Wednesday, June 27, 2007

waste not

Dubbed by the west as ‘queen of trash’ and wishing to be known as ‘queen of containerboards’ one day, Zhang Yin said, “I remember a man in the business told me back then…'Waste paper is like a forest. Paper recycles itself generation after generation.'"

Resulting, she created a business which has given her personal wealth estimated US$1.5billion or more -- this makes her the richest self-made woman – exceeding that of Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Meg Whitman (eBay CEO).

Together with her husband in the 1990s, she drove around the US in a used dodge caravan minivan to beg for scrap paper. America Chung Nam based in Los Angeles, began as a small venture, has become one of the biggest paper trading companies -- having ties to recycling yards in New York, Chicago and California.

Her company then ship that trash paper to China for recycling into corrugated cardboard -- used for packing toys, electronic goods and furniture bearing the stamp ‘Made in China’. These packed goods are then shipped back across the seas to consumers in the west and other parts of the world.

The cycle then starts over again.

Apparently paper in the US and Europe is made from wood pulp which is better in quality to that of China’s made from grass, bamboo or rice stalks.

Noted to being tough and driven, she was able to harness the potential from those who worked for her. Ng Weiting, her former partner in HK when she first ventured out from China in 1985, recalled, "When her employees asked for a raise in pay, she would grant if that was reasonable. But when they make a mistake, she would criticize them severely. She knew when to reward and when to punish."

Zhang Yin, the oldest of 8 children, came from a military family from northern Heilongjiang province, near the Russian border. (NB The one-child policy effected in 1977.) Her father was imprisoned as a ‘counter-revolutionary’ during the cultural revolution in 1966 and released ten years later when the revolution ended.

Today her company, Nine Dragons Paper, is the biggest paper maker in China. Last March, the company was able to raise nearly US$500 million on public listing.


Bob said...

Interesting. As times goes on I believe we'll see more and more of the recycling of garbage and throw away items. Mining old garbage pits to recycle what's there may well reap someone millions. Mother Earth will definitely reap the benefits of these endeavors. It's coming (recycling all of our garbage) - I just know it.

Have you ever thought about Hawaii does with all of their garbage? Me too.

twilite said...

bob: Enjoy this interaction. Thanks.

Mother of Invention said...

Wow! And all from a simple idea where the resources were free and just given to her. No one else saw its value! Good for her.

Mother of Invention said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
twilite said...

MOI: a true entrepreneur! Hm...why didn't I think about this...instead of spending so much time studying eh...huh?