Dan Fitzpatrick writes in the March 30, 2008 print issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Before venturing halfway around the world to become the businessman known as "Mr. China," Jack Perkowski was a North Catholic High School student seen hitching rides along Routes 28 and 8, up Dorseyville Road and past Meinert's Farm in O'Hara.
On a recent visit back, the barrel-chested, silver-haired Mr. Perkowski is dressed in dark suit, blue shirt and red tie, home to give a few speeches, talk to some students, make a few TV appearances and promote the release of his first book, "Managing The Dragon."
...the 59-year-old acknowledges how improbable it was that a descendant of immigrant steelworkers could make it to Yale University, then to Harvard Business School and the pinnacle of Wall Street before betting everything at age 42 on China -- by no means a sure thing in 1991, two years after the protests and shootings in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Despite an array of obstacles and near-failures, he did what few Westerners can claim -- the building of a profitable company from the ground up inside the world's largest Communist nation. Beijing-based ASIMCO Technologies now employs 12,000 and books more than $500 million in sales. Nearly all of Mr. Perkowski's employees are Chinese and 85 percent of his diesel fuel injection systems, piston rings, starters, alternators, air compressors, brake products and castings are sold within China, via 17 manufacturing plants and 52 sales offices.
While many books have been written about China's rise, about the opportunities provided by its transition to Western-style capitalism and population of 1.3 billion, Mr. Perkowski claims his is the first from a person who has truly lived the life, day to day. The book and a blog (Managing the Dragon) are part of Mr. Perkowski's plan to turn himself into a "franchise" on the issue of doing business in China, making him available to explain the country to anybody who's interested.
He claims there are only two rules for doing business inside China: that "everything is possible" and "nothing is easy." To succeed, he said, is to build a strong management team; this, in fact, is Mr. Perkowski's central point: "There's no way around it," he writes.
Read the full article here.