By Edward Tse, Gao Feng Advisory
A growing number of privately owned Chinese companies have been achieving exponential growth and successfully transforming their businesses.
Many of them however remain relatively unknown in the West.
Unlike famous Chinese internet companies like Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings and the latest crop of startups with skyrocketing valuations.
These less prominent companies are comparatively down-to-earth and generally had humble beginnings but now boast solid business models.
SF Express, Oppo, Vivo and Midea Group are prime examples of this group. Each boasts a unique entrepreneurial story and has been relentlessly pursuing innovative strategies to create new markets and redefine the rules of the game for their sectors.
Understanding these companies’ growth and origins can shed light on the complex, multi-dimensional and dynamic context of business in China.
The growth mentality and entrepreneurial spirit of these companies are inspiring both local and foreign business leaders.
The visionary entrepreneurs who founded companies like these excel in speed, agility and adaptability and are grabbing new opportunities amid market discontinuities and spotting unaddressed needs.
They are relentlessly identifying new strategic growth areas through fearless experimentation, jumping over capability gaps and charging across traditional industry boundaries, carving a path distinct from core competence-focused players and from diversified conglomerates.
China is no longer just a fringe or emerging market for multinational companies but increasingly at the core of their global strategies.
The proliferation of technology enablers and intense competition will drive further development of business models and technological innovation.
With China’s gradual transition from a planned economy to a market-based one, new opportunities will continue to emerge and be identified.
China is increasingly becoming a source of inspiration for new intellectual capital in strategy and management science.
This unprecedented phenomenon, as shown by the growth stories of SF Express, Oppo, Vivo, Midea and many other similar organizations, will require the wider business community to look at organizations in new ways.