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March 29, 2010

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Phillips boss a hit with district and workers

ALL my work colleagues are my friends, so I am happy to celebrate my 37th birthday with them in Shanghai," said Michael Roubouts, director of Phillips Electronics Shanghai Co Ltd, as he shared a birthday dinner and cake with his employees.

Roubouts was assigned by head office to his Jiading post in June 2007 and since then he has not only been celebrated with an award as the best manager in Jiading but also been made an honorary citizen of Malu Town.

Like other expatriates, he experienced a little culture shock on first arriving and settling into Shanghai but it was made easier by local people's warmth in helping him feel at home.

"Shanghai has a huge population, much more than the total population of my country, Holland, and they're really united," he said.

He feels fortunate to have been in China, not only attending the 2008 Olympic Games but also having a chance to visit the coming World Expo in May.

"People here are so enthusiastic and trying their best to make everything perfect. I am so moved by their spirit and I think the Expo will certainly be successful."

Roubouts was invited to join the 600-day countdown ceremony in Jiading on behalf of the district's foreign population.

"I believe the Expo will be a successful, wonderful and unforgettable event and will invite my colleagues and friends from Europe to visit," he said.

As a director of Phillips Electronics Shanghai for the past two years, Roubouts has not only introduced the latest European techniques and management concepts to the company, but also set up a good working relationship with employees, thus enabling the company to develop dramatically.

The company sustained its growth during the recent global financial crisis.

Roubouts has worked for Phillips for almost 14 years, rising through the ranks to director level and gaining an understanding of the importance of hard work and the application of technology.

He cannot understand why so many young employees quit the job so easily, and often says to them: "Work harder on what you are doing now so you can get a promotion in the company."

As a new Shanghai-lander, Roubouts feels comfortably at home in Jiading. "Now I act like a local, and it is very convenient here," he said.

He has a keen interest in Chinese cooking, so he often invites his friends to dinner to show off his most favorite dish - steamed fish.

"Wow, it tastes so good," he said, giving the thumb-up sign, "and the key point is that it is both healthy and delicious."

Although, Roubouts normally eats with his colleagues in the company's canteen, his breakfast regime remains bread and milk as usual.


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