Like the mythical Romulus and Remus, (the Mars-born wolf-raised brothers who would go on to found Rome), fellow Kiwis John & Jade are a long long way from home and out to build something great.

Gung Ho Ventures is Jade’s latest in a long line of successful forays into the Chinese market.

A 1993 recipient of the prestigious Nomad Scholarship (Haileybury Imperial Services College, London) and a University of Otago graduate (Marketing/Mandarin), Jade moved to China in 1996 from Wanaka, New Zealand to work for two international companies; Otto and Son’s International (a dedicated McDonald’s supplier) and Te Mania International (livestock exporters/breeders), managing projects as diverse as cattle ranching in Liaoning to supermarket retailing with Wal-Mart in Kunming.

In 1999 Jade built his own gym franchise Fusion Fitness in Beijing, which he later sold in 2003 and then went on to found Blue Panda Co. Ltd (HK), whose start-ups include restaurants and an events management company, where he remains CEO.

Jade is a board member of the government appointed New Zealand Trade & Enterprise affiliated China Beachhead program, and a member of the Beijing chapter of the International Entrepreneurs' Organization.

He owns (and is owned by) his two pedigree attack schnauzers.

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For John, Gung Ho Ventures is the thin end of very large wedge of experience in international business in general and the pizza industry in particular.

The other half of GHV, John has lived in Beijing since 2005 when he moved to China to study Mandarin and work for a former Goldman Sachs chairman. Prior to that he worked in London and New York for the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs (when it was a more respectable industry) and before that he helped set up a headhunting business in Eastern Europe that could only be described as an incredibly profitable racket.

From 2006 to 2009, John led business development for Domino's Pizza International in expanding its Asian footprint, graduated from "Pizza University" at Domino's HQ and decided that a) he wanted to work for himself, and b), pizzas rock. Somewhere late at night in an infamous Beijing student bar he convinced the fellow Kiwi barkeep that he should get into pizza, and who knows where that will lead.

John is a member of the Asia Society's Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2010, a Director of New Zealand Spring Water and co-leads the Oxford-based Harry Mahon Cancer Research Trust and Hong Kong-registered Golden Bird Foundation. John also serves on NZTE’s Beachheads China board.

John has a BA from Harvard University and a MPhil from Cambridge University and is contesting the conferring of his Chinese language degree (deferred) from a prestigious Beijing tertiary institution.

Contact John []

"And to China he brought skills that he learned first in New Zealand; a hugely practical sense that one must build what is appropriate to the place"

Gung Ho Ventures was inspired from one of China’s most famous and respected laowais, New Zealander Rewi Alley.

In 1926 Rewi Alley went to China to “go and have a look at the Chinese revolution”. He would end up staying for 60 years, coming to prominence following the 1937 Japanese invasion of China with the creation of small-scale self-supporting industrial units that made everything from weapons to engines to ceramics, all in support of resistance against the Japanese.

These autonomous cooperatives were called gonghe hezuozhe (工業合作社). The term Gung Ho is a derivation of the first part, gong he, which literally translates to work together or work in harmony, but for Rewi came to embody "the working spirit [I] had seen in China where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over."

To China, Alley's most significant legacy was his faith in the co-operative capacities of the ordinary Chinese. To compatriots, he epitomised a practical and self-reliant humanitarianism which had its roots in New Zealand.

To the crew of Gung Ho Ventures, Rewi Alley represents a pull up your sleeves mentality, respect for the people around you, and a drive for excellence.

Gung ho!