[Canton Fair Story]Canton Fair “Loyal Fan” Zhou Guihong: Canton Fair Helped me Earn the First Pot of Gold in Foreign Trade
The 126th Canton Fair kicked off on October 15. Zhou Guihong, Chairman of Guizhou Alfatech Manufacturing Co., Ltd., attended as scheduled. This is his third time in the Canton Fair. “My company was established in 2017. We yielded good results the first time we came here. It is fair to say that our first pot of gold in foreign trade was from the Canton Fair. I am a loyal fan of the Canton Fair, and hope to attend every session in the future.”
Achieved a Breakthrough in Foreign Trade
50-year old Zhou Guihong is a native of Guizhou. After laid off from a local state-owned enterprise in 2002, he worked in auto parts factories in Jiangsu and Guangdong for several years. During this period, he learned that main parts in China’s huge automobile market were imported from abroad, and that many of the core technologies of automobiles are possessed by foreign companies, such as brake pads from Japan and Germany.
“Since then, I have been studying technologies of automotive brake pads. I found that high-quality brake pads have a lot to do with raw materials, and that Guizhou happens to have such mineral resources. Through painstaking efforts, I have obtained more than 20 invention patents and more than 10 utility models in the field of friction materials. Now I serve as a visiting professor and postgraduate tutor at the College of Material and Chemical Engineering of Tongren University, and the technical leader of Hong’an Brake Technology Co., Ltd. At the beginning of 2017, I came back to my hometown and started my own business of brake pads”, Zhou Guihong told reporters. Zhou co-founded Guizhou Alfatech Manufacturing with more than a dozen returned entrepreneurs and foreign traders. With the support of the local government and relying on the rich mineral resources of Guizhou, the company produces high-carbon based automotive brake pads.
Zhou Guihong’s products are of good quality, but it is not easy to open up the market. After learning at a meeting that the People’s Government of Guizhou Province would recommend companies to attend the Canton Fair every year, he submitted materials for application. Upon review and approval, he attended the Canton Fair for the first time in October 2018. “At the 124th Canton Fair, we had a 3m*3m standard booth and sent 3 employees to distribute test supplies and materials to buyers.” Zhao Guofeng, General Manager of the company recalled: “The world economic situation last year was not good, but we received more than 50 potential buyers in four days. We realize that the Canton Fair is a world-class stage.” One month later, some of the potential buyers visited our factory in Guizhou. A Cambodian buyer ordered 10,000 sets of products at one time. “That was the first overseas order after the establishment of our company. Although it was only over 500,000 CNY, the breakthrough from zero is of great significance. It has strengthened our confidence in participating in the Canton Fair”, Zhou Guihong told our reporter.
Canton Fair Helps Companies Grow Rapidly
After participating in the Canton Fair for two sessions, Zhou Guihong’s team has greatly improved its development strategy. The reporter learned that the number of employees of the company has grown from 15 to 60, that they have received more orders, and that the company has gradually established its reputation in the industry.
Zhou Guihong said with deep feelings: “In addition to gaining orders, the Canton Fair has enabled us to continuously improve our management level, to meet the needs of the international market.” After we participated in the Canton Fair for twice, we adjusted our product structure. Now our products consist of two series. One series is mainly targeted at buyers in “Belt and Road” countries and regions, who are more sensitive to price. High-strength ceramic brake pads are in line with their needs. The other series is designed for Japanese and South American buyers, who place more emphasis on product quality. High-carbon brake pads meet their demands. “Actually, the wear resistance indicators of these two series of patented products are above China’s national standard. Different positioning can make buyers more satisfied.”
In addition, the company developed more international and individualized packaging based on customer feedback, becoming increasingly integrated with the international market. “The Canton Fair has a history of 62 years, while we are a new comer. This big stage allows SMEs to truly feel the unique role of the big platform. We hope to participate every year, gradually expand our export orders to 20,000 sets per month, and show the world the power of Chinese manufacturing in the auto parts market”, said Zhou Guihong.
Source: Canton Fair Press Center
Reporter: Li Yuanli