Feeling The Needs Of People Chengdu Reviews
Nov 09, 2007
The general manager of Maxxelli Real Estate Chengdu can perhaps best be described as a life-long traveller. His world explorations began during adolescence. Firstly through Europe and subsequently onto a multitude of further flung destinations that include all of Latin America, Siberia, Mongolia, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Peter Kuppens speaks English, Dutch, German, Norwegian and Spanish. Superb customer service and interpersonal skills have been polished through previously representing the distinguished Mercedes-Benz prestigious car company. Peter regards himself as someone who became free by travelling. Being now in Chengdu is all about acting as a platform for others intent on achieving personal success and realizing their own individual or family dreams. A deep trust of Chinese continually creates exciting new opportunities for all concerned.
The recent split second passing of Peter’s fifty seven year old future father-in-law has had a huge emotional impact. Attending the funeral at one of the two government operated crematoriums in Chengdu resulted in sentiments to fiancée Vivian Wang that more had been learnt about China in those few days than maybe in the last year. What westerners would not normally realize is that ten people exit this realm of departure at the same time. With all the corpses in one big courtyard, families go to their respective altars. It’s quite bizarre to experience different crying groups almost passing through each other to the next ceremonial phase. The bureaucratic “pay as you go” system would not be so impersonal if it could be attended to either one day before or after these final moments on Earth. Unfortunately, Vivian’s father won’t of course be able to witness her wedding.
The blue-eyed Dutchman that grew up on a farm near the Belgium border carries in his wallet a picture of this Chengdu beauty with a doctorate in medicine. He lovingly refers to his bride-to-be as gorgeous and emancipated in her mentality. Possessing a natural talent for business, Vivian is now working together with her European entrepreneur even though her mother would like (as many Chinese parents do) to see her little girl in university for the rest of her life. With fingers in many commercial pies, this soon to be husband and wife team has various corporate ventures on the go. Not speaking Chinese and believing that local people are his base - his eyes and ears – Peter Kuppens is training staff over the next three or four years to profitably run Maxxelli, thus allowing him as fifty per cent owner and general manager to also concentrate on other business interests.
If time and money permit, making a documentary about China would be one project. Tons of information and thousands of pictures have already been collected. Commercial affairs and travelling combine well here in Sichuan. Another interesting involvement is the one hundred per cent ownership of Red Tulip, a group of companies associated with models, entertainment and consultancy. As a matter of fact, Red Tulip started as a joke when a French student was in need of help with his modelling assignments. Peter had characteristically different feelings when his philanthropic side empathized with the many foreigners being cheated by doing this type of work and not being paid, or being stood up when arriving for prearranged modelling sessions. Red Tulip successfully takes better care of contracts, fapios (official receipts) and models. Other advantages also arise.
Maxxelli Real Estate gains flow-on benefits from Red Tulip. It appears to be the best marketing tool at hand. Big builders that Maxxelli would never otherwise get close to, make contact through the modelling agency for other reasons. It’s a pleasantly enormous surprise. One American investor is going to inject half a billion dollars into a major property development within the next two years. If this goes ahead, it will upgrade the Chengdu market with a single project. An expert art trader from the Netherlands wants to sell European art in China. He has the capital and is looking for a suitable location and potential partners to cooperate with. This idea appeals immensely to Peter Kuppens. So much so that he is even considering a fifty per cent stake for himself. Anyone else with similar desires can initiate communication via the Maxxelli office in Chengdu.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have been connecting Europe and Sichuan since 2006. Direct flights taking nine hours and forty five minutes are available between Amsterdam in Holland and Chengdu for the amazing amount of 5,000 RMB (approximately 500 Euro or $US625). This amount is for return (two way) travel and includes taxes. With a seven hour time difference (or six hours in summer), you can leave Shuangliu International Airport at 3pm and arrive at Schiphol around 6pm the same day. Understandably proud of his mother country, Peter freely speaks of when he and Vivian last took this journey. It was fantastic to see how a Chengdu native picked out what she wanted to see abroad. In the space of a fortnight, the cities visited were Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Maarstrich, Brussels, and Paris for New Year. The open air was great, but Sichuan food was missing.
In a similar vein, it is possible to encounter the thrill of travelling all over again when foreign family and friends set foot on Middle Kingdom soil. For a seasoned globetrotter, the fresh invigorating sense of a “Wow!” is the essential ingredient to rekindle any forgotten or dormant wanderlust. Chengdu is infectious. It is a very easy place to receive guests. Off the cuff, our featured businessman can name ten people that he has been directly involved with that now live here. One graphic designer friend sold his house in Holland, and moved after a vacation visit for two weeks last summer. Peter Kuppens is in the business of working with people. His life is centered on them, and he knows that a certain feeling is what is mostly sought. Being able to feel that need and internationally market Chengdu in an honest way to those beginning anew, brings plenty of satisfaction.
Expatriate writer Warren Rodwell has been in China since 2002, and teaches university postgraduates in Chengdu. Many of his feature stories, reviews & photographs have been published online or in hardcopy media form. Warren also narrates documentaries and administers various websites as part of his efforts to promote Chengdu & Sichuan culture(s) more globally.
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