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New Money 2011-07-03 Musci pillow

07-03-2011 12:53 BJT




It's a busy scene to behold in the ancient town of Jiaxing, in China's eastern Zhejiang Province. Employees at the plant industriously work in shifts around the clock. Yet just some 20 days later, all production lines had stopped operating, shrouding the entire factory in silence. With no product orders coming in, the plant was left deserted. Sitting listlessly in one of the workshops and recalling the bustling activity of the factory just days before, a man named Li Yansong couldn't suppress his disappointment. Within a period of 20 days, startling changes had occurred at his plant. What were the events that turned his business upside down?     
The man named Li Yansong was the chairman of the board of directors of Hualong Window Ware Company Ltd. It was a company specialized in making metal fittings to plastic steel windows and doors. The company’s products had been mainly sold abroad. But when the financial crisis struck the globe in August, orders from abroad stopped coming and the business of the company ran into difficulties.
September 28 was a date that distressed him most.

No order

The bad news put Li Yansong at a total loss. He had just invested more than a million yuan in a new production line, just for making the products ordered by the Polish buyer. Because of the size of the Polish order, he had invested all available funds into filling that order.  With the financial crisis sweeping the world including Poland, the buyer not only refused to follow through with the order but also informed Li Yansong they might stop all future orders. Li knew once this major client from Poland was lost, the very survival of his business was on the line. He tossed and turned each night, wondering what the best solution was.  

To find a way out, Li Yanson had an urgent discussion with his cousin. They pinched and scraped and managed to pay the employees before the National Day holiday. With the wage crisis resolved, the cousins further decided to cast their sights to the domestic markets. They made nearly a hundred phone calls within a day’s time, talking from the morning till the evening with business agents in Chongqing, Shenyang and other places.  

Their efforts had failed to bring them any order. Having no alternative, Li Yansong, with his teeth clenched, had a fax sent to his agents, offering to provide goods at the price of the products’ costs. But none of the agents gave a response.

Setback 1

With no orders in the pipeline, Li Yansong became increasingly anxious. It was a feeling that stayed with him throughout his career. As an entrepreneur, he had encountered many difficulties and setbacks. But two in particular had a lasting impact on him.

It was in 2004,after a dozen of years’ hard efforts, Li Yansong had established his Hualong Window Ware Company as one of the country's biggest producers of plastic windows and doors and metal fitting parts. Mentioning of his success at that time, Li Yansong was very much content.

Li Yansong noticed by chance the trend of traditional wooden windows and doors being replaced by those made of plastic steel. He saw business opportunities in the growing popularity of these products.  With help of his uncle, Li Yansong established the country's first plastic steel window company in his hometown of Xinxiang, of Henan Province. Over a decade later, the Hualong Window Wares Company was well known in the industry. But in 2004, when prosperity and success made him feel he was on top of the world, his business was suddenly faced with what seemed like an unsurmountable challenge. What had happened? Let's continue after a short break...

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