A Careful Approach to Asia's Opportunities

Richard Kramlich Answers "Five Big Questions about Asia."

On May 17, Asia Society Northern California will present venture capitalist C. Richard (Dick) Kramlich with a Leadership & Excellence award for Business at its 10th Anniversary Annual Dinner. An early Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Mr. Kramlich is the Chairman and Co-Founer of New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Mr. Kramlich helped lay the foundations for China's own VC market, eventually moving to Shanghai for a year to establish NEA's China practice.

In advance of the event, we asked Mr. Kramlich "5 Big Questions about Asia".

When did Asia first become important to you? How did it become part of your life?

My first trip to Asia was with the Exploratorium, I believe, in 1982. It was a working trip to open “a mini Exploratorium” in Beijing. That trip opened my eyes to the potential in China. I had been to Japan, Hong Kong, India and Singapore in the 1970's and 80’s – these experiences led to our living in Asia.

How has your thinking about Asia evolved since then?

Although I had a number of business successes in Japan in the 70’s, I did not think China was a main-street player in the VC world until the advent of the internet in the early 2000’s.

What is the biggest opportunity that Asia presents today, both to itself and to the rest of the world?

Asia is the key to the world’s growth for the next 40 years. Establishing trusted relationships and scaling business professionally and more openly represents the biggest opportunity.

What are the biggest challenges Asia faces today, and that the rest of the world faces at it comes to terms with Asia’s rise?

Asia has to take a balanced leadership role in world affairs. Cross border alliances are a staged way of building channels of commerce and pan-national government interests.

You have had a relationship with Asia Society for many years. What does Asia Society mean to you?

The Asia Society if a forum for mutual growth and understanding. It is an exciting platform for exchanging ideas.

Read other installments of "5 Big Questions About Asia," with our Annual Dinner honorees for Education and Policy: Sidney Rittenberg and Amory B. Lovins, respectively.

More Information & Further Reading

Details and tickets for the 10th Anniversary Annual Dinner
Something Ventured
, a documentary featuring Mr. Kramlich and other early venture capitalists
San Francisco Business Times: "VC Legend Moves to China to Capture Growing Market"

KQED Spark segment on the Kramlichs' new media and video art collection