Source: China Daily
A worker polishes the surface of an exclusive sink dishwasher in Fotile's factory at Ningbo Hangzhou Bay New Zone, Zhejiang province. [Photo/China Daily]
Ningbo Fotile Kitchenware Co Ltd, which makes high-end appliances and integrated kitchens, will accelerate its expansion into North America next year, having tasted success in Asia.
"We are going to target the Chinese-American families as our initial forays have yielded success," said Mao Zhongqun, chairman and founder of Fotile.
According to Mao, Fotile's range of hoods has many advanced technologies like smoke suction, making the products the best choice for cooking Chinese cuisine, which normally produces more smoke than Western food preparation.
"Many Chinese-American families visited our online shop and placed orders for our hoods. Some even gifted them. That gave us a lot of confidence," he said.
"They don't need to worry any more that cooking Chinese food the traditional way will fill their homes with smoke or bother their neighbors.
"Our sales in North America are expected to exceed 100 million yuan ($14.51 million) by the end of this year."
Unlike its peers' original equipment manufacturer strategy, Fotile marched into overseas markets with its own brand, targeting high-end consumers in 16 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
That strategy seems to have paid off well as Fotile topped the rankings for kitchenware makers in Malaysia and Pakistan last year, ahead of other international giants.
Fotile's sales reached 6 billion yuan by the end of October this year, up 26 percent year-on-year, much higher than the 12.4 percent of the entire domestic market.
Founded in 1996, Fotile was the first domestic manufacturer to focus on high-end electrical kitchenware. That focus was sustained for 20 years.
"I believe in craftsman spirit. Making all-out efforts to produce competitive and high-quality products－that's been the story of my whole career," said Mao.
At a time when competitors ploughed their disposable cash into diversifications like real estate investments or business expansion, Fotile invested 5 percent of its sales revenue into research and technology innovation, double the industry's spend on R&D.
Fotile produced China's first independently designed deep range hood in 1996. The next year, it developed the nation's first artificial intelligence-powered deep range hood that can detect smoke and gas leaks, and turn on automatically and suck them out.
The company had been making European style hoods for the past several years. It also developed hoods with ring suction technology that suck out smoke efficiently.
Fotile's sink dishwasher is a three-in-one device that combines a kitchen sink, dishwasher and fruit and vegetable cleaning machine. Designed for the domestic market, this space-saving appliance took five years to develop. It produced much success for Fotile, capturing 32 percent of the domestic dishwasher market.