“The King of Oyster Sauce” Lee Wenda passed away and led Lee Kum Kee to the world

Li Wenda’s life is quite legendary, completely transforming the small family factory Lee Kum Kee into a world-class condiment group company.

Li Wenda, known as the “king of oyster sauce”, is gone.

On the 27th, Lee Kum Kee issued an obituary. The third generation heir of Hong Kong’s “Oyster Sauce King” Lee Kum Kee and Chairman of the Lee Kum Kee Group, Lee Man Tat passed away at the age of 91.

Lee Kum Kee is a well-known condiment giant at home and abroad , and currently has more than two hundred products covering more than 100 countries and regions. In the development history of more than 20 years, the company has maintained an annual profit growth rate of 25%, which is a miracle. Because Lee Kum Kee has never been listed, it has not announced its financial report. However, it is estimated that the group’s annual revenue is around 9 billion US dollars, and the family assets may be more than 100 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Li Wenda is the grandson of Lee Kum Sang, the founder of Lee Kum Kee. Since taking over the management of the company in 1972, the company has begun to group and modernize, and finally put Lee Kum Kee on the world stage . Therefore, Lee Kum Kee under the management of Lee Kum Kee is regarded as an important turning point in the development of the enterprise.

In 2019, Forbes China Hong Kong Rich List, Li Wenda ranked third with a net worth of $17.1 billion.

In the recent floods caused by heavy rainfall in Henan, Lee Kum Kee Group donated 1 million yuan to the disaster area for disaster relief.

Lee Kum Kee was born unexpectedly

The Lee Kum Kee brand has a history of 133 years and is a veritable “time-honored brand”.

The Chinese never thought that something like oyster sauce would become a common condiment, and Li Jinshang never thought that it would make a fortune.

In the 1880s, Li Jinshang was born in a small fishing village in Zhuhai called Xinhui. He lost his father since childhood and followed his mother around. Later, my mother opened a tea stall, selling tea and cooking oysters for a living. Sang Lee Kum because once sleepy forgotten pot with oysters, oysters have to think of it I do not know how long to cook, after he opened the lid and found that there has been boiled a pot of thick black soup, but soup juice flavor Road rich , And it’s delicious.

Li Jinshang began to ponder this soup. In order to make the soup more delicious, he repeatedly boiled and prepared it. In the end, a condiment with a richer taste than soy sauce and a delicious flavor of oysters was born. Li Jinshang named it—— Oyster sauce.

Because oyster sauce is rich and delicious, Li Jinshang is often sold out. Lee Kam Sang simply changed his mother’s tea stall into a seasoning shop, and named Lee Kum Kee, which specializes in selling oyster sauce. This kind of business has been in business for more than ten years, and when the business was getting better, I didn’t expect a fire to burn the shop clean.

Li Jinshang had to take his family to Macau to seek a living. Because there was no other way to make money, Li Jinsang still made oyster sauce for a living. He didn’t expect that the business became more prosperous, and he finally saved a family business.

"The King of Oyster Sauce" Lee Wenda passed away and led Lee Kum Kee to the world

In 1922, when Li Jinshang passed away, his two sons, Li Zhaonan and Li Zhaoteng, inherited the oyster sauce business. Li Zhaonan was Li Wenda’s father.

Compared with the first generation, Lee Kum Kee’s second-generation business method has changed a lot. Lee Siu-nam and Lee Siu-teng improved their father’s production process and opened up new sources of goods, turning a small workshop into a large company, and Lee Kum Kee’s oyster sauce packaging began. There is brand recognition, and the quality of products has been continuously improved.

In 1932, Li Zhaonan brought the oyster sauce business to Hong Kong and took root. At this time, Li Wenda began to enter the corporate stage.

In 1945, Li Wenda began to help his father’s business, riding a bicycle to deliver goods to restaurants and grocery stores. Because of its high quality and strong brand, Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce was very famous in Guangdong. Some high-end restaurants named Lee Kum Kee’s oyster sauce. However, due to war and other reasons, Li Wenda returned to Macau in 1949 to start his own business. In just a few years, he opened six factories in Macau, covering daily necessities, toys and cosmetics.

In 1954, Li Wenda obeyed his father’s instructions, gave up his business in Macau and returned to Hong Kong to join Lee Kum Kee. In 1972, Li Wenda officially took over the chairmanship from his father. At this time, Li Kum Kee was still a small company with no more than 20 employees. The production capacity was lagging and sales could not be opened.

After Li Wenda took over, Lee Kum Kee began the road of globalization, getting closer and closer to the “Kingdom of Sauce”.

Li Wenda’s legendary life

The first problem facing Li Wenda is how to open up sales in mainland China.

In the 1990s, Li Wenda carefully selected several products with good reputation in Hong Kong and put them on the mainland to try. However, the market did not stir up too much. Because Lee Kum Kee is produced in Hong Kong and taxed according to imported products, the sales price in the Mainland is relatively high. In addition, the recognition of products such as oyster sauce in the cooking methods in the Mainland is also low.

Li Wenda has not lost his confidence. Li Wenda firmly believes that the Chinese are known for their hard work, and the high prices are only temporarily unacceptable, and it will not be long before more people choose oyster sauce. You must be patient and wait for the growth of the domestic market.

Li Wenda has other plans to build factories in the mainland and cultivate the market simultaneously, and the market will usher in an explosion.

In 1993, Lee Kum Kee set up a processing plant in Huangpu, Guangzhou. Since then, the production bases in Xinhui and Jining have been put into operation one after another.

Among them, the production base in Xinhui District, Jiangmen, which was put into operation in 1996, became the largest production base of the Lee Kum Kee Group, covering an area of ​​more than 2,000 acres. It can produce oyster sauce, soy sauce, shrimp paste, sesame oil and other products at the same time, and it has more than 2,000 employees.

The establishment of production bases in the Mainland has allowed Lee Kum Kee’s business to advance by leaps and bounds. After the opening of sales in the Mainland, Lee Wenda began to ponder Lee Kum Kee’s internationalization.

First, Li Wenda changed the Li Kum Kee trademark to an English trademark, and then invested huge research and development funds and introduced automated production equipment.

In just a few years, Lee Kum Kee opened up the Southeast Asian market and the Japanese market, and then entered North America and Europe smoothly. Under Li Wenda’s management, Lee Kum Kee occupies more than 80% of the market in Hong Kong, more than 90% of the market in the United States, and has long occupied the second position in sales in Japan.

During this period, Lee Kum Kee also developed from a single product such as oyster sauce into dozens of categories such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, shrimp paste, XO sauce, sesame oil, and more than two hundred “sauce kingdoms.”

Not only that, Li Wenda also develops diversified businesses. The current Li Kum Kee business also includes Chinese herbal products, health food, property management and investment, and investment businesses, with business in more than 100 countries and regions around the world.

However, Lee Kum Kee’s family management also caused discordant notes, and news such as infighting was often reported. After Li Wenda took over the company, he invited his younger brother Li Wenle to participate in the management of the company. In the end, the two brothers turned back because of the separation of the equity and liquidated their equity. They went to court. Lee Kum Kee’s business even stagnated for half a year. Finally Li Wenda bought back all the equity in his brother. The storm ceased.

Because the lives of Lee Kum Kee and Lee Wen Tak are too legendary, TVB even made a TV series for this title called “Dajiangyuan”.

One sentence Li Wenda once said to the media can be the best summary of his life: Hong Kong people are engaged in business and have experienced the ups and downs, and pay particular attention to “harmony to make money.” Over the past eighty years, I have nothing to regret, and my life has been fulfilled.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-king-of-oyster-sauce-lee-wenda-passed-away-and-led-lee-kum-kee-to-the-world/
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