SHUNDE, China, April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, China-based property developer Country Garden Holdings won great acclaim when the firm was honored with the 2016 Leading Brand in Property Development Award at the Third China Real Estate Internet Summit in Beijing, a signature event hosted by China's state-owned news website www.people.com.cn.
The theme of this year's summit, "A Sense of Responsibility Drives All Future Development" accurately summed up the topics that led most discussions at the event with property developers taking a hard look at the obligations that property developers need to incorporate into their thinking in these times that are often referred to as the "new normal". Ongoing development trends of the sector were also widely discussed, allowing participants to undertake a meaningful exploration into what the future portends.
See "big" in "small": details are where strength shows
Country Garden Holdings, a firm with annual sales exceeding 300 billion yuan (approx. US$45 billion) and that recently assumed a leading position in China's real estate market, is well known across the industry for its long list of big projects, while its many smaller efforts haven't drawn the same level of attention.
2016 has been a particularly significant year for Country Garden, with the company putting itself on the fast track in terms of project development and experiencing a major and rapid expansion of its business. The results of these efforts went far beyond industry expectations. Country Garden undertook a major adjustment to its portfolio strategy, introducing the biggest change to the company's overall direction since being established by the founder and chairman Yang Guoqiang (who is often referred to by his Cantonese name Yeung Kwok Keung) twenty-five years ago. The change in direction is evidenced by several large-scale projects including a luxury gated community codenamed "Rolls Royce" in Changde, Hunan province, the massive Forest City "mini-metropolis" in Johor Baru, Malaysia, and the multiple Techtown projects across China. The transformation of Country Garden has served as a challenge to the company's entire organization including management framework, product modeling, marketing and sales strategy, and financial ability.
In the second half of 2016, Yang himself came out with an invention. In a move to completely solve the problem of foul odors that can reside in a bathroom, he personally drafted the design and modified the prototype six times, in the end creating a functioning anti-odor floor drain. The chairman keeps a model of the floor drain on his desk to convey to senior management his understanding of the psyche that drives a craftsman to engage in his or her craft.
Yang believes that, just like Tao Bihua, the founder of the household name brand chilli sauce Laoganma, who has spent decades working on the formula for the sauce and eventually become an entrepreneurial heroine admired across the entire country, every link in the industry chain that forms China's property development industry also needs to be "thoroughly thought out, so that every brick that goes into the construction of a building is manufactured and every construction site that is managed is done so with the same dedication that a true craftsman puts into his craft".
"Yang Guoqiang is the only company chairman among all property developers in China who personally goes through every blueprint with a fine tooth comb. Each and every single detail, including, for example, the position of a tissue box, the position of a water faucet when no water is flowing and the direction in which the faucet must move to turn the water on, the direction in which a door must swing when opened, all of these small details matter to him", said Huang Yuzang, Country Garden's vice president of design.
Taking social responsibility and building the brand
"A company that makes a contribution to the betterment of society will achieve better bottom line results." When Country Garden provides quality products and services to residents, it has always considered social responsibility as the primary driver of development. The company sees this as fundamental to its role as a leading company across the industry. Country Garden's philanthropy work has gone a long way in cementing the company's reputation as one that contributes positively to the world at large. According to statistics, Country Garden and its chairman together donated more than 2.7 billion yuan (approx. US$ 392 million) in past years. The chairman, Mr. Yang, was the recipient of the 2015 China Poverty Eradication Award for his persistent efforts at poverty alleviation.
In a move to align with the government's new urbanization strategy as well as the government's drive to encourage innovation, Country Garden initiated a project that it named Techtown, partnering with innovative and forward thinking companies and organizations to create, in the outlying areas of larger cities, small, technologically innovative, intelligent ecological towns with high-class facilities, a comprehensive support structure and highly efficient services. The idea behind the project is to build a smart, technological innovation platform which provides a superior living experience and can serve as a better model for the country's urbanization drive.
As a listed company valued at hundreds of billions of yuan, Country Garden is dedicated to transforming itself into a company that will still be here, operating successfully, a hundred years from now. This commitment has not only helped Country Garden to show meaningful achievements, but also acts as a guarantee for its long-term development.
Country Garden quickly saw the opportunity when China's central government rolled out its economic development initiatives focused on making inroads into international markets, especially the "One Belt One Road" initiative for expanding trade across Eurasia, and the initiative to make China's spare production capacity available to companies and for projects around the world with a focus on Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the U.K. and Vietnam. In 2016, Country Garden signed more than 308.8 billion yuan (approx. US$44.8 billion) in contracted sales and entered the Forbes list of the world's top 500 companies. The company is planning for the day when it can call itself the world's leading real estate brand.
When quality comes first, one can focus on the top end of the market
"2017 has been designated the Year of Quality Management at Country Garden, and the company plans to enhance the image of the brand by continuing to work on quality expectations", Country Garden Holdings president Mo Bin said. After achieving sales of 308.8 billion yuan (approx. US$44.8 billion) and entering the Forbes list of the world's top 500 companies, the company entered 2017 on a high note, posting 48.6 billion yuan (approx. US$ 7 billion) in sales for the month of January. The company came in 183rd in the Brand Finance Global 500 report for 2017, a listing of the world's 500 most valuable brands compiled by the independent British brand evaluation and consulting company Brand Finance.
As a driver of China's new urbanization initiative and the creator of the global intelligent ecological city, Country Garden was selected as the only property developer to participate in the CCTV brand promotion initiative, the national TV network's program to promote Chinese brands globally, on the basis of the company's superior performance, focus on innovation, actions taken to fulfill its social responsibilities, and the chairman's "craftsman's spirit".
"Quality and property management are the lifelines of Country Garden", the chairman emphasized in a recent speech. Taking the effort to personally redesign the floor drain in a move to improve the living experience for the residents of the company's many projects as an example, Country Garden focuses on quality in every step of the construction process, with the goal of providing affordable and quality housing to individuals and families from all walks of life.
Country Garden was established in Shunde, Guangdong province, at a location on the banks of the Bi River, and at the foot of Gui Mountain. Over the past 25 years, Country Garden has participated in China's urbanization drive by developing over 700 quality projects in more than 400 cities and towns, serving to improve the living standard and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families. Country Garden takes pride in its contribution to China's urbanization drive and to doing its bit to make the world a better place to live in.
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