Our Team

Our Team

Maxxelli Consulting is driven by its talented team of professionals. We rely on a network of over 80 consultants in China. Below is a list of some of the key players in Maxxelli Consulting.

peter

Peter Kuppens

E-mail: p.kuppens@maxxelli.net
Phone: 008613808174331

Business development , CEO Maxxelli Real Estate

Peter Kuppens is in charge of business development and is the CEO of Maxxelli Real Estate. He is a natural networker with a keen eye for business. Peter is at his best spotting business opportunities and setting up win-win partnerships and business models.

This is it, I thought after travelling around the world for 8 years and finally settling in Chengdu in 2005. Coming from a small village in Netherlands and brought up to run the farm of my parents, at young age I already realized I wanted something different. My travels took me from the savannas of Africa, to deep in the jungle of South America and all along the train tracks in the Siberian steppe, eventually arriving in China.

My voyage was driven by curiosity, by a desire to see the world, interact with people who think and look differently at life than I did. By these numerous conversations, I soon came to realize that the most important lesson is to respect people  and the uniqueness of every single person. I noticed that by yourself you cannot achieve anything but by creating synergies between people based on mutual respect we can all get great results and achievements together.

When starting the company that now is Maxxelli, I knew from the very start I wanted to see those values and ideas conveyed into the company’s DNA. Maxxelli is set up as a dynamic and flexible organization. We quickly expanded our business scope from relocation for expats, to real estate, marketing services and consulting. Over the years we realized an organic growth to over 15 cities in China based on our demand driven operating model.

Ronnie

Ronnie Kuppens

E-mail: r.kuppens@maxxelli-consulting.com
Phone: 008618584180130

Chief Financial Officer

Ronnie focuses on localizing marketing strategies and finding smart operational business solutions. Fascinated by China since a young age, Ronnie aspires to become a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures and businesses.

After graduating from business school with a specialization in Asian Business Studies, moving to China, the land of opportunities, to start my career was an obvious step to take. During my studies I followed an exchange program in Beijing at UIBE (对外经济贸易大学), and did a work-placement in Chengdu. Knowing the difference between first and second tier China first-hand gave me a clear preference for the latter; the ‘real’ China.

China has always interested me: its long history, its fast growth, the differences with my own culture and the personal way of doing business. It’s the land of opportunities, but also a land with many pitfalls. As an organization and a person you have to always be ready to adapt to China’s fast changing environment. Knowing your own business is not enough; you need to know the local differences, challenges and possibilities and translate your business plan accordingly. In these times you need to ‘think global, but act local’.

During my studies and time living in China I have built up my knowledge of both international business theory and Chinese practise. I have experienced a broad education with an Asian perspective, studying subjects like Strategic Management, Organizational Theory, Marketing, Finance, Budgeting, Asian Management, Chinese and Statistics.

This skill set helps me to lead a varied range of projects and consult on many different aspects of doing business in China. Furthermore, during my studies and working experiences I developed analytical and planning skills, which help me evaluate situations over a short timeframe and come up with lasting solutions. I am well acquainted with working in international teams and with people from different professions to solve a problem.

At this point in my career I find it important to keep learning. Maxxelli offers me this opportunity in a dynamic and highly motivated group of professionals with different cultural and professional backgrounds challenging me to improve every day.

Robert van Aert, Project Manager, standing in front of the company logo

Robert van Aert

E-mail: r.vanaert@maxxelli-consulting.com
Phone: 008615928855698

Operational Manager

Robert focuses on translating the big picture and long-term goals into daily tasks and assures projects keep moving forward. With his loyalty and commitment he is determined to make every project a fruitful cooperation. Robert’s inquisitive attitude makes him seek new challenges every day.

Shortly after my graduation from law school and a project-based job I wanted to expand my horizon and take a look in a different place, a different culture. It didn’t take long before I decided I wanted to go to China. Every day I read in the newspapers about what was happening in this expanding and increasingly important country and I wanted to see this with my own eyes. Thus, I found an internship at a law firm in Chengdu, a city I had never heard of. Some quick research taught me this was exactly the destination to be: a ‘booming’ city.

Very soon after my arrival it became clear to me what the newspapers meant with booming; on one hand you saw construction of apartments, offices, shopping malls, roads and subways everywhere. On the other hand, I met a lot of entrepreneurial people seeking for or realizing their business opportunities. Whilst talking to those people I realized it is everything but easy to start your business in China and it is accompanied by a lot of regulatory and cultural challenges. China’s inspirational, rapid changing and flexible environment triggered my interest in China and the desire to provide solutions for businesses entering the Chinese market.

I would describe myself as highly self-motivated, loyal and committed. Furthermore, a well-organized and detail-oriented approach offers a track record of delivering on tasks accurately, efficiently and quickly. Known as a real team player that truly enjoys working with other people, and who is able to strategize and prioritize effectively to accomplish multiple tasks and stay calm under pressure. A background in business law has proven to offer excellent analytical skills and is a solid base for problem-solving.

 

Shelly

Project Assistant

Shelly’s experience of dealing with both Western and Chinese business cultures makes her highly effective at marketing and sales. With her education, personality and previous working experience, she is more than capable of establishing partnerships with parties from different cultures.

I studied at a university in Chengdu for three years before spending my fourth year in England, finishing with a major in Business Management. When I was in university, I was always fond of business related courses. How famous companies developed, why they become successful and what their unique strategies to do business were; those kinds of questions have always interested me. Both Eastern and Western education has influenced me in a lot of different ways. Eastern education concentrates more on knowledge-transferring, it is very exam-oriented and forces students to remember lots of information. In comparison, Western education taught me how to apply information and helped me to develop critical thinking skills. Furthermore, I learnt how to become an independent learner and adapt myself to both cultures.
After I graduated from university, I worked as an overseas study consultant in an educational company in Chengdu. At first, it was a challenging job for me. I found it difficult to become a great consultant without any work experience and relative knowledge at that time. However, after half a year I improved a lot. Working as a consultant increased my interpersonal and communication skills.

As aforementioned, I spent one year in England. Living and studying there enabled me to travel to lots of different places. These experiences greatly expanded my horizons and made me more open-minded and willing to embrace different cultures. As a ‘Sichuanese’, I have seen first-hand the huge development of Chengdu as a city over the course of the past decade. Initially, I would find seeing a foreigner walking down the street an alien concept. However, it is very different now. More and more foreigners choose to settle in Chengdu, not only because of the relaxed lifestyle but also because it is a city full of thriving business ventures. The reason why I wanted to return to Chengdu was to help make the transition for expats as smooth as possible, through use of my local knowledge of Chengdu and experiences within Europe.
I joined Maxxelli – an international and visionary company, in order to understand the real business market in Chengdu. I believe my experiences studying and travelling abroad have given me an invaluable perspective which has thrived in Maxxelli’s fast-paced, multicultural environment. At Maxxelli, I am able to combine my local knowledge and worldly experiences to further China’s connection with foreign businesses.
I always believe that a person’s potential is unlimited; you will never know what you can do unless you try!

Nicole

Project Assistant

Nicole specializes in legal set-ups and market research. Her international education makes her a great link between diverse cultures. She is very enthusiastic about the Western and Chinese business environment, has hunger for knowledge and is by nature a welcoming person. This makes her fantastic at operational support.

I studied at Sichuan International Studies University in Chongqing, majoring in English Interpretation and Translation. English is one of the most spoken languages in the world and has become the dominant business language. In my lifetime, English has become the language you need to know if you want to enter the global workforce and communicate in the global market. I chose to study English for two reasons. The first reason is simple: I like the language. Secondly, I have always known I wanted to work for an International organization, so knowing English is very important.

I first started at Maxxelli as an intern. I had just graduated from university and wanted to start work in an exciting, international company and Maxxelli was just that. Maxxelli does, and still continues to do, a lot of promising and interesting projects. I was interested in Maxxelli’s work in bringing FDI into China and wanted to use my local knowledge to help foreigners open businesses in China.

It is one thing to study a language at university, it is an entirely different challenge to apply it in working life. As an intern, I was able to use my English skills by conversing with colleagues from all over the world. Now, as a full-time employee, I continue to learn about foreign cultures and customs as I help foreigners settle in Chengdu.

Chengdu has developed very quickly and is quickly becoming an international city. Although it is a second tier city, Chengdu is increasingly embracing international culture. Many international companies have come here to set up their businesses and this has created many opportunities for local Chinese to work for international companies. The people here know how to work and how to enjoy life: it is the perfect place to start a career.

Inez Oosterlaar

E-mail: i.oosterlaar@maxxelli-consulting.com
Phone: +31 (0)6 42 81 14 40

Business Development Manager

Inez focuses on business development between Europe and China. She is the main contact person located in the Netherlands and continuously looks for new opportunities in both China and Europe.

Living, studying and working in China gave me an in-depth look into its culture and possibilities. China, and especially its second-tier cities, continues to provide many opportunities for domestic as well as foreign companies. After tasting these opportunities and the growing market in China, I was excited to become a link between Europe and China. Being able to apply those years of studying and the experiences from my year abroad into my daily working life is very rewarding. Working for Maxxelli provides me with the opportunity to be that bridge and give a clear image to European businesses of what is important when you want to do business in China. For these reasons, I enjoy what I do every day.

Being located in Europe, while working closely together with my colleagues in China, enables me to show the potential this country provides for European companies. China is often seen as a country that is far away and I enjoy bringing the country closer to home. Maxxelli provides an atmosphere where entrepreneurship, diversity and learning is involved in the day-to-day operations. This suits my personality well and I am happy to bring this work atmosphere to the Maxxelli office in the Netherlands.

stephane

Stephane Schrickx

Senior consultant

Stephane specialises in start-ups in Retail and Real Estate. He has experience in working with both Chinese and foreign investors. He focusses on strategic partnerships and the commercial aspects of a project..

As the graduation project of my Bachelor in International Business, I followed the start-up of BASF’s joint venture in Chongqing. This was early 2008. It is amazing to see how China has evolved and how the world has changed its perception on China ever since. After graduating and a two month’s backpacking trip through South-East Asia, I decided to move to Chengdu to build a network and get some working experience. I got a job as a Marketing executive of a foreign real estate firm and soon became part of the Management team. In my second year with the firm, I was elected in the Board of the European Union Chamber of Commerce and I started studying an executive MBA on Sundays. After graduating from the MBA, I worked as a Sales and Marketing manager for a Singaporean developer and I was responsible for phase 1 of the project: the set-up of a business/equestrian club. Only several months after joining, the investment branch of Chengdu Media Group bought a share in our company and took over the local control of this project. Time to move on.

Soon after I started a new project: Franchise-China. I founded Franchise-China for a (Chinese) MBA classmate. Our goal was to become Master Franchiser of foreign franchises and become distributor of foreign products. After the set-up we got an extra foreign investor who was the owner of some franchises and we secured a top location for the flagship store: Raffles City Chengdu! Due to differences in vision and management style with both Chinese and foreign investors, I decided to leave Franchise-China. After this big deception I went back to Belgium to clear my head, but after living in China for more than 4 years, It didn’t take long before I started missing the vibe, the complexity of simple things and the endless opportunities. End of 2012 I got the opportunity to start a project for 2 Dutch investors: we started making expat housing in Chengdu, Chongqing and Wuhan. Now, one year later, the company is on the rails and ready for exponential growth. As from December 2013 I’m working as a consultant. I want to introduce foreigners to solid opportunities in China, share my previous experiences, foresee potential pitfalls and make sure their market entry goes as smooth as possible.

Senior Consultant Richard Smal travels in the world

Richard Smal

E-mail: r.smal@maxxelli-consulting.com

Senior Consultant

Richard brings to Maxxelli consulting more the 20 years of industry experience often in developing countries. He performs both a senior consulting role as well as a mentoring role in the team.

I am  a senior consultant with experience in doing projects worldwide. I spent many years in Africa and Europe, which was followed by a number of projects in South East Asia and Australia. I enjoy working with different cultures and am passionate about the (South) East Asia region.

I have an industrial engineering background with an MBA, and have been certified in a number of business improvement methodologies such as LEAN, Six Sigma and Constraint Management (TOC).

Due to the tremendous growth in China, experienced skills will become scarcer in the future. The shortage of skills can be a serious challenge limiting the growth of the company by seriously hampering company performance (Due date, Lead time, Reliability).A constraint based approach needs to be a heart of the company, addressing both internal capabilities and the market. This can ensure that companies can be successful now and in the future, we refer to this as a viable vision.

I worked in the following industries and industry sectors:
Defense, Sugar, ICT, FMCG, Automotive, Oil and Gas, FMCG, Cables, Chemicals, Chemicals, Electronics, High-Tech, Juices, Ports, Mining, Engineering, Food and Beverage, Printing, Packaging, Transport and Logistics, Textiles, Forestry, Electrical utilities and Paper.

A close-up portrait of Senior Consultant Vicky Zhou

Vicky Zhou

Senior Consultant

E-mail: v.zhou@maxxelli-consulting.com

A genuine native of Chongqing with international experience, Vicky has worked for a decade in export-led manufacturing and serving FDI clients in China. She operates effectively within and across western and Asian business culture.

Chongqing is a ‘happening city’ – and having grown up in this huge fast moving, confident, open-to-ideas metropolis with its distinctive ways, sights and sounds, Chongqing has certainly shaped my own character and instincts. As the city developed at lightning speed, it lagged in the soft skills department and for years was not the most effective in dealing with business from outside the region, especially western companies. Recognizing the vital importance of communication, I first qualified as an educator with a focus on English, before heading onto business.

By the turn of the 21st century, one in every six motorbikes on the planet were made in Chongqing. Hard, metal, oily, noisy industry was booming. So where else to learn about what makes a rapidly growing Chinese company tick than with a Chongqing manufacturer – especially one that exports.

My business skills were honed over seven years as executive assistant to one of China’s leading industrialists, whose diverse operations spanned automotive manufacturing, real estate and sport. I gained experienced in developing sound working relations with local governments, suppliers and service providers – and now have a broad-based network of contacts in Chongqing, elsewhere in China and also in the UK. During the course of my career, I’ve travelled on business assignments to Italy, France and the UK, where I established a subsidiary for my Chongqing parent company. So while I really understand the complexities that western companies face when they come to China, I also understand the flip side of doping business in the west !

Just as Chongqing’s own industrial base began changing, with the ambition to become a SW China hub for service orientated businesses, I changed too – moving to Maxxelli as Operations Manager of the Chongqing Office.From here, I’ve learned a lot about the needs of foreign investors when they come to China – and also how complex the relationships can be between Head Office and the China subsidiary, especially if there is a local partner.But I bring a lot to the table: inside working knowledge of a serious Chinese company, experienced in government relations, local market knowledge, local business connections, strong communications soft skills and overseas experience.

That’s why consulting is so exciting – because, just like the booming city of Chongqing which is making its mark in the world, I know that I can make a difference.

A portrait of Senior Consultant Andi Li

Andi Li

Senior Consultant

Andi brings in over a decade of experience of leading western major companies to success in China. She is an expert on marketing, sales and PR and is able to plan and successfully execute international yet localized marketing and sales campaigns in China.

I was born and raised in Chengdu and left home to explore the world when I was 16years old. Graduated from Miami University in America with a degree in organizational leadership, I made a decision to come back to China, where things are happening. I ask myself, when could someone has such an opportunity to witness and truly experience the rise of a nation and then there I was, coping and growing along with China, working hard yet keeping my eyes and mind open.

Over the years, I have worked in marketing, public relationship and sales. I am a professional and dynamic person. With the knowledge of China and beyond, I find solutions to introduce new products and services from overseas to the Chinese market. I am the liaison for international projects over the years and I personally initialized, assisted and assured companies launching products or services successfully in China. Moreover, I also provide professional consulting to local business to upgrade their profile and services thus helping them gain market share outside of Chengdu/China.

I have worked in lifestyle projects with world famous Michelin Star Chef Jean Georges and Evian Spa to create marketing campaigns. I worked in marketing and sales in commercial company named International Favor & Fragrance, handling accounts of L’Oreal, P&G and Beiersdorf, helping them to launch and grow business in China and/or Asia. I have gained insights and experience through working with these people and businesses and I believe together we also have grown as business or individuals.

When I am not working, I enjoy cooking, painting and pursuing my passion for anything creative and artistic; I also enjoy traveling and spending time with my two young girls.

I believe in opportunity and hard work. With the right minds and an excellent plan, we will make it happen.

Thom Nefkens

Senior Consultant

Driven by his interest in the economic development in Asia and the businesses opportunities present in China, Thom Nefkens brings valuable entrepreneurial experience to the team, especially in the field of investments planning& acquirement and financial forecasting and planning for (starting) SMEs. He performs both a senior consulting role as well as a mentoring role in the team.

After studying economics I started my career at Unilever, where I was in charge of marketing and sales position of food products for over 7 years. Afterwards I decided to start my own food distribution company, offering fully tailored food service concepts. Our services included delivering the food as well as advising numerous organizations on establishing and executing our food concepts. In 2011 I decided it was time for a new challenge and I moved to Thailand with my family.

Once again I started my own business, this time a Boutique Yachting firm, offering tourists on Koh Tao a luxury option to cruise the Gulf of Thailand by leaving the noisy crowds behind and exploring the beautiful island chain of Ang Thong.

I strongly believe in the chances for foreign businesses to successfully enter the Chinese market. There are however many pitfalls and with Maxxelli Consulting we have an experienced team, vast local experience and networks to consult and manage foreign direct investment in China, thereby acting as a trusted extension of our customers. With my experience in setting up companies and being specialized in investment planning and financial forecasting, I bring crucial skills and knowledge to this team.

Address :

www.maxxelli-consulting.com
Email: info@maxxelli-consulting.com

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