Meager beginnings transformed into fortune for foreign entrepreneurs in China

Claudia Masueger brings her family’s wine knowledge from Switzerland to open the wine retail chain CHEERS Wines in Beijing.
When Claudia Masueger, from Switzerland, came to China in 2008, all she had was two suitcases of wine samples.

Now she owns a wine retail chain, CHEERS Wines, that consists of 40 chain stores, with almost two new stores opening each month.

According to her, China is a land of opportunity for foreigners who want to make it big with little or nothing to start with.

“We should never underestimate the price of living in China, but there are so many ways to thrive without much money, if you are willing to.”

Masueger, 44, led a simple life in Beijing. She knew this could eventually pay off since there are so many business opportunities and people could live on a small budget while trying to launch a business. Her ability to throw caution to the wind and choosing to live by her heart is what drives her forward; she does not want to take the safe way out.

Beijing is a thriving business hub for foreign adventurers, and it has become home to a number of successful entrepreneurs. These business owners have made it, despite their lack of financial support and resources from the start. For those who don’t arrive with a diploma in one of the hottest fields, or a senior management job, starting from scratch may be the best option.

Metropolitan tells the stories of three such expat business owners, and how they built successful thriving business from the ground up.