Ac­tu­ally, the la­bor­in­ten­sive gui­tar man­u­fac­tur­ing needs hardy, spir­ited work­ers.”

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business -

New York City’s Times Square is home to one of the most hap­pen­ing pub­lic-space ad­ver­tis­ing hot spots. That’s where Zheng’an In­ter­na­tional Gui­tar In­dus­try Park, from South­west China’s Guizhou prov­ince, dis­played its ad­ver­tise­ment on a gi­ant elec­tronic bill­board for a week in Jan­uary. The ad high­lighted the park’s strong de­ter­mi­na­tion to ex­pand its busi­ness over­seas.

Zunyi Shenqu In­stru­ment Man­u­fac­tur­ing Co Ltd is among a grow­ing num­ber of com­pa­nies based in Zheng’an county that helped cre­ate one of the largest gui­tar-mak­ing hubs in western China. It is now seek­ing to gain mo­men­tum in its global ex­pan­sion.

Cur­rently, the in­dus­try park is home to 19 gui­tar man­u­fac­tur­ers and 10 en­ter­prises that sup­port the gui­tar-mak­ing in­dus­try.

Last year, 5.01 mil­lion gui­tars were pro­duced in the park, gen­er­at­ing an eco­nomic out­put of 5 bil­lion yuan ($792 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial data. The park ex­ported 2.25 mil­lion gui­tars in 2017, ac­count­ing for more than onethird of China’s to­tal gui­tar ex­ports.

To­day, Zheng’an-made gui­tars cover around 30 per­cent of the US mar­ket, 40 per­cent of the Brazil mar­ket and 20 per­cent of the Asian mar­ket, said the lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

Bet­ting big on a fur­ther boom in the gui­tar mar­ket world­wide, Zunyi Shenqu and other man­u­fac­tur­ers are now gear­ing up to build a world­class brand for the park and gain the top spot in the global mar­ket. They aim to pro­duce 10 mil­lion gui­tars and cre­ate an eco­nomic out­put of 10 bil­lion yuan in the next few years.

Af­ter years of de­vel­op­ment, Zunyi Shenqu, a sup­plier of six of top ten global gui­tar brands, has now made a name and money for it­self.

Zheng Chuan­jiu, a for­mer farmer and gen­eral man­ager of Zunyi Shenqu, claimed the com­pany pro­duced over 600,000 gui­tars last year and the rev­enue rose to more than 200 mil­lion yuan.

Of the to­tal out­put, over 90 per­cent were made for over­seas mar­kets, in­clud­ing the United States, Brazil and Africa. The fig­ure is ex­pected to surge to around 700,000 this year and the rev­enue is es­ti­mated to ex­ceed 400 mil­lion yuan.

“In fact, we can’t re­ally pro­duce enough gui­tars to meet the huge de­mand,” Zheng said. “Re­cently, we added a new pro­duc­tion line and hired 300 new em­ploy­ees.”

Based in Zheng’an, one of the poor­est re­gions in South­west China, Zunyi’s fac­tory em­ploys nearly 900 work­ers, and most of them were poor neigh­bor­hood farm­ers not so long ago.

“At first, peo­ple could hardly be­lieve that those pro­fes­sional-grade brands were made by a group of farm­ers in such a moun­tain­ous ru­ral area,” Zheng said. “Ac­tu­ally, the la­bor-in­ten­sive gui­tar man­u­fac­tur­ing needs hardy, spir­ited work­ers.”

Zheng him­self is per­haps the best ex­am­ple of un­var­nished ge­nius that abounds in the area. He has no idea how to play a gui­tar; but he is fa­mil­iar with 186 pro­ce­dures in­volved in the pro­duc­tion of a gui­tar.

Back in 1995, Zheng, a ju­nior high school grad­u­ate, left his home­town Zheng’an and went to Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of south­ern Guang­dong prov­ince, to work along­side his brother at a lo­cal gui­tar fac­tory.

The two broth­ers grad­u­ally learnt the skills to pro­duce gui­tars. Their ex­quis­ite crafts­man­ship earned them pro­mo­tions to man­age­rial po­si­tions.

In 2007, the broth­ers founded their own fac­tory; and in 2008, they re­ceived an or­der for 2,000 gui­tars from Tag­ima, the top brand in Brazil, via an in­ter­na­tional gui­tar ex­hi­bi­tion held in Shang­hai. Since gen­eral man­ager of Zunyi Shenqu then, their gui­tar busi­ness kept grow­ing and be­came a run­away suc­cess.

Zheng said the key to their suc­cess was the spirit of work­man­ship, say­ing their pro­duc­tion lives up to a high stan­dard. And any de­fec­tive goods are de­stroyed, and never al­lowed to en­ter even the dis­count-price sales stream.

Now he wants to take fur­ther steps to im­prove the qual­ity, work­ing toward meet­ing the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

“To be­come an in­creas­ingly in­flu­en­tial player glob­ally, we aim to pur­sue high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment in the fu­ture,” Zheng said. “We will grad­u­ally cut the low-priced gui­tars and at­tach greater fo­cus to mid­dleto high-end gui­tars so as to bet­ter tap into the global mar­ket.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, the low-

Prospec­tive cus­tomers

end prod­ucts are set to ac­count for less than 20 per­cent of the to­tal out­put this year, com­pared to 30 per­cent last year.

The orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer or OEM busi­ness has kept grow­ing at a high rate. Zheng is de­ter­mined to build an own brand called Benssica and de­velop orig­i­nal high value-added prod­ucts.

In re­cent years, China has been step­ping up ef­forts in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor to boost pro­duc­tiv­ity and eco­nomic growth. Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Chi­nese tech heavy­weight Xiaomi Corp, re­cently said that while qual­ity rep­re­sents hard power, prod­uct de­sign and user ex­pe­ri­ences gen­er­ate soft power — and both are key to suc­cess in man­u­fac­tur­ing.

To cope with po­ten­tial chal­lenges, Zheng plans to or­ga­nize a team of 20 se­nior spe­cial­ists to build the com­pany’s own brand. The com­pany will also re­cruit skilled col­lege grad­u­ates to use big data to im­prove the op­er­at­ing ef­fi­ciently of the sys­tems, in terms of the sup­ply chain, pric­ing and the clients’ de­mand.

“I be­lieve one day we will build a na­tional gui­tar brand that is able to ri­val the top in­ter­na­tional brands,” Zheng said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Clients from Brazil try out Zunyi Shenqu’s prod­ucts at its fac­tory in Zheng’an county of Guizhou prov­ince in Oc­to­ber 2017.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

from Rus­sia visit the fac­tory of Zunyi Shenqu in Guizhou prov­ince in June 2017. Zheng Chuan­jiu,

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