BaishanCloud founders inspired by a dream

By Zhao Tingting(chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2016-03-08 09:13:53

Three founders of BaishanCloud Co Ltd, CEO Huo Tao (middle), CMO Dai Xiang (left) and CFO Sha Yong (right). [Photo/Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"The development of China's cloud industry lies in technology innovation, not investment", said Huo Tao, CEO of BaishanCloud Co Ltd. "We want to build a respectable international tech company".

Shortly after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang raised the "mass entrepreneurship and innovation" strategy in last year's government work report, BaishanCloud, which first proposed "cloud linkage service" in China, was created in late April.

"Motivated by the technology head of a global company in the US, saying that China's content delivery network (CDN) industry is using the outdated technology which the US used 10 years ago, we three, all in our 40s, determined to build a innovative tech company in China", said Huo and Dai Xiang, the company's chief marketing officer, in an exclusive interview with chinadaily.com.cn in Beijing.

Inspired by the dream of "building a respectable international tech company", the founders of BaishanCloud gave up their top management positions in a US-listed leading content delivery service provider in China.

Even with their rich experience and resources, they inevitably encountered many difficulties at the beginning, including fund raising, talent recruitment and winning trust from customers.

"You have to accept all these facts with a moderate attitude, because your company is just like a small baby, and you try to win customers' trust through your products and services", said Huo.

The V-Day parade on September 3 gave the startup a golden chance to prove themselves as a technology leader. The online traffic peak driven by the world-focused event caused an emergency to a potential customer.

"Actually, we were only an alternative supplier to that customer and took over the case ", said Huo. "Faced with an online traffic peak of hundreds of gigabytes, we successfully shouldered the flux and our product worked well and stably", said Dai.

"We won the customer through the case, which is our largest customer, as well as industry recognition", said Huo.

By the end of 2015, BaishanCloud, aiming to provide cloud storage and cloud linkage services in the next stage, had won 36 contracted customers, most of which are large listed firms and the company saw its monthly revenue surpass 10 million yuan in December.

"We predict that our revenue will increase 10 times this year", said Huo.

Dai attributed their achievements and confidence in the future to technology innovation, talent and their management philosophy.

R&D staff accounts for 62 percent of the company's employees, with two patents already and five others in the pipeline.

Although a small startup, the company recruited top talent worldwide. "We positioned our company as a global tech firm at the very beginning", said Dai. "So we went to the United States for recruitment in November and our wholly-owned subsidiary is going to open there in March".

The founders have their own idea about management. "We want to build a fleet of sailing boats instead of a big boat," said Huo. "We managers just helm the direction of the fleet, control the pace and formulate an effective working system, leaving each sailing boat independent in operation".

For the current entrepreneurship wave, Huo and Dai shared their understanding and experience. "Being rational is the first point. You have to know the nature of business", said Huo.

"We did a lot of study on projects and finally found out that the best chance lies in the sector or industry that you are most familiar with", said Dai.

Both Huo and Dai emphasized the importance of micro innovation. "We believed that the startups should proceed from micro innovation, rather than technology revolution", said Huo. "When accumulating enough micro innovation, some revolutionary products may come out.

"The slowdown of China's economy and the economic transformation pushed traditional industries to get linked up with the Internet for survival, which actually offers great opportunities for Internet companies", said Huo.

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