How is it like to be on business trip?

So, what do you do for living?

When people ask what do I do for work, usually the reply is "international business development for medical device company". And they are like "hmm, sounds advanced, you must travel a lot.." And quite often they think it is very cool. It can be, but it is not as simple as much fun. Business is business and let me share experience I have had so far over past almost two years.
presentation of Hand of Hope at MEDICA exhibition, Nov'15
I work in rehabilitation robotics industry, which is also in the category of "sunrise industry". In the whole world you find around 20 companies, which claim they do rehabilitation robots, but actually there are less than 10. In the past 16 month we have been three times to Germany, went also to Indonesia, Russia, Singapore, Brazil, Spain, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Romania, Italy, Greece, Belgium, the USA (also twice), UAE, Thailand, Israel, Ethiopia, Egypt and Turkey. Till end of November I am expected to visit Germany two more times. In total there are like 20+ countries. Last year I also went to India for The Economist India Summit for one day. A lady at the airport: "Are you really going to India for one day? You should have a good dinner there". Two days later got a flight from Hong Kong to the USA.
Visiting Loewensteni Hospital Rehabilitation Center, the largest rehabilitation center in Israel with more than 50 years of experience.

Go Global

Working with unique, innovative and advanced technology - Hand of Hope system - is fun. This is sEMG-driven robotic hand exoskeleton that helps people to recover after brain injury or stroke. It is a meaningful business, which brings value to the people. And we are doing it globally together with an international team - we got people from Hong Kong, China Mainland, Malaysia, Nepal, UK; during last summer we had Canadian and Indian interns, this summer we have two people from Pakistan. It is global not only in terms of the team, but in terms of countries and people we approach as potential partners. I work with both Americas (North & South), Eastern Europe & CIS, Middle East and India. There are success stories to tell and failures to learn from.

#selfie with Sarit, one of the mornings in early Feb'16, Tel-Aviv area, Israel

How is it like?

Many people believe that travelling is cool. I believe that personal travelling when you are on the vacation is cool. When you are on business trip - let's face it - you are on business trip. You need to work and often a lot harder than when you are in office. On September trip to the USA I was up like at 4 am in Florida to catch with emails coming from Hong Kong about the arrangement of delivery of goods to Spain and Italy, about payment from Greece, arrangement of exhibition in Germany, hiring freelancer for social media, arrangement appointments during upcoming exhibition in Japan. Then we with business partner were out for whole day meeting people - therapists, patients, partners, doing demonstrations. Then came back like at 7 pm or 8 pm to the room. Again emailing and follow up. Sometimes I reached those stages of being tired when literally can not move. I lay down on bed to rest and brain just tells: "No, Sergii, this is enough". Even I want to move hand in the better position - I couldn't.
Introduction of Hand of Hope at one of the hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand'16
At the end after whole day spent at exhibition hall - all I want is to put something into stomach (sometimes people call it "food"), get back to hotel and sleep. Five days later at the airport on the way back with thoughts "Zeus, is it Really Already Done"?
ArabHealth, Dubai, Jan'16. Hairstyle was inspired by Einstein and jet-lagged night.
Several times I fall into slept with computer in the bed (not watching anything). Once a friend of mine asked when was last time to the cinema. And I was like: "Emm, don't remember". And he was answering: "Wuh, you are so boring". Meh.
with Hani, business partner in Egypt, Feb'16

Can do

To give a credit, of course I can always grab 2-3 hours or even night to explore a new place. Always try to do so with colleagues. We are going to museum if got time on the day of departure. Once in Singapore I stood in the crowd for 6 hours over the night at the Parliament House to pay respect to Lee Kuan Yew, who just passed away. Got back to hotel at 5 am and at 9 am I was at exhibition hall doing demos and discussing business with potential clients. Also I meet awesome people, entrepreneurs, patients, therapists - try to help them, understand what they need and find common ground for working together. 
Istanbul, Turkey, Jan'16
Business trips are meant to be a lot about the actual business and work and can have a part of the travel. I guess the best thing of it is I can learn and understand the world and other people better. And yet see the places. 

Nikko, Japan, Oct'15


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