1.Founding Stage
Written by Hsin-yen Chen

Fenggu Company was founded in 1985 by Mr. Si-yuan Chen (a graduate from Yuanlin Middle School). After a family tragedy, Mr. Tsung-wen Chen (a graduate from the Department of Mechanical Design, Yunlin Vocational College) took over the business as the second-generation owner.

Fenggu Company started with rice drying machines. To achieve profits, the company needed to reduce costs and enhance efficiency and service quality. Therefore, it was necessary to plan carefully according to the internal and external business environment. To make the business plan into a reality, the company had to cope with certain difficulties such as a lack of funding. At the outset of its transformation process, banks were originally unwilling to lend to Fenggu Company, a small company at that time. Mr. Tsung-wen Chen explained time and again to the bank about his business plan and won confidence from banks before they finally extended loans for expansion and equipment purchase.

How did the transformed Fenggu Company promote itself to farmers? Mr. Tsung-wen Chen said:"It was via the word of mouth. We provided cash transactions and assuring services to the first farmer that came to Fenggu Company. Once we have obtained from one farmer, he told ten farmers about it and so forth. More and more farmers came to us as a result."

Interview with Mr. Tsung-wen Chen

After Fenggu Company started to enjoy steady and growing revenues, it hired additional employees to resolve the manpower shortage problem. At this point, it was no longer a family business that relied on family members only. Extra headcounts were able to handle greater workload. As workload increased, it became necessary to update and upgrade machinery and equipment and even change the traditional workflows of rice drying. The purpose was to significantly boost the rice drying efficiency and provide better services so that both farmers and Fenggu Company could benefit.

Fenggu Company has made some innovations. For example, most rice drying facilities burn diesel for heating, but Fenggu Company was the first in the adoption of husk burning. Compared to diesel, husk burning is significantly more environmental-friendly. In addition, the ashes are useful. They can suppress the growth of weeds. Alternatively, they can be produced into organic fertilizers or stuffed into alcohol distillation tanks to create gaps for better distillation. Meanwhile, Fenggu Company added wet rice barrels, to temporary store freshly harvested rice. These barrels allow different batches of rice to reach a water content equilibrium of about 25%~30% so that they can be dried later. Fenggu Company also uses rice sieving machines to remove the impurities. Both storage barrels and sieving machines reduce the drying time and cost. This is how Fenggu Company creates a win-win for itself and farmers. Finally, Fenggu Company also purchased extra-large cooler barrels. The rice not to be sold to the government can be stored at a low temperature of 17°C~18°C in the barrels. This maintains the taste of rice and regulates the market with a longer shelf life.

Visit to Fenggu Company’s facilities
Hectic time: first harvesting season

2020.08.04, 2020.08.28, 2020.11.15 interview records

Source of photos:

Taken by our team member