Hutong (Ad)Ventures #8: Michelle Garnaut – Pioneering restaurateur, founder @ M Restaurant Group

Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.

Well known by many expats in China, Michelle Garnaut is a pioneering restaurateur and founder of a series of popular upmarket restaurants in Hong Kong and mainland China, including M at the Fringe in Hong Kong, M on the Bund and Glam in Shanghai, and Capital M in Beijing, together forming the M Restaurant Group.  Over the years, M Restaurant Group has attracted esteemed guests from all walks of life such as Tim Cook, Rupert Murdoch, Nicole Kidman and Prince Andrew of Great Britain, just to name a few. With a career spanning over 30 years in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Michelle is heavily involved in the local philanthropy and culture scene, such as founding Shanghai International Literary Festival and the Capital Literary Festival in Beijing, serving as the Asia jury president for Cartier Women’s Initiative Award and working with numerous Chinese charities in education, arts and culture.

Itunes | Stitcher

Key points covered:

  • Michelle’s background and her path to becoming a pioneering restaurateur in China
  • Why moving from Hong Kong to Shanghai and why opening on the Bund?
  • Anecdotes on navigating through the issues she encountered as a foreign entrepreneur
  • Learnings from Capital M closing down
  • Team – what to do when teams become broken? How to manage firing staff?

Items mentioned:

Favourite book: Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker; Middlemarch by George Ellio

Jemma Xu

Advisory Board Member at Haymarket HQ. Podcast host at Hutong (Ad)Ventures. CEO and cofounder of Tripalocal. Ex-investment banker. Australian based in Beijing. Interest in venture capital and entrepreneurship in China.
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