Gavin Crombie: I've Realized My Dream in Chengdu

Authors: Feng Mi


23 years ago, Gavin Crombie came to Chengdu to pursue his China dream.
With Chengdu picking up speed to become an international metropolis, more and more entrepreneurs from across the world are coming to the city to start business. 23 years ago, Gavin Crombie, a New Zealander, came here to pursue his China dream. Headquartered in the city, Gavin's company Digital Frontier has had 10 offices worldwide so far, supplying products and services involving a full range of materials for 3D presentation, and those with VR technology.
A Family of Entrepreneurs
Gavin came to Chengdu after a failure in business in his home country. Now he has not only achieved success in his business but also in his personal life—he married his Sichuan wife, who is also his business partner. The couple started their business together back in 1999. "Her English is so good that we talk to each other in English all the time and I can't have as many chances to practise Chinese as I would like to," he quipped.
Gavin's son James Crombie is general manager of the company, and he moved to Chengdu in 2008. Then he met his Chengdu wife and settled down in the city.
Gavin's daughter also started her meat processing company in Chengdu, but after some time returned to New Zealand because her son went to high school.
A Chengdu Resident
As a long-time resident in Chengdu, Gavin made money in the city and contributed to the development of the city. He has developed a wide range of business connections, helped to bring many companies and institutions here and to promote Chengdu among foreigners. He was one of the candidates for the Honorary Citizen of Chengdu last year and has been invited by the Chengdu city government to apply for permanent residency in China.
As a foreign resident in Chengdu, Gavin offers advice to the government on how to make the city attractive to foreigners and serves as a consultant for the Chengdu Municipal Science and Technology Bureau.
"I also work for the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), trying to promote Chengdu to a large number of people."
A Perfect Place for Entrepreneurs
In Gavin's eyes, Chengdu is a perfect place for entrepreneurs. The Chengdu city government strongly supports hi-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. It has made tremendous efforts to develop the software industry and offered lots of preferential policies to foreign companies specializing in the sector.
Now Gavin's company has shifted its focus from 3D architectural design to the exciting virtual reality technology and products. It was very expensive to build a team. The city government gave them tax reduction to help build the team while they were in the development stage, and invited them to participate in exhibitions.
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