Cao Dewang’s business education began on the streets, cycling a round-trip 80km to sell fruit in the city of Fuqing. He spent some time as a chef before landing a job in 1976 at Fuqing Gao Shan Special Glass Factory.
And his big break?
In 1983 he was asked to take over the failing factory by the local government. He turned it around, changing its name to Fuyao Glass.
The data you need to know…
Cao listed his firm in Shanghai in 1993. Fuyao makes glass for cars and controls more than half of the Chinese market, as well as supplying Volvo, Audi, GM and Ford overseas. Exports historically made up 40% of revenues, but Cao forecasts they will hit 50% this year. The Fuyao Group’s revenue’s of Rmb5.7 billion in 2008 helped Forbes classify Cao as China’s 53rd richest man.
Why’s he in the news?
He is the first Chinese winner of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2009).
In his own words…
“My next goal is to make glass more perfect; the aim is to invent the world’s first intelligent glass within five years; that can be sensitive to sunlight and better protect the driver’s eyes.”
And to relax…
Golf is his sole hobby. He usually tees off at 4am; with golf course staff lighting the course with torches.
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