The team met with some of the more prominent business women in Chengdu.
Contributed by Jeremy Chua
General Manager of Empire’s Forever Garden Restaurant
Empire’s Forever Garden Restaurant is the place to go for good food and ambience. In a contemporary, and yet classically Chinese backdrop, it has won many accolades. Influential Chinese fine dining magazine Mei Shi Yu Mei Jiu has named Empire’s Forever Garden Restaurant as one of the best 50 restaurants in China in 2007 and 2009. As a testament of their outstanding service and delicious delicacies, Empire’s Forever Garden Restaurant has been one of the top-earning restaurants in Chengdu for three consecutive years since 2007. The restaurant was also involved in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake relief efforts, and was conferred an award for help rendered. Guo, the general manager of the restaurant, is a prominent business-woman in Chengdu, and also owns a rosewood furniture business, Mei Luen, which is a bastion of craftsmanship in the sea of mass-manufactured furniture, providing intricate hand-made rosewood furniture in traditional designs. Rosewood furniture from Mei Luen is practically like the Bentley of furniture; certain designs can run up to S$1 million, and yet, there is still strong demand for them in Chengdu.
Lu Ya Lan,
President of Century Ophthalmology Hospital
Century Ophthalmology Hospital is one of the top eye hospitals in Chengdu, specializing in surgery to correct myopia, or short-sightedness. Established in 1994, COH was the first to bring in LASIK technology to Chengdu. While COH is relatively small compared to some of the other 20-odd eye hospitals in Chengdu, they are known for their excellence and high standards of safety. The quality they provide is reflected in the volume of patients they see every year. Lu, president of the hospital, divulges, “We have been around for quite some time, and our regular patients often refer their friends and family to us when they are interested in refractive surgery.”
What makes COH stand out is their involvement in society. Lu shares, “We performed free cataract surgery for some old folks who did not have the money for the operation. We will also go to schools every year, and do free eye checkups, teaching the students how to take proper care of their eyes. For the students who do well academically and do not have the finances, we will perform free myopia surgery on them, as an incentive to study hard and a reward for doing well.”
Chairman of C.G. Families IT mall
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARKETPLACE MINISTRY|
C.G. Families IT Mall is just one of the four IT malls run by Susan Yan, chairman of the board. It is a one-stop solution-provider for both hardware and software needs in Chengdu, housing major brands such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Canon, BenQ, and Fujitsu. They also have a whole floor dedicated to the best selling local brands.
Other than being a one-stop mall for every IT need, Yan also organizes and hosts national gaming competitions. Speaking of the business opportunities, Yan shares, “Our revenue comes from different streams. Just by rental in the mall alone, we can recoup our capital investment in four years. Besides, advertising revenue brings in quite a fair sum each year. We make money from the fringe as well, building complementing products and services around IT.”
Sitting on the board of various organizations ranging from the IT and paper industries, different civic societies, to the EMBA club which consists of some of the most influential business people in the city, Yan has come a long way from her humble beginnings as an educator.
She says, “I started my career as a teacher and later worked in the government sector. However, I found myself attracted to the exciting and adventurous business environment in Chengdu. Upon meeting a Taiwanese friend who inspired me, I took my first step to start my own business.”