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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Children’s Dental Paradise – CEIBS eLab Students Visit Orange Dental

November 30, 2019. Shanghai – As part of the CEIBS eLab’s Technology Entrepreneurship Camp, students enrolled in Professor Vincent Chang’s inaugural entrepreneurship course visited Orange Dental, a dental clinic chain founded by CEIBS MBA 2014 alumnus David Gao and his partners which focuses on dental care for children. Orange Dental was the focus of the Technology Entrepreneurship Camp class on “Customer Segmentation” taught by Orange Dental’s primary co-founder Ergai Ta.

During the course, students were introduced to the history of Orange Dental and how it turned its business around by applying customer segmentation and Blue Ocean strategy. Orange Dental was founded in 2015 by Ergai Ta (Stanford MBA, CEO) and David Gao (CEIBS MBA 2014, COO), together with a small group of other partners. Originally intended to be an all-around clinic with high-end service and efficient management techniques, Orange Dental found itself struggling by the end of 2016 as it failed to differentiate itself from its competitors in a fiercely competitive dental care market. The founders, however, managed to pull through and obtain new funding, and subsequently decided to focus on the children’s dental care market – a customer segment that had been neglected by other dental clinic chains due to low profit margins and difficulties in treating children. By the time their first children-focused clinic opened in Shanghai, there was already a long line-up outside their door. Their customer segmentation strategy succeeded and they have now opened 13 stores in 3 cities.

During the visit to Orange Dental, students were given the opportunity to tour around a dental clinic facility unlike any other – one with playground slides and a giant dinosaur sculpture around which children can play and relax before their dental treatment. Nurses and dentists at the clinic have also been specially trained to treat children using psychological techniques. A sharing session at Orange Dental included a chance for students to interact with one of the nurses, a dentist, and David himself. Students also observed some of the work being done at Orange Dental during their visit and were impressed by the differences in dentists’ communication with children compared with other clinics.

Students also raised many questions and engaged in some lively discussion with Orange Dental staff at the clinic. The visit piqued many students’ interest in entrepreneurship and served to demonstrate how building a service organisation based on serving the right customer segment is very important.

Willy Dai
Michael Donald Thede