Born (1960) and raised in The Hague in a family of 6 children Peter at young age wanted to become an entrepreneur. His father and uncle had farm at Loosduinen and a wholesale meat plant at the...
Born (1960) and raised in The Hague in a family of 6 children Peter at young age wanted to become an entrepreneur. His father and uncle had farm at Loosduinen and a wholesale meat plant at the slaughterhouse in The Hague and every spare moment he try to make some pocket money to work at the slaughterhouse. School wasn’t his thing and after finishing the MAVO he start to work at a slaughterhouse in Roermond to learn the details of the profession. Upon return to The Hague he started to work for his father and uncle as GM. At the age of 23 he started his own meat whole sale company with the drive to make it in to one of the most modern one in the region. Peter always wanted to look further than the horizon and promised himself that every 10 years he wanted to change his goals. Next to his fast growing meat company he started an investment company to support startup companies with funds (max 50.000 Euro), accountancy, marketing and business development support. Over the years Peter and his partners had 9 companies up and running. Peter also, while he had his company, worked for banks to turn around companies in problem. Through his consultancy work Peter got involved with a franchise consultancy group named SWILION. In 1997 Peter sold his meat company and could fully focus on investments and new business developments through SWILION.
Peter got married with Marian (1981) and after 3 sons he and his wife filed for adoption and after 3.5 years procedures he and his wife traveled (1995) to China to bring back their daughter Annelie of 2.5. This was the first encounter with China and although they experienced a troublesome adoption procedure in China Peter and his wife fell in love with the country and the people straight away. At that time he wrote down in a diary that one day he will work and live in China.
Peter got involved in acquiring together with a group of investors the shares of a company called Polymarin. A company specialized in epoxy glass fiber products. They bought this company to prepare it to supply blades to the wind energy market. Through the Dutch wind turbine company Lagerwey, later known as EWT he got his first assignment to travel to Asia to find a suitable partner at the Chinese market. In 2005 Peter joined EWT as employee, his first job ever, and became Director Asia. For the years that follow Peter traveled to Asia frequently and learned specially the fine details of doing business in China. In 2007 he coordinated a marriage between the Dutch wind turbine company EWT and the Chinese Aerospace Group (China Academy of Launch and Vehicle Technology) which resulted in the sale of the first wind farm of 55 turbines, the setup of 2 manufacturing joint ventures in Inner Mongolia and the setup of a marketing and sales joint venture in Beijing. Both the Chinese and the Dutch partners asked Peter and his wife and daughter (2008) to move to China to become the CEO of the sales joint venture and the board member of the manufacturing joint ventures. A target and dream came true.
During the registration period of the companies, the setup and the operation Peter got the field experience and knowledge of working and living and China. He noticed that too many Western companies fail in China and that the easiest way is to blame this to China. His spare time he used to read all possible and relevant books about China and its rich history and by talking with many Chinese friends and partners he try to understand the way of doing business and living. Also due to the fact that Peter was able to work for a Chinese state-owned company for over 2 years as CEO of one of their companies he was able to learn and experience an unique inside within the state-owned kitchen.
Peter loves China and he knows you need to do this to live and work there. At the same time he more and more start to understand the message and intention and by this he wanted to use this knowledge to start his 16th company.
This company is called 1421. From 1421 to 1423, during the Ming Dynasty of China under Emperor Zhu Di (??), the fleets of Admiral Zheng He (??), commanded by the Chinese captains Zhou Wen (??), Zhou Man (??), Yang Qing (??), and Hong Bao (??), discovered Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Antarctica, and the Northeast Passage. In addition, they circumnavigated Greenland and tried to reach the North and South Poles. “1421 is the year that China discovered the world”.
These important events in history showed us that China had the means and the resources to explore the world beyond its own borders almost 600 years ago. Nowadays China is exploring the world again, but this time around primarily with the economic strength that it has built over the past 30 years.
Inspired by these events and by the signs of Chinese companies that are exploring business outside of China’s borders, Peter together with associates started the company Beijing 1421 Business Consulting (1421) to facilitate business development and relationships between China and the West. 1421 offers a one-stop solution to enterprises prior to and during their process of communicating and doing business with enterprises which do not share the same cultural/habit background.
In his presentations and workshops Peter shows the difference of cultures and habits and also points out why Western companies (90% within the first 3 years) fails in China. Peter can write books about companies who entered China with colonizing attitude and by this they couldn’t read the signs given by the Chinese.
Peter likes to share his knowledge to create understanding between the mutual cultures by showing the differences of habits and visions. Also Peter gives some solid tips and advice to use during the process.