Leading Entrepreneurs

CEO of A State Owned Company

Zhengshou Teng, CEO of Oriental Telecommunication Group, was recently named Outstanding Executive of state-owned enterprises in China by State Economy & Trade Commission, National Federation of Trade Union, and other state ministries. His achievements attracted millions of people's focuses through out the country.


Teng's career started in Wenzhou, a medium-sized city in Zhejiang Province of Southeast China. The city is long famed for its booming private economy. Many believed that, Teng could have accumulated a large amount of personal wealth if he went to private, but he chose another way around.


In 1984, he was appointed General Manager of Wenzhou Glass Fiber Building Material Factory, a state-operated enterprise and predecessor of Oriental Group today. The factory nearly went bankruptcy at that time. However, Teng took the job without any hesitation. Supported by his staff, he fought for his promise: "no success, no life". With their tremendous efforts, the miracle happened. The factory was brought back from the brink of bankruptcy in the first year! In the second year, their profit exceeded the total revenue of the previous year. And again, the second year's revenue was further exceeded by the profit of the third year. Their after-tax profit stunned the whole city. In 1988, they became the first conglomerate ever established in Wenzhou.


Teng was not satisfied with what he already achieved. Years later, Oriental Group acquired nine other state-owned businesses in red, including Wenzhou Ship Yard, the largest state-owned enterprise in Wenzhou. Surprisingly, all these businesses stopped suffering the loss after being acquired by Oriental within the acquisition year. They got rid of debts of RMB 45 million yuan, re-hired more than 3000 lay-offs, provided more than 2000 retirees with pensions. Meanwhile, eight high-tech companies and a private college were established by Oriental Group, which extended the company to a multi-dimensional conglomerate, across the industries from building material, ship-building, chemical, mechanical, decoration, electroplate, illuminating equipment, and education. In the past 15 years, the enterprise has been rapidly expanded at an average year over year growth rate of 68%. It is now one of the top 500 key state-owned enterprises nationwide.


His charisma and altruism united the whole Oriental Group together. He once talked about his management philosophy: "self-discipline, moral inspiring, personal cultivating, all lead to the ultimate profit earning". He set up the rule for himself: "I should work hard, give clear direction, take care of everyone's benefits, take the most challenging issues, and set an example for my staffs." For 15 years, he never broke his words. Every day and every year, he starts to work at 5:30 am, and leaves office at 9 or 10 pm. No vacations, No weekends. He has boarded and lodged in the company since 1995. Going back home has become a rare thing. Given the power he has, he never uses company's single penny for his personal use. His unselfishness touched everyone's heart. Under his management, Oriental now has a strong leadership team and employee team, which in turn help him carry out his strategies and assure success.


As a leader of state owned enterprise in Wenzhou, Teng worked in a very special local economic environment, where the percentage of state owned business only has 4.5% of total local economy. However, Teng well positioned his company, and developed his well known strategies: "Shunt from the main road and occupy the high land". He fully utilized the strength of Oriental in fund and technologies, which are often lacked by relatively smaller sized local private companies, and focused his business on the areas which require large investment and advanced technologies. Teng's strategy worked out. Many CCP Party and State leaders have ever visited Oriental Group, and highly praised their achievements. In 1999, Teng was elected one of the "Top Hundred Model Worker in China", and honored to be invited to attend the 50th National Day Ceremony.


Teng's achievement has also attracted the attentions from the international business circle. Recently he was elected Vice President of US-China Entrepreneur Association.