Nan Cunhui: Innovation is on the top of agenda to tackle drastic market changes

2019-03-21 09:38:26 source: In Zhejiang; Editor: Zichen HU; Video: Xulin WENG;

“70% of the overall innovation achievements are contributed by private companies, and innovation is on the top of agenda to tackle the drastic market changes in terms of technology, management method and service. Although private companies used to be associated with the images of low-end, small and loosely organized, they, especially the ones from Zhejiang, still show strong vitality in the fierce market competition. Among the various contributing factors to the entrepreneurial success, it is the institutional and systematic innovation that plays the leading role. ” In the interview, Nan Cunhui mentioned “innovation” for over 60 times.

Nan Cunhui is the deputy of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and he has served in National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (NPC & CPPCC) for over 20 years.

Nan Cunhui has many honorable titles: the deputy of CPPCC, the vice president of the National Association of Industry and Commerce (NAIC) and the chairman of CHINT Group. He submitted 12 proposals concerning innovation, the improvement of energy structure, the protection of intellectual property and the optimization of business environment. These proposals are practically inspired by his rich business experiences and hearty devotion to the betterment of society.

CHINT Group focuses on developing the intelligent electrical energy system based on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), and is one of the leaders of technological innovation in the energy market.


Faced with intense challenges putting many companies at the risk of shutting down, Nan Cunhui said, “Time has changed. And the incapability of planning and implementing innovative methods and the blind following of the old experiences are damaging. The only thing that does not change is the change itself. We must keep our horizons opened to the trends. For example, nowadays, Chinese people’s enthusiastic overseas shopping has caused much pressure on the domestic market, which is a lesson for domestic entrepreneurs to effortlessly improve our competence. Developmental strategy comes from competitions.”


Nan's emphasis on innovation may derive from his entrepreneurial journey. During the interview, he recalled his early success in photovoltaic business “Farmers rented our whole sets of power station equipment and installed them to build photovoltaic stations on their idle roofs, and they benefited from the electric supply and financial income while we solved the problem of renting spaces. What a win-win!”


In 2006, CHINT Group entered the solar energy market. After 6 years of dedicated technological research, CHINT finally opened up the entire photovoltaic industry chain and participated in the global competition with remarkable competence. Always bearing innovation in mind, Nan Cunhui has started to set the research centers in the Asian-Pacific, European and northern America regions “This is another innovative method as scientific research needs to gather wisdom worldwide.”


When comparing the private companies to the large state-owned enterprises, Nan emphasized “Although the state-owned enterprises have huge assets and strong investment capabilities in the research and development, the private companies are still competitive in the disciplines less demanding in technologies, services and innovation, and their vitality is contributed by the severe market competition. All they need is the support from good systems and capital markets.”


The recently released regulations by China Securities Regulatory Commission focusing on technological innovation help to constitute the “good systems” mentioned by Nan. Those regulations aim to lower the threshold for entrepreneurship and strengthen the regulations of the production. They simplify the procedures of turning those innovative ideas into practices and are expected to boost innovation.


With the governmental support, the industrial innovation also needs the integration of many technologies. Speaking about the development of clean energy in the future, Nan shared his views, “The safer, more environmentally-friendly, more convenient and cheaper use of energy in the future requires innovation, especially the cross-discipline synergy between photovoltaic industry and the Internet of things (IOT).”


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The success of Nan Cunhui is the reward for his determined efforts in innovation and implementation capabilities. Known as the Chairman of CHINT Group and a magnate listed in the top 50 of the richest people in China by Forbes magazine, Nan Cunhui was only a shoemaker who took over his father's business in Liushi Town, Yueqing City, Wenzhou 40 years ago.


Nan Cunhui's youth was full of hardships and tribulations. From the age of 6, Nan started to sell rice bran and eggs on the street. At 13, when he just graduated from junior high school, his father was injured and bedridden. As the eldest son, Nan dropped out of school and inherited his father's career to feed the whole family for three years. Recalling this very experience, Nan said, “I made more money every day than my peers, because my speed, hard work and reliable service quality surpassed the other competitors.” That’s the spirit of him to actualize the innovative ideas against the odds in his later career.


After the founding of CHINT in 1984 from a switch factory, Nan Cunhui took an unconventional approach to share dividends into shares to stimulate the spirits of his employees to the utmost. In 1991, Nan Cunhui spent all his family property and set up the first Sino-foreign joint venture with American businessmen in the history of Liushi Town, and he implemented the general manager responsibility system under the leadership of the board of directors. Since then, Nan Cunhui has embarked on the exploration of upgrading “Wenzhou Business Model” of modern responsibility system in the enterprises.


In 1998, in order to attract the best talents to create the best capitals for the enterprise, CHINT announced that employees with management, technology, and operation capabilities can become its stakeholders simply with their talents and commitment. Also, Nan Cunhui cut his personal shares to 20%. Those systematic reforms, along with the technological innovation, helped CHINT develop into a huge company with an annual sale of over 60 billion yuan in 2018. So far, CHINT has participated in the formulation and revision of over 190 industrial standards, and CHINT marked its distinguished innovation capability by obtaining over 1,000 certifications and 4,000 patent authorizations.

Recalling the hardship in the interview by Zhejiang Daily Press, Nan Cunhui said "Private enterprises mature gradually from small to large, from weak to strong by innovation and continuous reforms. Thus, they become an important force for the sustained and healthy development of China's economy.”


(Executive Editor: Yongliu HE)

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