Lane Crawford Trailblazer

Thinking big

These days, it’s hard to get anywhere without hearing the phrase “Uber on” as a means of getting around. With the transportation network company recently making its first foray into Beijing and Hong Kong, we sat down with Sam Gellman, Uber Hong Kong’s General Manager, to chat about China’s growth, travelling the world and the power of connectivity.

a Chance

I moved to Hong Kong with Goldman Sachs in 2006 and after six years, I got a bit of an itch to try something new. I had a lot of friends in Silicon Valley from my days at Stanford and ended up meeting the CEO of Uber through my network. At the time, Uber were only operating in five cities in North America, so the chance to become their first employee outside of the US was an incredible opportunity.

Going Global

China has become entirely global. Our riders from all over the world spend time there and want safe, reliable, comfortable transportation options. They were asking for Uber before we arrived. China is also at the forefront of technology in a lot of ways and making the future become reality at a startling pace. It’s a place where people want to be on the cusp of what’s new and advanced.

Photo by Sam Gellman

Connecting Communities

So much of our days are spent figuring out where we need to go and how to get there, so at its core, Uber brings cities and the people within it together.

Photo by Sam Gellman

Dual Life

In 2008 I was travelling to Cambodia and on the way to the airport, I stopped at a shop to buy an entry-level SLR. It very quickly grew into a hobby, and eventually a full-on passion. I started to take weekends to travel and build up a portfolio of travel photography shots, and after a trip to North Korea, the BBC, Huffington Post, Wired and many other publications picked up my photography.

Photo by Sam Gellman

Photographic Memories

Myanmar and North Korea both gave me such mind-bending glimpses into an entirely different world from everything I had known. I went to Myanmar in 2010 when it was still under a military dictatorship. The contrast between the incredibly friendly people living under such difficult situations left a lasting impression. It is such a beautiful country which – combined with the uniqueness of the people – was a perfect place to take pictures.

Photo by Sam Gellman

Personal Style

Collared shirts, sweaters and blazers became my go-to style when I was setting up Uber in Europe. Like a lot of men, I owe a lot of it to my fiancée, who has a knack for shopping for me. In Asia it can be hard to keep that look given how hot it is here, so I try to keep a style that still feels relaxed but refined.

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2014-08-20 00:04:00.0