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Being compared to any business Tycoon is always complimenting to one’s resourcefulness, tenacity, and determination to succeed in a world of 7 billion people.
But what if you were compared to one of the most influential business tycoons of the modern era; Entertainment mastermind Walt Disney.
Even more so, what if you were being dubbed the ‘Walt Disney of China’, making you, effectively, the entertainment-conglomerate leader in the Eastern world.
Well, this is a reality and title Cai Dongqing has been dubbed with for almost half a decade now. His company; Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co. is as diverse in its products as its name is long.
Much like Disney, his products and portfolio has captured the imagination and spirit of the Chinese youth since its inception in 1992, and has prospective businesses within the toy, instrument, animation, licensing, live-action cinema and other industries that span across the idea of entertainment.
One does not simply begin their conglomerate with everything, and much like Mr. Disney, Dongqing started small and grew through expert strategy, passion, and dedication. Specifically, Cai Dongqing started through a company that manufactured toy trumpets.
This venture helped him accumulate funds to the point where it allowed him to create Alpha Toys in 1992, a toy manufacturer that initially focused on 4-wheel drive toy vehicles.
In 1996, Dongqing imported Japanese cartoons 4 about 4-wheel vehicles and aired it on Chinese television. His venture into television brought him into the realm of multi-faceted entertainment companies, creating huge commercial Chinese hits such as Pleasant Goat and Big, Bad Wolf, and eventually launching into the Shenzhen stock exchange at a valuation of $800 million U.S. dollars.
Cai Dongqing made it to the peak of Chinese-entertainment through trial and error and the art of making people passionate about your product.
When he was 17 he was inspired when he apprenticed at a factory. His first company involved creating cheap plastic toy instruments. In the end it became a huge commercial failure that cost him tens of thousands of dollars.
Dongqing used this knowledge to fuel how he approached his customers. He came up with innovative ways to inspire a love for his products, such as creating racing tournaments for his toy vehicles that spanned over 28 cities and over 600,000 participants.
This further increased with digital media, as through television production and importing he was able to advertise and promote toys such as the vehicles and his yo-yos.
He has allowed that business model to take off into 9 different subsidiaries and a current net valuation of 1.5 billion USD, all achieved through a couple decades of operation.
We are only left to imagine how his empire will look like in the future.
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THE BUSINESS CARD:
- Made his first million with: Alpha Toys (1993)
- Business is… “an encyclopedia….filled with countless opportunities”
- Life motto: “I want every kid in the world to be able to see Alpha’s cartoons, and spread the Chinese culture to every corner of the world,”
- Dongqings educational experience: Bachelors and MBA from Sun Yat-Sen University
- Advice to business owners: “Always have passion to change your customers lives and well-beings
- Biggest things to avoid: “To avoid failure is to avoid growth”