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Interview with William Hu, General Manager of Youplus —— Special Issue of Jiangcai Person of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics

Release time:2022-08-24 Clicks: 1061 Return

A hundred years of wind and rain, a long journey like a song. As for the alma mater, there are the best years for alumni. On the occasion of the centenary birthday of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, the column of the periodical of the alumni foundation [Jiangcairen] specially invited Mr. William Hu, the CEO and general manager of Youplus, to interview and tell stories about the past.


Attached is the full text of the interview:

Those who have constant production have perseverance.

—— Interview with Alumni William Hu, CEO and General Manager of Youplus.

William Hu graduated from Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics with a bachelor's degree in trade and economics in 1997, and holds a master's degree in Business Administration from Xiamen University. In 2007, he founded Youplus as the CEO and general manager.


I. When did you start to have entrepreneurial ideas?

The seeds of my entrepreneurial ideas were sown in Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, and I remember the time very clearly. It was in 1996 that my alma mater was upgraded from Jiangxi Academy of Finance and Economics to Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, which was a milestone in the history of Jiangcai's development, so the school held a series of grand celebrations. At that time, as a student cadre, I was lucky enough to participate in an activity in the auditorium, one of which was alumni sharing. I remember that Senior Yuewen Zheng of Kerui Group made a sharing speech at that time, and I was deeply encouraged. After attending the activity and returning to the dormitory, I told my roommate that I would also start a business in the future. Since then, this idea has never wavered, until 2007, when I officially started to establish Youplus.

II. Many people have had entrepreneurial ideas, and later gave up for various reasons, and what is the source of your unwavering motivation?

Starting a business or not is just a lifestyle choice, which is influenced by personal values. In fact, as long as anyone has a job he likes and always does it seriously, he is starting a business and has a career.

The source power of my entrepreneurship comes from my inner desire for freedom-financial freedom, spiritual freedom and time freedom. In the ten years after graduating from college, my work has experienced many ups and downs. At first, it is easy to shake my determination to start a business, and when I fall, it is easy to weaken my confidence in starting a business. But whenever I encounter these situations, I just need to ask my heart, and I will immediately feel that my direction and goals are clear and my motivation is multiplied. The current ups and downs are just a transition.   

III. In the process of starting a business, what do you think is the most correct thing you have done?

I think the most correct thing to do is that the company chose the strategy of "focusing on development" from the very beginning. When Youplus was founded in 2007, China's professional marketing research had developed for 20 years, and there were a large number of peer companies. At that time, I thought, if I do all the marketing research business, why can I do better than my peers who have a certain scale and strength at present? Where is my competitive advantage? To be honest, I can't find a feasible way. Therefore, I decided to choose a market segment of the market research industry-channel service monitoring, and then focus all my resources and energy on this small point, constantly specialize in it, and then develop stronger. Later, the rapid development of the company (peers with a development speed of more than 90%) is inseparable from the strategic positioning of this business focus, so "less is more" is the truth.

The theoretical basis of this strategic choice comes from Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy. Porter puts forward three competitive strategies of enterprises-total cost leading strategy, differentiation strategy and focus strategy, which I agree with very much. I don't quite agree that the company should do whatever makes money or is popular, which will distract the company's resources and attention and make it difficult to do anything well. Of course, if the company is large enough and has achieved a leading position in its own field, it is ok to find new growth points through diversification.

"Focus and enterprising" is one of the core values of Youplus. In the future, Youplus will strive to open up new tracks under the guidance of this value. Choosing new service projects needs to have synergy with existing businesses, that is, existing resources can be applied to new businesses, and the development of new businesses can empower existing business resources.

IV. You just mentioned the core values of the company. What do you think of the company culture?

I pay more attention to corporate culture. At the beginning of its establishment, Youplus established corporate culture such as corporate mission&vision and core values. Around 2006, I read a book called "Building an Evergreen Foundation". The core point of this book is that an enterprise with unique culture and core values is more vital and competitive, and in short, it can live longer, which makes me realize the importance of corporate culture. In addition, I have three simple ideas about starting a business. First, find yourself a job, earn some money, and make yourself and your family live better. Second, let the partners who trust me and the company and are willing to work hard for the company live a better life. Third, do something valuable and meaningful for customers and society. This initial entrepreneurial intention determines the connotation of the company culture.  

The culture and values of a company are not whether it is hung on the wall, but whether it is not firmly believed in it and practiced, especially whether it is not in line with the company's values as the primary consideration when making some important decisions. For example, "people are the source of our strength" and "harmony and happiness, so that employees can live a decent life" are important components of Youplus culture. Therefore, Youplus has positioned the salary and treatment at the upper-middle level in the industry, and at the same time implemented the "Company Partner Plan", giving shares to some outstanding key employees and participating in dividends. So far, the company has 8 senior partners and 9 junior partners, which has played an important role in rallying the core team of the company. Youplus firmly believes in the traditional values of "wealth disperses people" and "those who have constant production have perseverance". In addition, many part-time shoppers will be used in the research industry, and defaulting on part-time labor fees is a criticism of the industry (similar to the construction industry's arrears of wages for migrant workers). In response to this phenomenon, Youplus set a rule at an early stage: like employees' wages, part-time labor fees will be paid regularly this month and will never be defaulted next month. In the past 15 years, it has basically been done, and the financial department rarely receives dunning calls.

V. As a senior, what do you want to say to your younger brothers and sisters at school?

Ok, I'll simply sum it up as "three more and three doing"!

First, take part in more sports and try to find one or two sports that you like and can stick to for a long time. Second, go to library to read more and listen to more lectures. Read more books outside the study subjects in the library; The topic of the lecture can be related to the major or completely irrelevant, aiming at broadening one's knowledge. Third, participate in various campus community activities and social practice activities.

Try to be a passionate person. Young people should dare to think and do, be proactive, and want to do something, instead of always looking ahead and looking back and being timid. Rationality is important, but being too rational will inhibit action, thinking that there will be no result, and action will be possible. For example, if the employment situation is not very good this year, graduates should actively market themselves through various channels and ways, even if there is only a little hope, and don't be afraid of being rejected.

Be brave to be a person who accepts his "defects". For various reasons, people always have some aspects that make them feel inadequate, which easily leads to inferiority. Such as academic performance, physical appearance, family conditions, personality and temperament, interpersonal relationships and so on. When I was in college, I often felt troubled and inferior because of my white hair and hoarse voice. These facts are hard to change. Face it and accept it! Others pay far less attention to these things than themselves, and probably don't take them seriously. In fact, everyone has his own gray corner in his heart, so don't care too much. It is easy to build self-confidence by accepting his "defects".

Dare to be a different person. People's behavior decisions are usually influenced by the surrounding groups and care about other people's opinions. To be different is not to deliberately be unconventional or obviously wrong but still go your own way, but to dare to pursue your own heart and do something that you think is right in your heart, and not to be led by "other people's opinions."

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