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Managing the Dragon: How I'm Building a Billion-Dollar Business in China Hardcover – March 18, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1990, the author left a successful Wall Street career at PaineWebber to take advantage of business opportunities in Asia. He had big-picture reasons: a desire for a new career direction and a general "Go East young man" sense, but little detailed knowledge and few plans. By 1994, he had moved to China and begun building an automobile components business, using capital raised privately in New York to buy majority stakes in existing Chinese factories and later to build his own. Today, his ASIMCO Technologies is a $500 million dollar company with a leading position in China and a growing global presence. At times it seems as if the author has little more than a can-do attitude and strong personal relationships with Chinese partners to surmount the many problems of a cross-cultural organization in a rapidly changing country with many impediments to modern business. In the end, more than any specific strategy it is mutual trust that makes things work,. This book can be read as an inspiring story of business success, a personal journey or a case study in building a business that combines the best features of global management and finance with Chinese entrepreneurial energy and talent. It's a good story with some valuable morals about making money and friends.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“If you want to do business in China, Jack Perkowski is your man. In Managing the Dragon he takes you into the heart of the Middle Kingdom and shows you the way with insight, humor, and the kind of practical advice an entrepreneur or a down-home tourist needs to navigate this fascinating and often bewildering colossus of a country.”
“I’ve just finished Managing the Dragon, which I thought was fantastic. I was riveted by it. I cannot believe what Jack Perkowski has accomplished and what an adventure he’s had, how he lived through it, how he’s succeeded, and how well written his book is. It reads somewhere between a novel, a how-to book, and a primer on a second business life in a developing country.”
“I love Jack Perkowski’s book. It tells, with some bravado and lots of humility, the firsthand story of a man who dared himself to move to China to seize upon the greatest economic boom of our age. Perkowski invites us into his world, into the blur of business meetings and friendships, hirings, firings, and onto China’s shop floors. He reveals what it took to build a world-class manufacturing company in a country where you need to set firm goals but reach them in an environment where the rules and circles of influence shift daily. Managing the Dragon is more than a manual, more than a memoir; it is a gift from a seasoned friend offering the keys to his wisdom and experience.”
—Ted C. Fishman, author of China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World
“Managing the Dragon is more than a great story about Jack Perkowski and his courage to move to the new frontier; it is a graduate degree in the trials, tribulations, and successes of starting from scratch in China. Jack captures the essence of doing business in China and turns it into a very compelling ‘how-to’ guide.”
—Timothy Manganello, CEO of BorgWarner, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Perkowski comes across as engaging, entertaining and very enjoyable to read in this book which weaves both personal anecdotes and a brief history of his and his company's experience in China into a book that provides useful insights and suggestions on how it should be done.
End of the day, the book is a decent combination of How to do Business in China and How I did Business in China. A good read
A worthwhile read before heading to China on business.
One of the first things to note is that there is not a large overlap between the authors of the books and those who are the businesspersons. No doubt, some good work is produced by those who are not in business. The best of them bring a holistic and multidimensional perspective to what is an extremely messy and complex topic, challenging their readers without depressing them and provoking them to explore solutions to their problems by thinking deeply and systematically about the situations that confront them. For every one of those, however, there are probably ten which are focused on presenting `ten easy ways to succeed in China'. While the latter purport to be `state of the art', `up to the minute' insights into China, most are, in fact, based on assumptions and concepts that were overturned or fundamentally changed years (in some cases, decades) ago. In seeking to understand contemporary China and Chinese business, the half-life of knowledge is incredibly short.
Books written by businesspersons are typically prone to other problems, the most common being that they are either too broad or too superficial (and in many cases, both). While some academic books can be horrendously turgid and narrow - and not infrequently dense - books written by `practitioners' are often insufficiently grounded in the complexity and messiness of everything.
Managing the Dragon is a notable exception to most other books about doing business in China. I think its strongest attribute is its authenticity. Jack Perkowski has been in China for close to two decades, at the pointy end of what is going on in business here. More than that, he has been through good times and bad - and learned from both, especially the latter. As a highly intelligent (Yale and Harvard educated) and experienced (Wall Street before China) individual, he has been able to draw important lessons for himself from all that he has encountered in China - lessons that are also of value to others seeking to understand how business can be conducted successfully by foreigners in China. A real strength of the book, then, is that it is seriously reflective - not just descriptive - and deeply insightful. It is also highly entertaining. Anyone who has heard Jack speak (thousands have, as when he went on a lecture tour a couple of years ago with Bill Clinton, Michael Eisner and Carly Fiorina) will know how engaging he is to listen to. The book is written in a similar style.
Dr. Patrick M. Joyce
Most recent customer reviews
-1- The auto-biography of Jack Perkowski, a kid from the US rust belt that gets to top B-schools and enjoys lots of success on...Read more
There are three things that make a business book stand out for me among all the many very ordinary books that are published each month.Read more
Let us analyze the facts. Jack moved his family to China, and spoke no Chinese.Read more