Shanghai is a city of entrepreneurship. In our series, 'Shanghai Entrepreneurs,' we talk to entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and businesses about their motivations, experiences and what they have learned along the way.
Born in Shanxi, Rui Chang is a Shanghai-based entrepreneur who’s the owner and creator of Kakebanchi Tech Co. Ltd, a company that works on projects related to commercial vehicles. He has big dreams for his company and is trying to grow his Shanghai operations nationally. Here he tells us a bit about his experience and expertise...
Why did you move to Shanghai?
I was born in Liuxian county, Shanxi province, but always dreamed of studying at leading universities in Shanghai. In the end, I chose Zhengzhou University instead. Although I found myself to be competitive in my home province after graduating, I decided to come to Shanghai because I love the city. Later on I received my MBA from Antai College of SJTU.
What are the biggest challenges for setting up a business here?
The biggest challenge for me was to leave a high-paying job to start my own business during a slump in the logistics industry and commercial vehicle tire sector, which is capital-intensive and asset-oriented. Since 2014, the industry’s gross margin level has been falling constantly and the vast majority of traders are losing money. It was definitely a challenge to survive the slump, but I did it.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?
You need to make a good financial budget. It is critical to make objective and sufficient research on projects you’re about to carry out, such as the average daily cost, operating revenue and profit levels. It is also important to understand the fundamental profit model of the project. For instance, the upper limit of the daily cost and the minimum average daily revenue.
What makes your team unique?
With the exception of our CTO, all members of our team are from outside of Shanghai. They come from Liaoning, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Shanxi, Guangdong and so on. They left their hometowns and now work here in Shanghai with me, all with a common goal and passion for our company. I feel so honored to have their trust and I cherish them very much.
Who is your personal business idol?
I would have to say Ren Zhengfei, the founder and president of Huawei. He started his own business when he was 43 years old and managed to turn a local company into one of the world’s innovators in science and technology. He also came up with a management solution for Chinese enterprises that’s based on traditional Chinese culture for the first time in history. In this sense, Ren is truly a great entrepreneur.
Do you have plans to expand your business outside of China?
I would prefer to further enlarge and strengthen our business here in China first. China not only has a considerable logistics capacity, but it also has an enormous market for commercial vehicles. In the near future, we hope to gain the attention of foreign enterprises when we become the best overall solution to the commercial vehicle market.
Which Chinese company do you admire the most and why?
Alibaba, because it is the world's best and fastest growing e-commerce enterprise. It created a new business model and changed our consumption habits.
Where do you see your company in five years?
I hope to see my company in over 70 percent of the logistics distribution centers in China.