Interview in Chengdu´s Foreign Investor
Entering Maxxelli Real Estate, I saw Peter Kuppens, known as “a playboy”, a tall man wearing a grey striped shirt and a pair of jeans with simple style and high quality. He was talking with the employees then, with a gentle tone of some amusement. Seeing us, he came forward and hospitably shook hands with us. After that he began to engage himself in introducing to us the company he manages with a great care. He talked on and on with a great sense of humor, fetching out the latest taxi map and the electronic pen now and then. We listened carefully and laughed about the interesting but meaningful catch-words, impressed by his wisdom and insight into life. This Holland man is so amazing.
Peter Kuppens was born on Nov. 3rd, 1969, a typical Scorpio (who is passionate, sensitive, and acute; rational while emotional). I am not superstitious of the Signs; however, his life experiences explain all.
Peter Kuppens, a born explorer, settled down in Chengdu in 2005 when he had accomplished the eight-year world tour and established his own business. Five years later, there have been 120 of his employees offering service for clients in seven 2nd tier cities all over China. However Maxxelli Real Estate becomes the leader in this field.
Peter recalled when he came to Chengdu for the first time, he had neither money nor plans. Yet, he made a decision to settle down to take the opportunity as he saw the fast growth of the two cities of Chengdu and Chongqing. As a tough atheist, Peter holds the firm faith that where there is a will there is a way. Take the Tianfu International Community as an example, it was just conception at first, but now it comes true and expands to the south line of Chengdu owing to the efforts made by Maxxelli Real Estate.
Although Peter cannot speak Chinese, he believes that learning a language is not the most important thing but how to get to know a man and put him to good use is. He has gathered a group of young people with vision and capability in Chengdu which makes him very proud.
It has made Peter a man of mind, passion, and judgment through years of blazing a trail forward through all difficulties. As I am getting to know Peter, it dawns on me that when judging a man one shouldn’t focus on his fortune and position but the sublimeness beyond that.
I have watched a lot of interviews with important personages on TV and am surprised to find that, the highest acclaim of a person is not his family background nor the fact that he is one of richest men or that he is on the corporate ladder, but the fact that people say, “he is an interesting guy.” When I told this idea to Peter, he agreed. Peter said, being interesting means that person is thought-provoking, perspicacious and passionate and that he can be in any profession. However, while talking with such kind of person, you can have some original ideas and perspectives.
Having traveled the world and acquainted himself with countless people, Peter holds that a Ph D who gives up a high-salary job with tens of thousands of dollars soon after graduation and travels around the world is an interesting person, and that those who are not afraid of failure and dare to take risks are interesting. These people can say, “We have a lot of opportunities to make money. We shall take advantage of our youth and happily do some interesting things.”
However, uninteresting people are those who let family members and schools consider whether to go to university or not, which university to go to, which specialty to choose from, and what job to do, and finally do not know what they like to. Uninteresting people are those who make money soon after graduation from university, ask their parents for money, and borrow money to buy a house, which turns themselves into unadventurous and timid persons who always think of paying car and house mortgages and who have lost youthful spirit, courage and the ensuing opportunities and potentials that should belong to young men.
Obviously, Peter is a very interesting person. He first began his career as a salesperson for Nissan and Benz and traveled around the word for 8 years when he had legendary experiences in which he carried his knapsacks, not only broadened his horizons made a lot of friends, but also had a deep understanding of some extreme problems of solitude, belief and value of life.
Peter said he is committed to turning himself into a person with interest and permanent passion. This is why he had so much travel experience.
When asked about the reason for his development in Chengdu, Peter answered resourcefully and humorously. He said half-jokingly, “This is a place with delicious food and beauty, how can I resist its temptation?”
Of course, this is a joke. As one of the most competitive real estate companies in China, Maxxelli Real Estate Company specializes in developing China’s secondary markets. Chengdu is undoubtedly the choice of this sagacious man with strategic vision.
While talking about his company, Peter’s eyes showed a look of excitement. From his sonorous and forceful words, you can his intrinsic perseverance and pride, otherwise, he would not have insisted on not obtaining any financial aid from banks or investors. Therefore, it is easy to understand his company can thrive to this scale in only 5 years.
At present, Maxxelli provides each city with services not only in residence and commercial real estate, but also in professional migration assistance, apartment, service apartment, villa and office and so forth. Hence, it won a good reputation among foreigners in Chengdu.
Of course, this Dutch man looks a bit “bad” and even cynical, but the surprise he brings forth may go far beyond his material success on the surface. He would not brag to you about his knowledge and experience, nor would he talkatively discuss with you his life and ideals. Behind his eloquence, he wants to express a life philosophy of simplicity.
When asked about his understanding of success, he answered in a very cool manner, “I know many people whose goal is to make money. As a matter of fact, they have made it. If a person wants to make money single-mindedly, he can surely be successful. However, they turn out to be painful without exception. To make money, they have gained a tree but lost the whole forest. In my opinion, such kind of people is downright idiot.”
Peter attaches great importance to quality of life. He knows how to enjoy the complete sense of life and take an active and optimistic attitude toward the future. He likes sports and travel, loves every song that has moved him and every enlightening movie. Besides, he would confidently tell me, “I know how to change my language and my thinking and achieve the life I want.” His answer is still cool.
On the day of interview, we talked joyously with Peter at Sundynasty Maxxelli Chengdu Office. This is an authentic foreign company with many foreigners who are passionate and humorous, and speak excellent Chinese. During the interview, Peter would always like to point at one of his staff through the glass window and reveal to us his anecdotes. Occasionally, he would sniff at his competitors contemptuously and frivolously like a child.
This is Peter Kuppens, chief executive of Maxxelli Real Estate Company. Some people may turn pensive due to too much contemplation and have only a superficial understanding due to excessive distractions. However, if you have talked with him, heard his voice, and understood what he has done, you may find he has a gentle connection with this world and “cannot be affected by the noisy excitement of the world” because he has undergone may experiences, ups and downs. As he understands the rule of nature, he has the full integrity of a man. You can find in him something forceful and sense that a man should be 30% beast to withstand the impact of the world, triumph over himself and to conquer the world. He is critical as well as self-derisive; he loves very much to live happily in this world, do and say whatever he likes. He is curious about everything in the world, including himself. He would simply obey the way of life and rule of nature, which he would neither despise nor take seriously.
Peter seeks for a refreshing, light and passionate life, which shows his brilliance, therefore, he would like his forty-plus-year blood boil. He is critical, self-derisive and a confident, extreme atheist. In his domain, he is “infringing on” the domains being “invaded” by him.
Peter’s words show a perspicacious wit, which makes us understand an ordinary but profound principle: you must make your life rich and live a rich life so that you cannot be easily defeated when you come across setbacks in your life.
“If you can keep in touch with various kinds of people, you may have more opportunities to learn from others how to think and understand their different values, so that you will never be obsessed with your bits of troubles and think differently instead,” said Peter emphatically and firmly, “a man grows up by continuous self-inspection”.
When talking about self-inspection, we have to mention again his legendary, eight-year world travel. Peter said that the routine work and trifles confined to a life in the reinforced cement has made us a high-speed top, so that our life appears to be controlled by a formidable, invisible hand. Therefore, we can no longer suppress our internal desire: go out and roam in search of our authentic selves.
Peter’s heart is keen on freedom and reveals an overwhelming complex for reaming, just as Yusuke Ishida, a Japanese writer, said, “since you’re born into this world, you should take a close look at it and find out the world’s number one with your own eyes.” Since his childhood, peter has the desire to travel around the world and he did so with this kind of mood. He kept walking, getting acquainted with different people, and changing his angles and roles. After experiencing the euphoria of reaching his destinations one after another, he finally and authentically sensed that “life is good”.
The word “Go to see life and the world, see and understand them.” is the most impressed me most deeply in the interview. This middle-aged man used to be narrow-minded, cynical and self-centered when he was a young man. But the travel completely changed him. While going out traveling, he was contemplating on himself. His desire to overthrow is so overwhelming that it shows through in various forms. Hence, he sees different facades of himself, forsakes his wishful thinking of higher goals of life, and thinks more deeply about his life instead.
The more experienced in one’s life, the more optimistic, open-minded and placid he would be to his life. This true of Peter. When he comes across problems, he would say this is opportunity; when confronted with setbacks, he would tell himself that is challenge. Peter’s life value holds that man lives to be happy and grow. He said, “we take pains in our life time to push our soul to the boundary in order to be a better man than when he was born.”
All this, in my opinion, is the most precious gifts bestowed to a dreamer.