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Aug 16, 2020

In this episode we interview Jay Thornhill, Co-Founder of Baopals, a one-stop service for expats’ online shopping needs in China. Jay’s entrepreneurial journey started in his friends’ apartment in Shanghai 5 years ago, where they bootstrapped the business from the ground up. Baopals now has over 30 employees and is the leading service provider for expats in China to shop on Taobao and JD.

Show Notes:

  • Jay’s China journey - starting with a one-year English teaching contract that turned into a 12-year stay in Shanghai.
  • Jay came to China for the experience, but stayed for the hustle.
  • What is Baopals and how does the platform work.
  • How Jay and his two co-founders (also best friends) came to the idea of Baopals.
  • How Jay and his co-founders bootstrapped Baopals from their apartment, without outside funding nor a real office.
  • The biggest early challenges the team faced at Baopals, and how they overcame them.
  • Baopals’ plans for international expansion, and whether or not Alibaba will buy them!
  • Jay’s insights on managing people and building a positive and productive company culture.
  • Baopals’ transition to full remote working after the pandemic, and how Jay did it.
  • Taboos about working with your best friends, and how it was not a problem for Jay and his co-founders.

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