Author Stephen Greer shares everything he knows about surviving—and prospering—in the bare-knuckle world of Asia’s scrap metal industry

May 01, 2010 | 04:18 AM | Kevin Foster

Anyone doing business in Asia will sooner or later come across an unfamiliar cultural situation—for example, how to best eat giant braised goose webs.

For Stephen Greer, who left Pittsburgh with a one-way ticket to Hong Kong in the early 1990s to try his hand as an entrepreneur, that was just one of the learning experiences along the way to setting up what would become a $250-million scrap company, Hartwell Pacific Ltd.

Greer, who tells the story of his rough ride to success in his book Starting from Scrap, notes that it was no secret in 1993 that Asia was the "workshop of the world." But the scrap metal business, which he settled on after attempts to trade anything from chicken feet to toothbrush holders, was at the time a shadow of the multibillion global market it has now become.....

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