The Vinno CEO Sitting in a Cubicle: What’s Deemed a Brand Must Touch Everyone’s Hearts
March 08-2018

In 2017 Vinno released 4 new products, achieved 7 technological breakthroughs, participated in National Key S&T Special Projects for the seventh time, and brought equipment multiple times to impoverished regions over 2000 kilometers away to conduct social welfare support..having underwent a dormant R&D period of over 7 years, Vinno has gone from 0 to 1 in the eighth year since its founding. Vinno has continuously endured the tests of the market, and not only have its profits become better with each passing day, but it has also gradually earned the respect of ever more people. 

Vinno’s founder Xishui once mentioned “the need to make a respected brand” multiple times in a speech. To a certain degree Vinno’s temperament and the direction in which its life has moved just happens to be the comprehensive embodiment of this entrepreneurial principle and philosophical view. How has Xishui led Vinno into becoming a “respected brand” in the field of medical equipment? How has he created a signature “domestic Chinese high-end color Doppler ultrasound” brand? This dialogue will take you along in search of an answer. 

 

CEO The CEO Sitting in a Cubicle

Our boss doesnt have his own office. He sits in a cubicle like us. I think in his heart we have always been equal.

                                                                                                                                              ——A Vinno Employee

 

Not having his own independent office and working together with employees in cubicles, this brings to mind Facebook’s founder Zuckerberg along with HP’s Whitman. Pursuing equality and advocating exchange and collaboration with employees, clearly Xishui is of the same ilk as them. 

In the hearts of many people Vinno is a medical equipment company with a high starting point. Its products were released and then won Germany’s A’Design Award. Currently, Vinno’s products are sold in over 70 countries. Vinno has opened up a space in the solidified sales model and the relatively stable market of the medical equipment industry. Yet, when discussing himself and Vinno, Xishui was incredibly low key. What he pondered over more was Vinno’s future. He would sincerely and factually tell you his worries and misgivings about the future. This attitude of pursuing the truth is unique to many “technology start-up” entrepreneurs. They are not boastful, and yet have a power that is compelling.

Xishui has always thought that he had an introverted personality, and that he was not suited for management. His attempt at management started from the repayment of a favor. In 1993, when he was recalled to Nanjing from Chongqing, a leader in his unit helped him a great deal. In order to repay this favor Xishui began taking on managerial posts. 

However, when summarizing his management experience Xishui used one brief statement to sum it up: “You actually have to conduct yourself seriously when engaging in management. Your moral quality, the way you do things, and your real actions are not only forms of expression. Do people accept them?”At Vinno the relationship between employees and between employee and boss is open and equal. Many things can be brought up and discussed. Vinno even allows and encourages employees to complain through various channels. “A company and a person both need ways out. Making everyone delighted at work is Vinno’s important corporate culture.”Also, because of this, ever since its founding Vinno has always maintained a low turnover rate, and, moreover, truly outstanding people rarely leave the company. 

An ethical person will never be alone. Like-minded people are sure to accompany that person. In the first year, the place where the Sage King resides becomes a gathering place, in the second year, a town-settlement, and in the third year, a metropolis. This is the power of the will of the people, and is also what Xishui believes to be the essence of management. On the basis of this management philosophy, Xishui, who is not in the least bit aggressive, gained everyone’s respect, and Vinno, which, as a company, is not in the least bit adept at flaunting its prestige, possessed a group of clients and cooperation partners that proactively calls it. 

 

The Artifying of Products and the Personalizing of the Brand

 As an ultrasound equipment company, we not only pursue technology, but also pursue an artistic aesthetic and humane concern with our products. This is whats interlinked in everyones hearts. Whats deemed a brand must touch everyones hearts.

                                                                                                                                                      ——Xishui

Creating a high-end national brand was the original entrepreneurial goal of Xishui and his team. For this original intention and seemingly irrespective of the investment required, they went all in: appearance is the first element in changing people’s impression of Chinese products, hence they invited an Italian Ferrari designer to design the product; to change the low-end impression that domestic ultrasound products had, the team became absorbed in R&D and invested greatly in it over the long term; to pursue perfection, in order to reduce 3 millimeters of thickness while designing a portable product, the team went through and tossed out three different solutions and spent over a year doing it....

Doing design with an artistic perspective. Making products with the heart of an artisan. In truth, both of these ways of doing things abandons the pursuit of short-term profits, and places the brand in a longer stretch of time. “A brand actually has two meanings. One is quality and one is long-term. Only brands with high quality, long-term approval deserve to be called brands.”However, pursuing art and long-term profits, in the same vein, requires paying a price, requires initiating a prognosis and trade-off between the present and the future. Compared with practical interests, Xishui places more value in the long-term. “If you concentrate a large amount of energy on the existing market, you might lose the future, lose those potential yet important market advantages. Engaging in a business requires long-term investment. This might impact current profits, but without today’s general layout, there is no way of creating greater value in the future.”

Energizing the product over the long-term both requires investment and that the team continuously innovates technology, and also requires constant excavation of the energy of the brand. “We hope that what this brand displays to other people is a genuine person, and displays the disposition and content of the company. Not to talk about products just to talk about products, but in order to transmit our values and aesthetics.” 

On Vinno’s public WeChat platform people can see this value and aesthetic permeating through many articles. In addition to the publicizing of product information, what Vinno pays more attention to are people, employees, ultrasound doctors, cooperation partners, WeChat fans.... because by following people, Vinno is also followed by ever more people. Messages from “fan boys and fan girls” frequently appear in the WeChat platform. Vinno’s brand publicity truly has built a strong relationship that is mutually linked with its users.  

 

Illuminating Grassroots Health Care with Social Welfare

When assessing a companys value, one not only looks at what it has, but also looks at what positive influence it has in the industry.

                                                                                                                                                           ——Xishui

 

In September 2017 Vinno entered the “Healthy China Grassroots Movement” 100 City 1000 County Precision Health Poverty Relief Movement, went to the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, and provided local residents with comprehensive ultrasound technology support, making it so that problems in the past in which they could only wait for a clinical visit from a specialist to solve could receive tentative diagnoses locally. In addition to this, Vinno will also continue to deliver warmth and improve the local health care conditions of impoverished regions including Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Guizhou, and Fujian. 

Xishui once said in a speech that “I’ve already reached the age where I’ve known fate. Our generation has experienced poverty, and the change and prosperity of the country. When we were young we always received an orthodox education, and so in our hearts we have an impulse to contribute something to the country.” It is because of this that Vinno thought of making a high-end national color Doppler ultrasound brand to change the low-end impression the world had of domestic medical equipment. It was also because of this that Xishui’s definition of “national” is not only limited to making a praiseworthy national brand, but even more pays attention to what positive influence the company is able to bring to the industry and to the country. In the past few years Vinno has always searched for its point of coherence with social welfare. “We tend more to come face to face with the grassroots level because we engage in health care. What we think more of is improving grassroots medical treatment conditions. What grassroots health care most lacks is not medical equipment, but skilled doctors.” To improve the skills of grassroots doctors Vinno specially established a training school and a training team. What the school and team do more of is skills training and not ultrasound equipment training, training grassroots doctors to read medical film and use ultrasound well. 

“We still don’t do enough for social welfare. The way we see it our company is still too small. Many of our social welfare resources are still small scale.” In Xishui’s eyes, what Vinno is capable of doing in social welfare is still too little. There is still a long, long road to travel. 

 

Being an an entrepreneur for 8 years has made me better understand how to maintain a balance

In the past, under many situations, I might have chosen to refuse to compromise, but now I tend more to help others, because on Vinnos entrepreneurial path I received the help of so many people. 

                                                                                                                                                            ——Xishui

 

When discussing changes over the past eight years Xishui not only marveled quite a bit at the development of the Suzhou Industrial Park District, but was also powerfully affected by how he had changed. “The industrial park started pushing public entrepreneurship around 2007. Having gone through more than a decade of time the scale of the companies that were cultivated has already expanded outward. Now if they continue to vigorously push public entrepreneurship, I believe in the future the adjustment and transitioning of the industrial park will be incredibly successful.” 

“The biggest change for me after being an entrepreneur for eight years has been that I better understand how to maintain a balance.” In the past because Xishui had always worked in foreign companies, the work environments he had been in were relatively simple, and so public and private, 0 and 1, all had relatively clear distinctions. However, in the process of entrepreneurship, 0 and 1, and public and private were in fact difficult to distinguish. Entrepreneurship requires balancing the various aspects of business relationships. In business much of the time, amiability is conducive to success. 

The founder is the person with the most influence in business culture. What he persists in and what his actions are will determine the future direction of the company. In the face of new technology Xishui chose to continuously embrace them. In terms of artificial intelligence, Vinno specially has a team conducting R&D, developing functions including AI assisted diagnoses and smart scanning. The age of ultrasound robots might arrive in the not too distant future. Now what Xishui considers more of is how to make Vinno continue on for longer and with more stability while not changing his original entrepreneurial intentions. When it comes to Vinno’s future, Xishui, on the contrary, has an open minded attitude: “Whether or not a company is able to adhere to original intentions tests whether it has this ability. After the first generation entrepreneur, will the second generation entrepreneur still be able to maintain the original intentions? He might find the original intentions to be incorrect. He can change them.” 

 

Postscript

Throughout the entire conversation Xishui’s verbalization was extremely sincere and low profile. He didn’t have any of the eye-catching “sensational attributes” that we wanted. This issue even unusually pained us when we returned to write up this article. However, we were also quite delighted and grateful. In this hectic world we encountered a “sincere” power. We believe that this low profile and sincere power will let Vinno delve into technology, optimize products, and expand markets calmly and with great consolidation of effort, bringing good news to doctors and patients. 

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