to price memberships, how to price software, how to price a certificate, how to price a piece of machinery; there were so many client cases I have had the opportunity to work on. Simon-Kucher’s consultants were super thorough, very detailed oriented and laser-focused on how to make more money for their clients. To this day, I believe I still benefit from having learned to structure, be precise and meticulous to that level.
Five years passed and along came an opportunity at eBay to lead the Pricing Center of Excellence for all platforms globally. The next three years I would be working in countries across the world and for brands with each their own unique characteristics: from cars to real estate, from general classifieds to pets, from Sydney to San Francisco and from South Africa to the UK. I recruited a team of specialists (all former Simon-Kucher consultants), and ran price increase projects, designed pricing and packaging for new propositions, redesigned and launched pricing and packaging for existing propositions, conducted commercial due diligence, ran (post-acquisition) commercial integration and redesigned sales strategies. It was a dynamic time, not only in a geographical and cultural sense, but also in the breadth of the commercial spectrum that we ran projects on.
Then two catalyst events occurred: One, the COVID-19 pandemic and two, eBay Classifieds Group, the department I worked for, was up for sale. I think the pandemic has had a major impact differently for different groups of people. My younger relatives and friends were struggling as social distancing rules and COVID-19 lockdowns took away many of the opportunities to meet up with friends and just have fun. However for me personally, I experienced the pandemic as time to reflect and time to unwind.
Perhaps it’s a coming-of-age thing or just simply an early mid-life crisis, but the nagging question in the back of my mind has become louder with time: Is this it? With the not very attractive prospect of kind of having to start over in the company that acquired eBay Classifieds Group, I decided it was a good idea to spend some time on reflecting on that question.
In October 2021, I resigned from eBay (now Adevinta). I am spending time on my own passion projects that I have left to collect dust over the years, some of which you can find on the ‘Ventures’ page. The prospect of what some would call “doing nothing” for an extended, undefined period of time gives me peace of mind that is detached from daily todo lists, which just feels great. I’m very aware and very grateful for having the privilege of being able to take the time to kind of “do nothing” for a while.
Even though I’m focusing on my own projects. I still get excited about commercial and pricing problems and questions. I’m happy to take time off from “doing nothing” for a pricing project or two, if we have chemistry and if I think I can make a significant impact on your business. Please see the Consulting section below to see whether I can be of help.
What I’ve done
My most recent role was Group Head of Pricing at eBay Classifieds Group (acquired by Adevinta in June 2020), where I led commercial and pricing excellence for all marketplaces worldwide including Mobile.de, Marktplaats, Gumtree, eBay Motors US, Bilbasen.
Prior to eBay, I was a Director at Simon-Kucher & Partners in Amsterdam, where I provided consulting services in various industries including software, media, manufacturing, chemicals, ingredients and professional services.
Before joining Simon-Kucher & Partners, I worked as a Senior Consultant at Capgemini Consulting advising clients on business model innovation in industries including life sciences, consumer goods, pharma, financial services and logistics.
I have over 13 years of experience working for clients across the globe, including clients in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, China, Japan, India and Australia. I hold master’s degrees in Strategic Management and Supply Chain Management from Tilburg University.
experience at a glance
Simon-Kucher & Partners
Tech & Software
Chemicals & Materials
Food & Ingredients
What I’m working on today
In 2020 I set out to try something: Create a website/blog and share articles on pricing.
I had been collecting news articles on pricing since I started working at Simon-Kucher & Partners. Why? It always came in handy to have relevant and recent pricing strategy examples for inspiration and benchmarking.
The result: A website with a growing number of curated articles on pricing categorised and searchable for anyone interested in pricing.
Visit pricesquad.io here
Did you know that in the Netherlands the ‘fresh’ fish that you find in the refrigerators is actually defrosted and could have been caught up to 2 years ago?
I sure did not! After finding out I wanted to try to find local farmers to buy groceries from directly, but it wasn’t easy to find them.
Burgerzoektboer.nl makes it easy for consumers to find local farmers. The website is run by volunteers and already has mapped out >3000 farmers in the Netherlands by location, product category and even opening times.
Visit burgerzoektboer.nl here