Business / Companies

Gree seeks sustainable growth in a slowing market

By QIU QUANLIN (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-30 09:24

Gree seeks sustainable growth in a slowing market

Consumers attracted by Gree's promotion campaign at an outlet in Shenyang, Liaoning province. As China's leading air conditioner maker, Gree has tens of thousands of stores across China and its products are widely used in homes and office buildings in more than 100 countries and regions. [Photo/China Daily]

Gree's business grew even faster after Dong became general manger of the company in 2001, with sales increasing from 5 billion yuan that year to more than 80 billion yuan in 2011.

Dong, who took the helm at the company in 2011, said Gree's journey has been remarkable, as it did not resort to any external borrowings, especially from banks, since 1997.

"We have managed to achieve a healthy development mode. There is always a corporate culture behind business growth. Like many of our peers, we have grown bigger and won many laurels. But that is not really what we wanted to do," she said.

The rapid pace of urbanization during the past decade has created a huge demand for home appliances in China.

"Gree grew as the market demand expanded. But now we have to think of a new development pattern that will enable us to achieve sustainable growth, even in a slowing market," she said.

The home appliances industry in China has been slowing in the past few years, with the growth rate for air conditioners falling from 6.8 percent in 2013 to 5.2 percent in 2014, according to AVC, a consulting company that specializes in home appliances data.

According to Dong, Gree plans to focus more on technology and innovation, areas it considers as its core competitiveness, for future growth.

"We will increase investment in technology and innovation to develop more environmentally friendly products to cater to the market demand," Dong said.

The company has made a beginning in this regard by launching an air conditioner that runs on photovoltaic power and consumes very little energy.

"It was more like a technology revolution in the home appliances industry. In the past, very few people would think of using photovoltaic technology to power air conditioners," Dong said.

Gree is also embarking on an ambitious journey to boost its presence in overseas markets, said Dong, adding that the company would look to export products, technology and management.

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