The Chairman of Shiji Mr. Li Zhongchu: Shiji's Strategy is to Go Platform and Globalized.

2016-11-15

Context: before Shiji new brand launch, Shiji media team got a chance to have an interview with Shiji Chairman Mr. Li Zhongchu. Starting from the new logo, the background and meaning of the rebranding to Shiji strategy, in addition, Mr. Li also recalled Shiji development history, opportunities and challenges, and described clearly the Shiji platform and globalization strategy in future.

The launch of the new logo represents Shiji’s transformation to a consumer application platform service provider.

Q: Why is this particular timing for Shiji to launch the new brand logo?

Li Zhongchu: Shiji has successfully completed three transformations in the past 10+ years of development. From 1998 to 2001, the Company presented itself as the network system supplier;  the next phase, 2001 to 2003, it escalated further, becoming an hotel system technology service provider; the next phase saw Shiji’s growth as a software vendor after 2003. Now, in 2016,  Shiji is experiencing a fourth transformation from software vendor to application service platform operator. Each transition is the transformation of the business model, when 50% of the Company's annual revenue is from new business and there is rapid growth in the overall income scale, we call it a successful transformation. Several important things precipitated and accelerated this latest transformation. In the last year, we have started to promote our platform business to the market, the Company needs a new brand image to tell the market and customer base that Shiji now represents the “big data” application service platform operator of the entire consumer industry.”

Q: What’s the story / meaning behind the new logo? Does it indicate significant changes in Shiji’s development strategy?

Li Zhongchu:  Shiji’s new logo highlights the Company’s name and removes the business focus, whilst at the same time, promotes the core business philosophy has not changed by using 7 dynamic spheres, inherited from an original grouping of 3 spheres. At the same time, the new logo enhances the meaning that data is Shiji’s core asset: 7 spheres, suggesting that data flows around Shiji, while the original 3 spheres represent chess pieces. Shiji will be no longer limited to its original network, software and technical services.

 
Q: Will Shiji’s mission and core value be changed with the launching of the new brand logo?

Li Zhongchu: Shiji’s mission is to make business more efficient. Our core value is Respect, Trust, Integrity, Surpass. We believe it and we insist on it.


Q: Looking back, which important achievements has Shiji achieved? Have these achievements had important impacts on the industries Shiji covered?

Li Zhongchu: Shiji was founded in 1998,it has become the leading manufacturer of Chinese hotel information system after three successful transformations. At the same time Shiji gradually expands into catering and retail industries becoming the major software supplier of the two industries. Now, Shiji is responsible for 60%-70% of the market share in the high end sector of hotel and retail industries, and possesses a leading position in the catering industry. The estimated annual revenue of Shiji clients can be as high as 5 trillion RMB. That create for us the foundation to transform from software vendor to platform operator. In the past 10 years, Shiji's effort makes huge changes in the information system of Chinese hotel industry, especially the high end hotels. Shiji brought Chinese hotel industry global technology, improved management process for high end hotel, trained a large number of local talents who are familiar with international hotel operation and management process, and accelerated the internationalization of Chinese Hotel industry. Furthermore, it will make it possible for our clients to absorb international hotel management experience, hire and retain the such talents and make outstanding hotel management by using Shiji products and services. Shiji will bring the experience to Chinese consumer industry clients and permeate to major world markets. Now we just start our strategy.


Q: Looking forward, what’s Shiji’s new vision and goals? What’s your expectation on Shiji’s future development? What kind of strategies will you take in order to achieve the goals?

Li Zhongchu: First of all, Shiji hopes to become the consumer application service platform operators that driven by big data, and ultimately become one of the world's consumer application service platform operators. To achieve this goal, we must first consolidate our position in hotel, catering and retail industries by developing new products and technologies. At the same time distribute rapidly in overseas developed countries and regions, develop global leading products and rapidly grab overseas market share by forward-looking investment.


Q: What is Shiji’s strategic direction in regards to the company’s globalization?

Li Zhongchu: Shiji will first invest hotel-related data technology companies, then equip company's application software services on the service platforms that data technology companies provide us. With the increase of our platform service customers, Shiji will first set up our own sales and service representatives in the most clients intensive areas. 


Q: From your personal perspective, how do you foresee important opportunities and trends in large consumer areas for the next 10 years?  How will Shiji capitalize the opportunities?  What are the major challenges?

Li Zhongchu: Due to the popularity of cloud computing and mobile Internet, the entire consumer areas including hotel, catering, retail industries will be more and more integrated online and offline in the next 10 years. Cross industry integration will be a trend under the driven of data as well! The entire supply chain from producers to consumers will be more and more flat. Shiji will take advantage of the established core information system in hotel, catering and retail industries to extend and connect vertically and horizontally, to build up supply chain, multi-channel payment platform, and to complete the transformation from software vendors to platform operators. The successful development of new leading hotel, catering and retail cloud systems and quick migration of existing customers to the cloud systems will be the key to success.


Q: How will you portray Shiji in 10 years? what should be the same and what should be different in between?

Li Zhongchu: I hope that Shiji will be a well-known company globally in 10 years, owning employees and business in world’s core commercial centres. The application service platform will create values for the whole consumer industry, and lead the industry development together with our partners.


Q: The last question,  we heard the old brand logo was personally designed by you.  Do you still remember the story behind?

Li Zhongchu: At the early stage of founding the company, all the work is done by myself. The Chinese characters of company name Shiji means chess in Japanese in some way . There are three red spheres in the old logo meaning the chess pieces, the blue ball in the middle with irregular colour changes from shallow to deep that cannot be digitalized (at that time we did not even know that it is going to be much easier for printing to use digital colour)means that there is no certain chess mode, the key is to look at the overall situation instead of partial gain and loss. This is the idea of operating Shiji’s business at that time. We must win the strategic projects, but in some cases we don't care of losing some projects. The long-term cooperation with our partners is more important for us.