Fotile Kitchen­ware cooks North Amer­ica ex­pan­sion plan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By SHI XIAOFENG in Ningbo shixf @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ningbo Fotile Kitchen­ware Co Ltd, which makes high­end ap­pli­ances and in­te­grated kitchens, will ac­cel­er­ate its ex­pan­sion into North Amer­ica next year, hav­ing tasted suc­cess in Asia.

“We are go­ing to tar­get the Chi­nese-Amer­i­can fam­i­lies as our ini­tial for­ays have yielded suc­cess,” said Mao Zhongqun, chair­man and founder of Fotile.

Ac­cord­ing to Mao, Fotile’s range of hoods has many ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies like smoke suc­tion, mak­ing the prod­ucts the best choice for cook­ing Chi­nese cui­sine, which nor­mally pro­duces more smoke than Western food prepa­ra­tion.

“Many Chi­nese-Amer­i­can fam­i­lies vis­ited our on­line shop and placed or­ders for our hoods. Some even gifted them. That gave us a lot of con­fi­dence,” he said.

“They don’t need to worry any more that cook­ing Chi­nese food the tra­di­tional way will fill their homes with smoke or bother their neigh­bors.

“Our sales in North Amer­ica are ex­pected to ex­ceed 100 mil­lion yuan ($14.51 mil­lion) by the end of this year.”

Un­like its peers’ orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer strat­egy, Fotile marched into over­seas mar­kets with its own brand, tar­get­ing high­end con­sumers in 16 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, Canada, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

That strat­egy seems to have paid off well as Fotile topped the rank­ings for kitchen­ware mak­ers in Malaysia and Pak­istan last year, ahead of other in­ter­na­tional gi­ants.

Fotile’s sales reached 6 bil- lion yuan by the end of Oc­to­ber this year, up 26 per­cent year-on-year, much higher than the 12.4 per­cent of the en­tire do­mes­tic mar­ket.

Founded in 1996, Fotile was the first do­mes­tic man­u­fac­turer to fo­cus on high-end elec­tri­cal kitchen­ware. That fo­cus was sus­tained for 20 years.

“I be­lieve in crafts­man spirit. Mak­ing all-out ef­forts to pro­duce com­pet­i­tive and high-qual­ity prod­ucts — that’s been the story of my whole ca­reer,” said Mao.

At a time when com­peti­tors ploughed their dis­pos­able cash into di­ver­si­fi­ca­tions like real es­tate in­vest­ments or busi­ness ex­pan­sion, Fotile in­vested 5 per­cent of its sales rev­enue into re­search and tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion, dou­ble the in­dus­try’s spend on R&D.

Fotile pro­duced China’s first in­de­pen­dently de­signed deep range hood in 1996. The next year, it de­vel­oped the na­tion’s first ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gen­ce­pow­ered deep range hood that can de­tect smoke and gas leaks, and turn on au­to­mat­i­cally and suck them out.

The com­pany had been mak­ing Euro­pean style hoods for the past sev­eral years. It also de­vel­oped hoods with ring suc­tion tech­nol­ogy that suck out smoke ef­fi­ciently.

Fotile’s sink dish­washer is a three-in-one de­vice that com­bines a kitchen sink, dish­washer and fruit and veg­etable clean­ing ma­chine. De­signed for the do­mes­tic mar­ket, this space-sav­ing ap­pli­ance took five years to de­velop. It pro­duced much suc­cess for Fotile, cap­tur­ing 32 per­cent of the do­mes­tic dish­washer mar­ket.

Mak­ing all-out ef­forts to pro­duce com­pet­i­tive and high-qual­ity prod­ucts — that’s been the story of my whole ca­reer.” Mao Zhongqun, chair­man and founder of Fotile

SHI XIAOFENG / CHINA DAILY

A worker pol­ishes the sur­face of an ex­clu­sive sink dish­washer in Fotile’s fac­tory at Ningbo Hangzhou Bay New Zone, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

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