Kevin Nolan is President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Appliances, a subsidiary of Haier, the world’s largest appliance manufacturer. Here he discusses the integration of GE Appliances into Haier and the opportunities it creates.
According to the Hurun Global Rich List, with 568 billionaires, Greater China overtook the US (with 535 billionaires). Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau minted 90 new billionaires over last year. Even as the ranks of billionaires swell in China, the damning reality is that wealth is concentrated amongst a handful of people. According to a survey conducted by a Peking University institute, 1% of families in China own 1/3rd of the wealth. That speaks of a serious imbalance in the society. In this edition of China Data, we bring you statistics on China’s wealth imbalance, Dalian Wanda’s investment in healthcare, Chinese tourists in Japan, and more.
Over the past 30 years Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin has led the company through several path-breaking business model changes, which have helped the company build a strong brand, grow both organically and through acquisitions, globalize and “get close to the customer”. Zhang is now leading the company through yet another transformation to make it what he calls an “internet-based platform company” made up of extremely responsive micro-enterprises. For the closest parallel, think of a Silicon Valley within a company. In this rare interview, he talks about his management philosophy.
Anil K. Gupta, the Michael Dingman Chair in Strategy, Globalization and Entrepreneurship at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, questions the logic behind Haier’s giant leap towards its new platform strategy. What’s at stake for Haier if it doesn’t embark upon this ambitious plan? According to Gupta: Haier now faces a major conundrum. Unless the company can find other growth opportunities fast, it faces years of potentially very slow growth. It is in this context that one can understand why CEO Zhang Ruimin has embarked on this new strategy.
White goods manufacturer Haier is turning itself into an internet-based ‘platform company’ made up of several micro-enterprises. The idea is to create an organization that is extremely responsive to customer needs, constantly cultivates new ideas and innovates quickly. To do that it needs to discard the traditional organizational structure where ideas flow top-down and execution is done bottom-up. The company is now a flat organization which is a marketplace of ideas, talent and resources. The plan sounds good in theory but will the execution be easy?
Can China become a global leader in the Internet of Things?
Several companies—from tech giants like Alibaba to durables manufacturers like Haier—are betting big on the Smart Home market in China. Who’s doing what?
Smart Home technologies are out to change the way we live and make our life more efficient.
Bill Fischer, author of Reinventing Giants, on how CEO Zhang Ruimin transformed Haier from a lumbering giant into the world’s largest white goods manufacturer—and a world-class brand. China has never been at the forefront of management innovation. Whenever you talk of management innovation, the companies that come to mind are GE, Procter and Gamble, Whole […]
Joel Backaler, author of China Goes West, talks of the globalization of Chinese companies and whether or not the West needs to be wary of them. Chinese companies are globalizing at an unprecedented rate. While Lenovo is now the world’s largest PC maker, Haier is the world’s largest consumer appliance manufacturer. Huawei has been giving […]