Qin Zhi, a Harvard MBA graduate, left his job at Mckinsey & Co in New York to work for a startup in China. Why did he make such a bold move, well the answer to this is he was inspired by Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. Stay Foolish got him going. This inspired him to the extent to be daring and take more risks in life. He believes he was not satisfied with his current job at McKinsey. It was repeated work and nothing exciting. He realized that he was not living his dream.
Taking the leap
“After reading those words I thought to myself what I was doing then was absolutely not my passion. “What I did had no risks and I felt like I was wasting my life. So I decided to seek a change.” Qin Zhi is now the Chief Executive Officer of Autohome Inc., which operates China’s biggest vehicle comparison website. He has gone through a huge transformation in just six years. He was employee No. 38 and he was responsible for a 100-fold increase in the revenue that crossed nearly 1 billion yuan. Today the company employs around 1000 people and its website attracts around a handsome 6 million users a day, which is a whopping figure.
Autohome is currently owned by Australian company Telstra Corp, which controls about nearly 66% of the stake. Plans are in the works for a public IPO in major countries and talks are about launching it in the US but nothing is confirmed right now. Autohome provides Chinese consumers with car prices across China. It is the equivalent of Edmunds.com, AutoTrader.com and Kelley Blue Book in the U.S. The Chinese auto market has been booming for quite some time and this may be good news for investors who would want to benefit from the booming vehicle sales. That being said this country has an online population like no other. The number of internet users in China rose to 591 million in June, from 564 million in December, according to the China Internet Network Information Center website.
“China’s auto industry and Internet industry have been developing in parallel at the same time. It is a historical opportunity that no other countries have for the development of auto websites. It turned out to be our luck.” Qin stated during an interview in his office at Zhongguancun, China’s silicon valley. Qin believes that had he not taken the bold move back when he was inspired by Job’s speech he would still be at Mckinsey or would have missed such a great opportunity back home.
Stay hungry, Stay foolish
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards, So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. ”Jobs said in his speech. The speech went viral on Youtube and became an inspirational sensational worldwide.
About 70 percent of Autohome’s revenue comes from automakers in the form of advertising and sales referrals, with the rest coming from dealers, according to Qin. Autohome has a network of around 7500 dealerships across the country which helps in bringing real updates to consumers regarding the cars prices. Autohome goes a step further and that is by test driving the cars and then write reviews with their own names. It also mentions a clear distinction between its own reports and that of the industry’s.