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.
"The virtual reality industry in Chengdu has started to grow tremendously because one of the key skills of virtual reality comes out of gaming and software coding," said Gavin, "And Chengdu does well in that in China. There are very good resources in Chengdu, for example, the Chengdu Tianfu Software Park is the largest software park in China."
Gavin also spoke highly of the hi-tech industry in Chengdu. "It is very sophisticated and at the forefront of China and world." He attributes this to the city's highly-developed educational programs. There are 52 universities in Chengdu, which offer strong R&D support and hi-tech talent for its hi-tech industry. "Its pool of labor is well-educated and well suited for the development of the sector in China."
James added that he likes the local people's lifestyle in Chengdu. "I enjoy the life-work balance here. The people don't work for money. Money is obviously important, but it should not be the No.1 thing. I think Chengdu people understand that. They enjoy drinking tea and being together with their families and friends."
Gavin's Suggestions for Foreigners to Start Business in China
Gavin has published two books in China about starting business in China, The Way of the Dragon and Secrets of Success for Architects in China.
His suggestions for foreign entrepreneurs:
1. You need to be on the ground. Do not start a business until you stay in the city for at least six months, preferably a year. Spend time learning everything you need to know about the local economic and natural environment.
2. Truly understand Chinese Guanxi and build your Guanxi networks. You need to understand how relationships work in China, which is completely different from those in the western world. You have to know well about how to build relationships and networks, and use them.
3. Walk Slow and Run Fast. Walking slow means that you should develop a business deal carefully. It's a slow process because your business parnter has to take time to trust you and then gets interested in what you do. There are many things that happen before you do some business, but once the business moves forward, you have to really run fast to implement it.
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