China's Most Successful Businesswoman Has Not Taken a Day Off in 27 Years In China, she is famously known as 'Sister Dong' and her career path has certainly been an interesting one.

By Thomas Colson

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

China Photos/Getty via Business Insider
Gree Electric chairwoman Dong Mingzhu.

Dong Mingzhu, 61, is China's most successful businesswoman as the leader of the $22 billion air-conditioning giant Gree.

She also allegedly has not taken a single day of paid holiday leave in a 27-year tenure at the company, according to Quartz.

Mingzhu hit the headlines this week after Forbes China released its annual list 100 Top Businesswomen.

At the top of the ranking is 61-year-old Dong, where her company Gree makes $12 billion a year in revenue.

In China, she is famously known as "Sister Dong" and her career path has certainly been an interesting one.

She arrived at Gree as a salesperson in 1990, when annual sales amounted to little over £10 million, and quickly rose up the ranks as she marked herself out as a fiercely hard worker.

Fast-forward 26 years, and Gree is the largest air-conditioning manufacturer in the world, its stock value having grown by 2,300 percent under her leadership. Sales of Gree units account for two in every five sold in the country, and it has a market capitalisation of over £17.8 billion.

Described by The New York Times as "one of the toughest businesswomen in China," her formidable example has won her the loyal devotion of the firm's 70,000-strong army of employees.

One employee told The Telegraph in 2009: "She's been through everything herself. We never dare to say that something is impossible in front of her. We must all have her will to succeed."

"Where Sister Dong walks, no grass grows" and "when she chews you up, she doesn't even spit out the bones" are two judgments made by competitors reported by The New York Times.

She refuses to apologize for her focus -- her 2006 autobiography was titled Regretless Pursuit -- but it has come at a personal cost. She began work at the company as a widow after her husband died in 1984 and she left her infant son to be raised by his grandmother. One story goes that she once sent her 12-year-old son to the airport alone by bus because she was busy at work.

Thomas Colson

Writer

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Devices

Get a 15-inch MacBook Pro for Less Than $375

Save on this refurbished MacBook Pro for a limited time.

Business News

2024 Could Be the Year that Makes or Breaks a Lot of Small Businesses, According to a New Report

About a third of small business owners indicated on a Slack survey that they aren't sure if their businesses will survive the year.

Productivity

SMART Goals May Be Holding You Back — Try This Effective Goal-Setting Technique Instead

Everyone suggests SMART goals, but this framework is flawed. Learn why and how to create goals properly — ones that you can actually achieve.

Business News

I Tried 3 AI Headshot Generators and There Was a Clear Winner

Aragon AI, Momo, and FastShot AI all generate headshots using AI, but which one actually works for LinkedIn?

Business News

Red Lobster Changed Its 'Endless Shrimp' Promotion After Losing $11 Million in One Quarter — Now It's Hauling Out Another All-You-Can-Eat Deal

The restaurant chain reported a record $12.5 million operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Marketing

Enhance Your Website's Visibility and Dominate Your Competition With These Powerful Techniques

Mastering backlinks and content intent is key to ranking higher on search engines. Our guide can help you learn the right techniques and strategies for improving your backlinks and content quality.