[Reveal] Once Bankrupt! From Watch Repairer to China’s Cable Tycoon!
This week, the activity of Speak for China’s Industry of CCTV Finance Channel arrived in Wuxi, the cradle of China’s national industry and commerce and Chinese township enterprises. In the circumstance when China’s industry is faced with challenges and difficulties and against the overall background of vigorously promoting the real economy, what kind of strength did Wuxi’s fertile soil for industry bring to entrepreneurs here? How much confidence will the industrial originality of entrepreneurs Dialogue of CCTV Finance Channel give to people holding fast to the real economy?
Jiang Xipei: When I started the business, my small goal was to make 50,000 yuan!
Jiang Xipei, board chairman of Far East Holding Group: I failed the college entrance examination in 1980. I followed my second elder brother to Hangzhou to repair clocks and watches. Before leaving, I set a small goal for myself. It was a deposit of RMB 50,000, two buildings and a pretty, virtuous wife who managed to live well. My brother taught me selflessly, and I was diligent and eager to learn. It was just after 56 days that my brother let me to set up a stall. The business was very good. I also trained three apprentices. At other stalls, clocks and watches were fixed while customers waited. But at my stall, customers had to wait about one or two months. For my good quality and reasonable price for fixing, they were willing to wait that long. As a result, I realized my small goal in no more than three years.
Unfortunate upgrading, family fortune lost
Jiang Xipei, board chairman of Far East Holding Group: But later, I changed my goal. I went to work as an agent of parts and accessories of clocks and watches, but I couldn’t find users. At that time, I was caught in predicament. I had invested more than 200,000 yuan and it had all gone. In addition, I lost over 200,000 yuan. It was just like falling down from the sky. How did I choose this industry?
Starting from scratch, setting foot in the wires and cables industry
Jiang Xipei, board chairman of Far East Holding Group: My eldest brother gave me a direction. He worked in a plastic electric wire factory, responsible for the sale and purchase of wires and knew the price of wires fluctuated every day. He said to me, “Xipei, you’d better start the electric wire business.” I thought to myself a whole night. It dawned on me that it was my perfect time. Then I borrowed another more than 10,000 yuan from friends and relatives and went to Anhui and Zhejiang. I first bought the unsold products from the hardware, electrical material and chemical product companies and electronical and mechanical companies and sold them in Jiangsu and Shanghai. About one truck for two or three days. For the information asymmetry at that time, there was a time lag of at least one week. This gave me a good chance. In this way, in no more than two years, I not only repaid my more than 200,000-yuan debt, but also earned over 1 million yuan. That was my second pot of gold.
Growing from small to big, how to make the market big?
Jiang Xipei, board chairman of Far East Holding Group: There was a market. And I had two years’ experience in doing business. Then I set up five business departments nationwide first and then started to build a small factory. Stores first, factory second. The benefits of the scale were gradually realized, making my company grow every day. I made what others could not accomplish. At that time, state-owned enterprises and central enterprises were predominant. But my company as a private enterprise could offer customers more considerate service and made them more satisfied. Just like that, we’ve held fast to that for more than 20 years.
We have won the project invested by Japanese in Pudong District, Shanghai at one stroke. And our country’s high voltage cables were also unprecedented in history, for these cables were to transport cables with maximum loads of 10 million kilowatts and 1 million kilowatts from the coal mine terminal and the power station to major cities. We kept solving difficulties one after another and this won us honor. For instance, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge was one of the world-class problems. For the people in Far East, every time we solved a problem, we gained a sense of achievement. But that did not come easy. We needed the best raw material in the world. After years’ development and research and many failures, we had better materials and more superior technologies.
We sought the best equipment in the world. Even though the price was 5 to 10 times higher than our home equipment, we would adopt it as well. Of course, it relied on the cautiousness and conscientiousness of diligent workers and managers to make it happen. Because of that, I succeed. I become an entrepreneur. I have experienced the hardship of doing industry, and also harvested the joy of success. We are surefooted and steadfast in every step and find pleasure in doing so.