Who am I?
I'm a Civil Engineer and MBA, German national, born 1955, thus with corresponding experience.
In 2018 I opted for voluntary early retirement, which I very much enjoy, with no regrets. But my curiosity in doing business is still alive, and so I am open for a wake-up call on a project base, provided the fun factor is given.
Most of my working life I spent in a German "Mittelstand" company, being in charge for export of investment goods to Asia and Latin America. My home is the road and bridge sector. Most of my business experience is with Chinese and the Chinese market, and among others I have been the position of a Legal Representative of a so called WOFE (Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise) in China for more than 20 years. With my Chinese language skills I was able to deeply enter the Chinese way of doing business, and yes perhaps I can say that China has become my second home. Although, I am definitely not in honeymoon with the Chinese state.
Over the years I have managed to enjoy and uphold a very trustful relationship with my Chinese partners, of which I am very proud. This relationship could be useful for future challenges.
Apart from China, I have quite some experience with doing business in India, Japan, Korea, Thailand. Not to forget Brasil.
And I love to travel. Traveling is more than a hobby for me, it is my passion. Traveling to little known regions, experiencing strange situations, mastering the unknown. You will find my stories in my travel section (many of them still in German, because usually I made them the introductory part of my travel reports that I had to file).
Apart from traveling, I try to play golf, which keeps me humble. Traveling and golf fill most of my life as a retired engineer, but I could imagine that some business challenge could add some flavour to my life. Not that I need it. It is more about satisfying a curiosity about dealing with business uncertainties. Admittedly however, now that I travel so much (see my posts), and as I get my dose of uncertainties from traveling to remote regions, my residual flirt with business uncertainties gets vaguer and vaguer.
In my view business in Asia is very much people oriented. I remember 2 major contracts early in my business life which I could sign almost simultaneously. One contract was with a British contractor operating in Asia, some 100 pages to initial, covering all ifs and elses. The other one with a Chinese customer, double in value, 2 pages. And it worked. More and more I liked the Chinese way. Which is not always easy, when selling that approach at home. Condition however is that you need to establish absolute trust with your partners out there. Knock on wood, I escaped relatively unharmed, but had to learn my lessons.