(Yicai Global) May 17 -- Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai, the world's largest air conditioner manufacturer, aims to post revenue of CNY200 billion (USD31.50 billion) this year, said Dong Mingzhu, its chairwoman.
Dong revealed this operational goal at an employee event yesterday. The company logged revenue of CNY148.3 billion last year.
The firm's take from its smart equipment business, including industrial robots, was CNY2.13 billion last year. It made up only 1.43 percent of overall company revenue, but the segment grew over 13 times annually and is the company's most rapid-growing business.
Gree's international-advanced, high-performance servo motor and driver technology for industrial robots passed an evaluation by an expert panel in early May, a Gree employee announced yesterday at the gathering.
the servo motor is one of industrial robotics' three key components.It is a rotary motor that enables accurate control of angular positioning, acceleration and speed and uses a regular motor coupled with a sensor for positioning feedback, , per public information. The company previously relied on imports of these, but its self-development has now severed that umbilical. Unlike some competitors that tap into the industrial robot sector via acquisitions, the Guangdong province-based appliance maker has always stressed self-innovation. The new technology will make the smart equipment business a new driver of Gree's profits.
To further motivate employees in Dong's signature employee-welfare style, Gree will also gift a two-bedroom apartment to all staff members who work until retirement, so they need harbor no concerns over rising home prices, she told 20,000 Gree workers. The Zhuhai government has pledged to provide the company with land sufficient to build 10,000 units.
Dong is widely expected to be reelected as chairwoman at the company's board of directors' election to be held later this month. On the topic of her retirement, she said that though she is 63, she is only 25 years old at heart. Dong, who news site UK Business Insider styled 'Asia's most successful businesswoman' in February last year, also placed on Forbes Asia's list of Asia's 50 most powerful businesswomen in 2012, in addition to a plethora of other similar distinctions.
Dong is an exemplar of China's growing ranks of captains of industry and a popular business commentator. She recounts her career from saleswoman to corporate stardom in her book, Regretless Pursuit, which became a bestseller in China. She has famously not taken a day off in 20 years. 'Sister Dong,' also dubbed the 'Iron Lady of Business,' lost her husband when in her early 30s. She left her toddler son with his grandmother and went to Zhuhai to seek work. She became a Gree sales manager in economically-disadvantaged Anhui province in 1990. Within 18 months her sales there topped USD2.8 million -- 1/10 of Gree's then-revenues -- thus establishing her as a marketing magus. She became sales director in 1994. The firm listed in 1996 and Dong became its chief executive in 2001 and chairwoman in 2012. Gree removed Dong from the chairwomanship in 2016 because of local government rules against holding both posts simultaneously, but she resumed the post last year. She is committed to diversifying the company into emerging fields such as new energy vehicles but faces opposition from conservative factions within the firm, as various media reported.
Editor: Ben Armour