Dong Mingzhu does not like makeup, but he likes to wear long skirts.
Chen Luyu interviewed her in Zhuhai. Early in the morning, the two men walked hand in hand in Zhuhai. Dong Mingzhu wore a yellow printed dress, surrounded by a camel shawl and a gray round hat. This relaxed and beautiful dress made Lu Yu feel a little surprised.
“ How much do you guess this dress? ” After getting on the bus, they chatted about the skirt. Dong Mingzhu laughed like a girl, “just over 100 yuan, bought in Greece. ”
She knows that the outside world has worn a lot of hats for herself: overbearing president, business iron lady, and net red entrepreneur. But in her heart, there is still a warmth to look for. A soft dress, often let the person who saw her for the first time, immediately subverted the impression of "Dong Mingzhu" in the mind, the smelting of steel into a soft finger.
The long skirt makes Dong Mingzhu look a lot younger than the actual age.
Dong Mingzhu, who is 64 years old, will continue to hold Gree Electric? This is a matter of constant concern to the outside world. In May of this year, Dong Mingzhu responded: “The Internet has been very troublesome recently. Can Dong Mingzhu retire?” Although I am in my 60s, I think I am still young and my heart is still like 25 years old. ”
Since entering Gree in 1990, Dong Mingzhu has been working in Gree for nearly 30 years. She witnessed the ups and downs of Chinese manufacturing companies in the tide of the market economy, and personally experienced the struggle process of Gree as a private enterprise from small to large. In her own words, in the future, there is still a game, and it is still necessary to compete.
In the era of barbaric growth, change is king
In 1990, the market economy was warm and cold in China. Dong Mingzhu left his hometown of Nanjing and went to the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone on the forefront of reform and opening up. That year, she was 36 years old.
However, Dong Mingzhu did not have much ambition at the time. “It’s not because there is gold everywhere, but because of the environment here. "Dong Mingzhu told China News Weekly that when she first came to Zhuhai, she liked the natural beauty here and brought her inner peace." “If you want to make money, going to Shenzhen should be a better choice. ”
Dong Mingzhu found a job and made a sale in an air-conditioning company called “Haili”. This company is the predecessor of Gree Electric in the future.
“At that time, the company was very small, only a hundred people, and it was not an exaggeration to say that it was a hand workshop. Dong Mingzhu recalled that air conditioning was still a new industry at that time, but most of the air conditioners produced by the manufacturers had no technical content, and they relied on buying spare parts for assembly. “All parts and components are purchased, including the outer casing. ”
Relying on assembly and OEM sales, the company's annual sales are only 20 to 30 million.
“At that time, the fate of the entire enterprise was in the hands of the sales staff. & rdquo; Dong Mingzhu said that for such a small factory, it can be supported by sales. As a newcomer, Dong Mingzhu followed the old salesman to the south. At that time, sales in the company belonged to high-income people. When Dong Mingzhu just worked, the sales commission was 2%, and the sale of 1 million yuan could be made up of 20,000 yuan.
However, the pressure of survival of enterprises is also on the sales. Gree suffered a serious inventory backlog in 1994. “The products can't be sold, and there is a large backlog of stocks. The company is very anxious from top to bottom. Dong Mingzhu said that at that time, the company’s triangular debt was very serious. The company owed money from the upstream suppliers. The downstream agents owed the company’s money, and they still owed the bank’s money. The company relied mainly on bank loans to support it. In this serious debt situation, companies rely more on sales people. ”
At that time, the Chinese market economy was still at the stage of exploration, and the markets in all fields were in a state of barbaric growth.
“At the time, there was no need to talk about the technical content of the sales. Just do a good job and sell the air conditioner. "Dong Mingzhu recalled that at that time most of China's manufacturing industry was not of good quality, and Gree was no exception. This makes the sales staff feel particularly strong.
“At that time, the product repair rate was very high. If it was a batch problem, it would be even worse. So when I was doing sales, I felt very strong. "Dong Mingzhu said that the four-year first-line sales experience made her see the problems of the company.
In 1994, Gree suffered a serious crisis, and the company's sales staff suddenly "collective resignation".
“Our salesperson took the customer to the job and went to the competitors. This is a very dangerous stage, and Gree may fall down at any time. "Dong Mingzhu was on the verge of death and became the head of the company's business department. This is the first opportunity for her business to take off, and it is also a turning point for Gree Electric.
“The first thing I came back to as a minister, in addition to reorganizing the sales force, it was more important to put forward quality requirements for the company. At that time, I began to have a new understanding of quality control. "Dong Mingzhu recalled, "The former parts, can not go online, including the technical system, there is no standard, even the drawings are not, that is, a person has the final say, his standard is the standard of the product, and he He can make decisions when choosing a supplier. He thinks that good is good. ”
As the operating director, Dong Mingzhu has completely changed the marketing system and completely broke the situation that the destiny of the company is on the salesman. She also proposed to promote quality through sales and promote sales through sales. Under her promotion, Gree established a screening plant in 1995 to control product quality. In the second half of 1997, Gree set up a cost office to conduct cost accounting to solve various problems such as excess material and cost control on the production line.
Dong Mingzhu did not hide his meaning of adhering to Gree. "In 1994, if it wasn't for me to return, Gree did have a catastrophe." ”
The employees of Guangdong Zhuhai Gree Electric Appliances went to work.
“At the time, Chunlan, Huabao, Hualing, and air conditioners were no worse than us. Why did Gree succeed in the end? Dong Mingzhu said that the final facts prove that many competitors have declined, but Gree has weathered the crisis again and again. The fundamental reason is that the development of enterprises has embarked on the path of self-regulation and strengthened quality control and internal management.
“Harmony is the struggle” ”
In 2001, Dong Mingzhu became the general manager of Gree Electric. Since then, like a surgeon, she has never stopped picking up problems and operating on the business.
“I did a big thing when I became a general manager, that is, team building. In fact, the company had already experienced a new crisis. This kind of crisis was a significant increase in the company’s internal power transactions. & rdquo; This kind of thing, for Dong Mingzhu, who can't bear the sand in his eyes, is indispensable.
The internal rectification of the mountains and the sea came to the fore, and the problems found were also shocking. A small technician could build a supporting factory on the outside, claiming to be imported from South Korea, and encroaching on tens of millions of funds. No one knows.
Around 2001, due to problems with the management team, Gree also experienced a strike. “Why do employees strike? Is not satisfied with the manager. You give me benefits, I will give you a high salary. If you don't respect me, then you can work hard and be the least. "Dong Mingzhu said, therefore, Gree reorganized the team and began to deepen internal management and improve various systems. “I want the cadres to lead by example. These languages are placed in the moment. Everyone feels that it is out of date, but it is precisely because of these things that Gree has been well developed. ”
In 2003, Gree's revenue achieved a breakthrough of 10 billion. Enterprises have entered the fast lane of development, but even bigger problems and challenges have come one after another. Some agents in the sales system have become difficult to get rid of.
“There is a dealer in Henan, he is very famous in the local area. We had a lot of rules at the time. He didn't follow the rules, and he ran over and made trouble. We can only punish him for more than 3 million yuan. "Dong Mingzhu said that the dealer found the chairman's complaint and said good things." The chairman heard that the other party was so loyal to Gree and suggested that Dong Mingzhu give him the rebate. "Let me not do it, and I will not implement it." If you give him a rebate, it is unfair to all dealers nationwide. & rdquo; Dong Mingzhu said.
For the sales system, Dong Mingzhu is more confident than anyone else. “I haven’t made a mistake in the marketing system for so many years. Dong Mingzhu said that from the beginning to the end, she has been constantly improving the sales system and constantly establishing a new model to meet the needs of market development.
“I have a lot of measures against the construction of sales channels, and many people have oppressive feelings. "Dong Mingzhu said that this kind of "oppression" is not what you want to do, but under the same rules, you can't be opportunistic, "so those who want to speculate feel very uncomfortable." ”
Along the way, Dong Mingzhu seems to be fighting forever, and there will always be an endless battle.
In 2004, Gome, the chain hypermarket that dominated the channel, unilaterally announced price cuts. Dong Mingzhu was attending the National People's Congress in Beijing at that time. After he learned that he was directly angry, he immediately stopped supplying to Gome. Soon, Gome Beijing headquarters ordered the national sales branch to clear Gree and clear inventory. The contradictions between the two sides suddenly escalated and the relationship deteriorated drastically. However, Dong Mingzhu never refused to admit defeat, and immediately announced his withdrawal from Gome and self-built channels.
Dong Mingzhu said that when the determination and the big chain broke, the company was also very worried inside, "My top leader told me that after the break, what should we do in the future? "Dong Mingzhu has confidence," other brands are inseparable from the big chain, because they have no confidence in their products, and hope to sell the products through the big chain. We are quality and have a reputation, so we are not afraid. Others like Gree, naturally will come to my channel to buy. ”
Dong Mingzhu recalled that she was very fortunate that she had many controversial decisions at the time and finally got the support of Zhu Jianghong, the then chairman. For Dong Mingzhu, whose personality is not flattering, Zhu Jianghong is her Bole.
“Although sometimes we have different opinions on many decisions, it is basically based on my decision. & rdquo; Dong Mingzhu said frankly, "In this regard, the chairman is very supportive of me and trusts me very much." ”
In 2012, she was successfully elected as the chairman of Gree Electric. Since then, Gree has really entered the era of Dong Mingzhu.
At this time, Dong Mingzhu is 58 years old and has been in her for 22 years. She felt that all the way came through the challenge, "I have been saying a word, harmony is a struggle." You can only be more combative if you keep cleaning up those lame things. ”
“Dong Mingzhu successfully learned”
On the day before Dong Mingzhu was interviewed by China News Weekly, on June 25, Gree Electric just opened its annual shareholder meeting at Zhuhai headquarters. The shareholders' meeting received unprecedented attention. More than 500 shareholders attended the shareholders' meeting, 108 institutional investors, and even more than 100 shareholders holding 100 shares came to the scene.
Gree Group staff told China News Weekly that the shareholders' meeting did not originally invite the media, but more than 10 media reporters attended the meeting as shareholders. “They all bought Gree stocks. ”
At the shareholders meeting, all shareholders and journalists are most concerned about a topic that is not within the scope of the issue: Will Dong Mingzhu retire?
In fact, on May 31, Dong Mingzhu had already ushered in the last day of his second term. On this day, the tenth board of directors and the board of supervisors of Gree Electric Appliances have expired. Gree Electric has announced that the company's board of directors and the board of supervisors will be postponed. However, the specific time for the general election was not released, and Dong Mingzhu’s going and staying is still unknown.
At this general meeting, Dong Mingzhu did not give a clear answer. However, she used a set of performances to tell the outside world what Dong Mingzhu’s existence means for Gree.
In the opening speech, Dong Mingzhu deliberately divided the history of Gree Electric into three stages: Zhu Jianghong era, Zhu Dong cooperation era, Dong Mingzhu era, she listed the performance data of each stage, in order to "speak with facts" ;
Dong Mingzhu said that Gree Electric had no real profit from 1991 to 1994. It was subversive in 1995 (revenue exceeded RMB 2.5 billion and earned more than RMB 1 billion). “The year was truly profitable for Gree Electric. One year, most of the reason is because Dong Mingzhu, because that year I came back to charge sales, the head of the business department, or a deputy minister. ”
“In 2001, I became the general manager. In 2011, together with Chairman Zhu Jianghong, the accumulated revenue was 349.3 billion yuan. From 2012 to 2017, the accumulated revenue was 720.9 billion yuan; from 2001 to 2011, The accumulated profit is more than 18 billion yuan, and the accumulated profit from 2012 to 2017 is more than 80 billion. ”
“2012~2017” This year's revenue is more than 700 billion, which is twice that of the past, because I have the final say. ” She does not hide her value to the company.
“If I retire, I will give the country, the shareholders, and the employees a satisfactory answer. & rdquo; Dong Mingzhu told China News Weekly that this made her very proud.
However, some of Dong Mingzhu’s decisions have caused a lot of controversy. In 2015, Dong Mingzhu suddenly announced that Gree would be a mobile phone. Choosing to enter the mobile phone industry is undoubtedly a plunging into the Red Sea. Many people think that this is the decision of Dong Mingzhu. Judging from the market reaction, there are almost no market reactions in Gree and second-generation mobile phones.
This decision has been controversial and questioned until now, but Dong Mingzhu does not admit that Gree mobile phone failed. “Many people said that they could not see and buy Gree mobile phones in the market, so they failed. I didn't do promotion at all, how can I find that I failed? "Dong Mingzhu told China News Weekly that the mobile phone business did not affect the performance of Gree Electric, which is the most important. “Although doing mobile phones, Gree’s net profit margin still reaches 15%. My development and technical research have not affected the company. ”
She is never prepared to admit defeat, nor give up. In making the decision on the mobile phone, she said more than once, "I will definitely continue to do mobile phones." ” At the shareholders meeting on June 25, she once again stated: "Everyone is not optimistic about my smart equipment, mobile phones and chips. As long as I am the chairman of the board, I must do these things because I have to Destiny is in your own hands. ”
In addition to mobile phones, Dong Mingzhu’s bigger dream is to make chips. At the shareholders meeting, Dong Mingzhu responded to this matter with his own humor. She said, “I want to make chips this year, and the stock will fall. Why do other people’s chip stocks go up? Gree’s chip will fall because Dong Mingzhu is really dry! ”
“Our air conditioners now have their own compressors, their own motors, their own electronic controls, and a series of products are in their hands. The only solution to be solved in the future is the chips. & rdquo; Dong Mingzhu's logic is as always, she decided to do things, has nothing to do with money, has nothing to do with technology, and is related to confidence, "I think it is not a question of size, but a question of your confidence. I always feel that others can make it, and we should be able to make it. There is no reason to do it. ”
In April 2018, Gree released the 2017 annual report and decided not to pay dividends in the year. This decision triggered some investor dissatisfaction and the stock price fell. Dong Mingzhu’s decision also made many people worry about her whether she would offend a large number of small and medium-sized shareholders and bring resistance to the re-election of the chairman.
Because this does not meet Gree's practices and investors' expectations. Since its listing in 1996, Gree Electric has distributed a total of 19 dividends, with a cumulative dividend of 41.792 billion yuan and a dividend payout ratio of 40.96%. In 2016, Gree Electric distributed a cash red envelope of up to 10.828 billion yuan.
At the shareholders meeting, in the face of the previous non-dividend incident, Dong Mingzhu said: "According to the usual dividends, I have at least nearly 100 million, but I have no points. I am thinking about the future competitiveness of Gree Electric. I don't want to divide it. After the second year, Gree's competitiveness has declined. Do you hope? ”
“ Today's non-dividend, for more dividends tomorrow. If you must choose today's dividends and give up more dividends in the future, I think I want to screw up this business. "Dong Mingzhu told China News Weekly that the company needs to pay dividends from the strategic pattern, and rational investors should be able to accept it."
Dong Mingzhu is ready to continue to wear a shirt and complete a bigger dream for Gree. At the shareholders meeting, Dong Mingzhu disclosed the latest industrial planning map, which is divided into four parts: air-conditioning, high-end equipment, lifestyle products and communication equipment companies. Especially the communications equipment sector, IoT devices, mobile phones, chips and big data. Dong Mingzhu revealed that at present, Gree's chip purchases are close to 5 billion yuan a year, and next year Gree air-conditioning strives to use independent chips.
The support of the new leadership team in Zhuhai gave Dong Mingzhu greater confidence.
In February of this year, Guo Yonghang, former member of the Standing Committee of Shenzhen Municipal Committee and Secretary-General, served as secretary of the Zhuhai Municipal Party Committee. On the evening of May 16th, 2018, Gree held the "Gree 2018 re-launch" dream festival held in Zhuhai. Guo Yonghang not only attended the party, but also publicly stated: "I wish the young Dong Mingzhu to lead the young Gree, and make the business bigger and stronger." ”
This statement was widely interpreted by the outside world as Dong Mingzhu was recognized and supported by Zhuhai's new leadership team and is expected to continue to serve as chairman.
“ I have seen him (Guo Yonghang) 5 times. & rdquo; Dong Mingzhu said, "We really feel the support the government gave us. ”
Dong Mingzhu has served Gree for 28 years. She laughed and said, “Let's go all the way.” ”
“Let’s say that I am a very strong person, and many hats are worn on my head. But I am not making decisions for my own profit, but making decisions for the public interest. I believe that I will get the support of most people. & rdquo; Compared with the outside evaluation, Dong Mingzhu is more concerned about whether the company has developed and benefited, "Everything will offend some people, especially the interests of some vested interests. But for the benefit of the public, these people must be offended, not to sin without Gree today. ”
For her own success, she also summed up her own "Dong Mingzhu success":: Efforts are necessary, but there must be good opportunities, because there is such an opportunity for reform and opening up, only to have the conditions to play. But this opportunity is for those who have real dreams, not for those who are opportunistic.