Founders & Partners

Jorn Knutsen is the Managing Director of CANDIS. He made a name for himself in the emerging European IT/Data center/Telecom industry in the nineties as the markets were de-monopolizing. Moving to China in early 2001, he started working as a management consultant specializing in IT and Telecom related industries. As a hands-on consultant he established six different companies as turn-key projects, ranging from small IT services firms to complex electro-chemical manufacturing plants in a range of locations. Outside of a solid understanding of IT, his primary expertise is in Greenfield/Turn Key Establishment, Change Management and Organization Control. Jorn currently serves as a director on several boards in China/HK.

Jorn holds a B.Eng. degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Leeds in the UK and a Masters in Business Management from the Norwegian School of Management. He speaks several languages, including Chinese like all the partners, essential for operational success in China.

David van Meerendonk is Vice President and Sales Director of CANDIS. He first came to China in 1986, marking the start of his Chinese studies and business experiences, and now speaks fluent Chinese. In the early 1990’s he worked in the finance industry in New York City, but by the mid-nineties Dave saw the opportunities China presented by its rapid financial growth and returned to China with Andy Kuo to establish China's first corporate standard broadband business, bringing new technologies to a wanting business community.

Being a self-taught IT professional, David has proven to be a very astute bridge-builder during negotiations with parties from different cultures and backgrounds to consummate deals involving both technical and functional issues. His unique set of skills has been an essential part of building CANDIS into a market leader in the IT industry bringing new network and computing technologies to China.

Andy Kuo is Vice President and Marketing Director of CANDIS. He began studying and working in China in the early 1990’s. He worked in the IT industry in the US for a few years before deciding to open a business in China with David van Meerendonk. Andy has also worked with several other industry leading companies in China and Hong Kong. His family has their origins in China, and he is fluent in both Chinese and English. His family has been doing business in China for over thirty years.

Having worked at Microsoft in the US during the 1990’s, the IT industry was familiar to him and he saw the growing IT industry in China as a huge opportunity. As a co-founder of CANDIS, Andy has helped establish CANDIS as a market leader in the IT industry with competitive technologies and services within the Chinese market. 

Andy Dürr is CANDIS' Customer Service Director. He has lived and worked in greater China for the past 15 years, He initially spent 4 years in Hong Kong working for several hotels in the Food & Beverage field, building a reputation as an astute person with a service minded personality. In 1997 he moved to China for the Hilton group and assisted in the opening and operation of their Nanjing property, which was later followed by appointments to management positions at hotels in Beijing. Due to his hospitality background, Andy’s strengths lie in customer service, work flow & operation management, staff training and controlling.

Andy holds a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Lausanne Hotel School, Switzerland. He is fluent in several languages and is a key to the multi-lingual support services offered that sets CANDIS apart from its competitors.

Richard Ford is CANDIS' CTO and R&D Director. He first came to China in 1999 after completing his studies at the Australian National University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree with majors in Business Information Systems and Management Accounting. Post graduation  he spent two years working as a graduate employee for a local Australian IT start-up that focused on Knowledge Base Systems and Industry Association Management Solutions. It was during this period that Richard gained his first experience in working in Asia. Richard moved to China in 2002 when he enrolled at the University International Business and Economics in Beijing, where he took graduate courses in Chinese Business Studies and completed the first of his Chinese language studies that continued with the completion of the Intermediate level course work at Beijing Language Culture University.

Outside of being a co-founder of CANDIS, Richard has spent his time in China as an advocate and supporter of Open Source technology and Linux evangelism. He is an original member of the Beijing Linux Users Group and with CANDIS has helped many open source projects throughout China.