FOTILE: Building a Great Company Guided by Confucianism
In early 2018, the chairman and chief executive officer of FOTILE, based in Ningbo, China, announced a change in the company's mission statement from "Enable people to feel better about their homes" to "For the happiness of millions of families." The previous year had seen impressive growth, with sales exceeding 10 billion. After only 22 years in operation, FOTILE had become a leading brand, comparable to such prestigious names as Siemens, in the high-end sector of kitchen appliances in China. More importantly FOTILE was hailed as a distinct enterprise, driven by a grand vision, a unique mission statement, and core values based on Confucianism. The FOTILE Confucian Way was embraced with enthusiasm by its employees and close business partners, and was broadly recognized by the Chinese business communities and the general public. However, the chairman understood that FOTILE was still a long way from being a great company, not only in terms of business success but also in transferring positive energy to society and helping people become morally admirable. Although he was deeply absorbed in FOTILE's past achievements, he was also wondering about FOTILE's future international expansion, to North America in particular. Would FOTILE's products be competitive in North America? Would that continent adopt the FOTILE Confucian Way? Lei Li is affiliated with University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. Zhijing Zhu is affiliated with University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. Pingping Fu is affiliated with University of Nottingham Ningbo, China.