Giant Leap Essay

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Giant leap Giant Group CEO Shi Yuzhu's tumultuous journey as an entrepreneur since 1989 has made him a legend in China's business community. In 1984 after graduation from Zhejiang University, Shi took his first job as a public servant in Anhui province but the boring job pushed him to leave for Shenzhen, the boomtown bordering Hong Kong where he completed a Master's degree in software in 1989. Then by developing a word-processing system he started up his own business in Shenzhen with 4,000 yuan. He was quick to realize the power of advertising and marketing. Cash-strapped Shi was not able to afford to buy ads, so he asked for a deferred payment, a rare practice in the advertising sector. But China Computer World (CCW), one of the most influential publications in China's information technology industry, agreed. Shi then placed half-page ads in CCW and promised to pay 17,000 yuan within 15 days or close his company to pay the debt. In the 13th day after the ad placement, Shi secured three orders with a total value of about 20,000 yuan, which saved his start-up from the brink of bankruptcy. In October 1989 Shi made his first million. But to many people's surprise, Shi spent all the money on advertisements, which boosted his orders. In 1992 Shi relocated his corporate headquarters to Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong province which was friendlier to private businesses. Shi named his business Giant Group, which was inspired by IBM's nickname Big Blue. In 1993, the revenue of Giant Group surged to 360 million, making it the second largest privately held technology company in China. Shi's career reached the first peak with government officials starting to lavish laurels and praises anointing him as a model young entrepreneur and Giant Group as the icon of Zhuhai. That year the local government also awarded Shi with an apartment, an Audi and 630,000 yuan to encourage the

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