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Young French Entrepreneur Lives the Chinese dream with Revolucion Cocktail | Expats in Chongqing

By JAMES ALEXANDERICHONGQING|Apr 02,2021

Chongqing- Nicolas is a 34-year-old entrepreneur from Nice in the south of France, where he first gained experience in the food and beverage industry over a number of years, a foundation which later helped him establish the bar chain Nico Revolucion Cocktail, which he now runs in China with local business partners.

Given that Nice is a glamorous Mediterranean city on the French Riviera where tourists flock year-round, Niko explained his motivations for leaving his hometown behind and making a new life in China.

“Nice is a beautiful city, but the time came for me to build something for myself in a new country. France is prohibitively expensive for entrepreneurs, so it’s almost impossible to succeed without a huge investment of capital.”

“One of the first bar managers I knew in France had previously run a business in china, and he asked me to join in a venture over there. Since the prospects for establishing a business in France looked extremely difficult, I decided to quit everything and live the Chinese Dream.”

Nicolas first came to live in Guangzhou in 2013 and later visited Chengdu and Chongqing in 2015. This experience left a strong impression that convinced him to set up business in the two southwestern cities.

“I just fell in love with the vibes of Chengdu and Chongqing from the word go and saw great potential in bringing something new to the cities through my passion and knowledge for the food and beverage industry. It is my hope to inspire others to follow the same path and achieve success in China.”

Chongqing cocktail

Nico came to Chengdu and Chongqing in 2015 and achieved his Chinese dream of establishing Revolucion Cocktail. 

Vibrant Chongqing ever more international

“The number of skyscrapers just blew my mind, and I knew it was the right choice to come here when I experienced the bustling and vibrant nightlife industry. People love to hang out and discover new stuff any day of the week, which is totally different from France, and even Europe in general.”

“People are so helpful and friendly that I always feel at home. The younger generations are speaking ever more English, and just for this reason alone, I can see that Chongqing will be even more open and international in ten years’ time.”

“They are also very receptive to new technologies like WeChat Pay and Alipay. It’s amazing how you can manage everything so conveniently through applications like these, and I can’t live without them now. I feel China is the only country in the world that can advance so quickly in this respect.”

Beautiful skyline of Chongqing

The dramatically beautiful skyline of Chongqing amazed Nicolas when he first visited the city. (iChongqing file photo)

Locals open to new experiences and concepts

Nicolas is now a founder and business partner of Revolucion Cocktail, a chain of trendy cocktail bars offering a blend of international and Chinese music with fine cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere. As a young entrepreneur, he has gained a wealth of experience collaborating with local Chinese business partners, staff, and friends.

“In my experience, Chinese business partners who work in this trade are really open-minded and allow us to follow our concepts when we explain our ideas. They are always looking for something new from their foreign business partners and want to feel proud of bringing a unique experience to their city.”

“For me, the language barrier is the only great difference between staff in France and Chongqing or Chengdu. As long as you train your staff well, they approach work with a very open attitude like they do in Europe. Here in China, I would say their strongest qualities are a hard-working attitude and respect for our business model.”

Young people receptive to overseas working philosophies

“As with any country, not everyone is careful and hard-working, but those who care and apply themselves in our company have great prospects for sure. You might not find the right person every time, but you can definitely sense when they have passion for the work they do here.”

“I think shyness is the one area Chinese staff can work on more, so we encourage them to be more confident and open with people at work, and is something we can foster through training and experience over time.”

“My impression is they really appreciate the opportunity to work under foreign managers. I always communicate with them in a friendly way and never take a regimented approach because I like staff to feel at home when they come to work. You will be more successful here if you can foster a happy and positive work environment.”

“Many of our new young staff returned to China from the overseas study, and I can tell you they are even more receptive to our work methods and have a better understanding of our business philosophies.”

“I have never made so many friends in any other country. Since the day I first came here, China has welcomed me in a way I will never forget. I would say Chinese people are generally a little shyer and reserved, but once they start getting tipsy, they open up and love to meet new friends, chat with strangers, and offer drinks so they can share a toast with you.”

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