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Zhengbang Group: From feed manufacturer to leading swine breeder
 
by Praise POH
 
 
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Nanchang, Jiangxi, Zhengbang Group is one of the leading agricultural enterprises in China with a total of 360 branches and subsidiary companies across 27 provinces in the country.
 
With the Group's president Lin Yin Sun at the helm, Zhengbang recorded a total sales revenues of RMB52 billion (US$7.8 billion) in 2015, ranking 298th among China's top 500 enterprises and 74th among China's top 500 private enterprises. This year, the company continues to strive for excellence and secures a better position at 254th among China's top 500 enterprises.
 
 
After he graduated from Jiangxi Grain School in 1984, 20-year-old Lin Yin Sun went to seek employment in Linchuan district, Fuzhou, Jiangxi province. He was soon employed as a factory manager, taking charge of a small-scale feed mill with an annual feed capacity of 6,000 tonnes.
 
Lin Yin Sun foresees the importance of feed production in bringing a qualitative leap in China's backward agricultural industry, hence, he actively conducted technical upgrades to the equipment, bringing the factory's annual feed production to 10,000 tonnes in a short span of time. Within five years, Lin had managed to turn the debt-ridden factory into a profit-making company. The swine feed factory is also among the first in Jiangxi province to introduce a full automatic production line.
 
With China opening up economically in the early 1990s, Lin seized the opportunity and restructured the original state-owned feed mill into a privatised entity, formally making the beginning of Zhengbang Group.
 
Lin believes the only way to succeed in the industry is to have a strong brand identity and uniqueness. Therefore, he invests heavily in technology, research and development, to further distinguish the company from its competitors by providing the consumers with quality feed products. In addition, he also focuses on various cost-saving strategies so as to maintain a leading advantage over other rival companies.
 
Jiangxi Zhengbang Technology, a subsidiary of Zhengbang Group, was eventually listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2007. It was the first private company in Jiangxi province with a successful IPO.
 
 
Changing strategy
 
Recognising a need to change his business model in order to grow the company, Lin decided to diversify and focus on swine breeding as its core business in 2010.
 
Since then, the company has grown rapidly especially in recent years, as Lin aims for the expansion to further lower its debt-asset ratio and increase financial stability.
 
"The feed company is an example of industrialization and economy of scale. We have established a complete chain for pig products, introduced standardized operations in large-scale pig farming, and promoted a circular economy." Lin said.
 
Not only is Zhengbang Group among the top ten feed producers in all of China, it also has businesses in duckling breeding, rice processing, bio-pesticides and seeds as well. Lin further attributes science and technology as a driving force behind the company's rapid development.
 
Following an increase in hog prices early this year, Zhengbang Group's core animal husbandry business has also recorded a new high, RMB766.89 million (US$115 million) in operating revenues for the first six months of 2016. In fact, the company's animal husbandry business accounted for 22.79% of its overall core businesses for the first half of this year, almost doubled from 12.86% in 2015.
 
Lin is not someone that shies away from challenges; in fact, he loves to challenge himself constantly. He has spoken at multiple occasions and events that he and his team are dedicated to achieve two 10 million goals: to produce 10 million pigs and 10 million tonnes of feed annually by 2016/2017.
 
For his huge contribution to the agricultural industry, Lin was awarded the honor of "national excellent builders of socialist cause with Chinese characteristics among people from non-pubic economy sector" in 2015.
 
In July this year, the ambitious Lin decided to push himself further and declared a new goal: 50 million swine per year! Though he did not set a definite time frame for this new goal, there is no doubt that the future of Zhengbang Group is anything but dull.
 


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