China: A Country Ripe with Opportunity! PART 3

Posted on May 8, 2014 in Marc Sparks: On Travel | 0 comments

China: A Country Ripe with Opportunity! PART 3

Marc Sparks is an entrepreneur who has been involved in more than sixty start-ups since the Seventies. Marc is also the founder, owner, and CEO of Timber Creek Capital, a private equity firm. This is the third installment in a blog series titled China: The Land of Platinum Opportunity.

When you think about it, China is a 3,000-year-old culture with a twenty-five year-old “Westernized” history. Because Western ways are new and relatively unfamiliar to the Chinese people, they tend to openly welcome our ways. Car dealerships, fast food, clothing stores and such have barely scratched the surface. While China has thousands of Kentucky Fried Chickens, Pizza Inns, Ritz-Carltons, Four Seasons, and Mercedes and Ford dealerships, it is a country still incredibly ripe for thousands more of everything. If I were thirty years old and had the business savvy I have today, I’d move to China in a heartbeat!

It wasn’t until I arrived in Chengdu that I had an epiphany about what was already happening in China. We landed at a large airport that looked like a new but abandoned air force base in the middle of nowhere. It was so massive that we easily could have landed our 757 sideways on the runway!

Frankly, I had never heard of Chengdu until that trip. Amazingly, even though Chengdu felt like a ghost town, there were 12 million inhabitants, and the government had spent $400 billion planning for its future. To my surprise, most of the people there move through the cities underground via trains and subways. They had built a gigantic airport and a sophisticated freeway system in anticipation of growth in the region. Imagine a government having the foresight and belief in its own people to build an infrastructure for the future instead of trying to solve errors in judgment from the past. Now there’s a novel thought.
China is quite inexpensive and has a booming economy in which people who want to work can actually get a job. It has an industrious population and a unique mix of old and new. In fact, I couldn’t believe how much of the country struck me as brand new. Everything there screams, “This is a place ripe with opportunity,” limited only by how big you can dream. China is thick with government bureaucracy and general business obstacles, but once you navigate the process, you are ready to fly in the land of opportunity.

Be sure to read KFC in China, a book about the growth of one of the United States’ largest franchises there. KFC has been blazing trails in China for the past twenty-five years (since the start of the Western movement), and the insights and experiences the authors share are remarkable. This book is so informative that I’ve actually read it twice!

Read more Marc Sparks’ insights at, his views on business and entrepreneurship at, and excerpts from his upcoming book, They Can’t Eat You, at

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