Tiens Group, a China-based global consumer product and service company, will
pour huge investment into establishing up to 1,000 direct-selling supermarkets
around the world by 2009, to sell its flagship products to further cement its
global business foothold.
The fledgling African market will occupy a crucial position in Tiens'
gigantic expansion plan, sources from the group announced, prior to the Forum on
China-Africa Co-operation being held in Beijing from November 1 to 6.
"We aim to implement a new approach to further drive our business forward
globally. Backed by our worldwide customer pool, we will channel substantial
daily consumer products and services through us and our global partners to make
one-stop shopping possible," Li Jinyuan, chairman of Tiens Group, revealed to
"Emerging and promising markets, such as Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern
Europe and Latin America, will play an important role in our ambitious global
expansion plan," Li added.
The actual investment for the 1,000 direct-selling supermarkets amounts to
hundreds of millions of US dollars, and dozens of new supermarkets will be
established in Africa, according to the Tiens chairman.
"We attach great importance to the African market. Currently, we have
branches in about 30 African countries. The figure will be expanded to 40 next
year," Li elaborated.
According to Tiens' plan, to set up 1,000 direct-selling outlets is expected
to differentiate the company's strategy from its global competitors'.
"It is a gigantic project, which will give us a competitive edge. In fact, we
believe we will outpace our competitors by adopting such a business model," Li
The first such supermarket is to be built in Tianjin municipality, where
Tiens' China manufacturing facility is located.
Products available in Tiens' future supermarkets will include Tiens'
traditional healthcare products, daily consumer commodities, small medical care
equipment and products and services of the firm's global partners.
"Besides traditional products from us and our global partners, we will even
try to provide value-added tourism and financial products and services in our
future supermarkets. Because of our huge consumer pool, service providers, such
as financial institutes and tourism agents are enthusiastic about co-operating
with us on our supermarket project," Li introduced.
Besides manufacturing products, Tiens also looks for high-end global
suppliers to share its new business model with. Tiens' partners come not only
from China but from around the world. Among them, many are global giants
scattered in various business segments.
Multinationals such as L'Oreal, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Shiseido have
hammered out long-term partnerships with Tiens, serving as high-end original
equipment manufacturers (OEM) and original design manufacturers (ODM) for Tiens.
"It is true that it is not cheap to find partners at that level. However, by
co-operating with these high-end global OEM and ODM partners, we can guarantee
the quality of our brand products and our brand value will be enhanced. Brand
power is the most important asset in our philosophy," Li explained.
In return, OEM and ODM suppliers of Tiens can benefit from such partnerships
because of Tiens' extensive global sales networks and large customer pool.
"We can have our brand power boosted, while our partners can sell products
they made through our business channels. It is actually a win-win situation," Li
More importantly, by doing that, extra expenses and risks such as tariffs,
anti-dumping charges, foreign exchange costs and transportation costs will be
avoided, Li emphasized.
"This is exactly what we expect from our new business model," Li added. Tiens
adopted the strategy of finding high-end global OEM and ODM partners from 2001,
when many privately owned Chinese enterprises were still enthusiastic about and
satisfied with serving as OEM suppliers for multinationals.
Founded in 1995, Tiens Group has grown into a global enterprise with business
operations in more than 190 countries and regions, with a customer pool of over
Since its foundation, Tiens has managed to maintain a fast but steady growth
with its anchor business concentrating on the advanced biotechnology industry.
The group has successfully developed more than 1,000 products, which are
based on advanced biotechnologies, in-depth research of Chinese traditional
medicine and the Chinese philosophy of healthcare. The group is also involved in
financing, real estate development, education, cultural exchanges and modern
The group marched into the international arena in early
1998, with an internationalized paradigm catering to its own development. So
far, there are 50,000 franchised outlets around the world selling its products, and the group
has set up branches in 104 countries and regions.
(China Daily 11/03/2006 page16)