In 10 years, the Chinese company JinkoSolar has gone from a start-up operation to generating US$2.5 billion revenue.
And after overcoming many cultural issues, its European operation is thriving. This incredibly unpredictable industry is gaining a modicum of maturity and the climate accord signed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015 has raised the stakes even higher. As the industry grows, Jinko continues to outpace it.
“The company has grown to 5 global factories, 24 offices, subsidiaries all around the world, 15,000 employees, and a US$2.5 billion turnover; meaning Jinko has become one of the top Fortune 500 companies in China,” Frank Niendorf, the General Manager of Europe, says.
It is even more impressive — if that is possible — when Frank puts it in terms of energy generated by Jinko modules. “In 2010 we shipped 480mW all around the world, and this has grown now to over 4.5gW, which is a compound annual growth rate of over 60%.”
In Frank’s 4 years as General Manager of Europe for Jinko, the success has also been — pardon the pun — stellar.
“I took over Jinko Europe in 2012 when Jinko still had 1-2% market share in Europe and it was positioned as a ‘tier 2’ player; almost 4 years later Jinko is the number one Chinese module supplier in Europe with close to 10% market share, and a really top tier brand.”
Some of the challenges have simply been those that come from being a global start-up in a fast growing industry. “At the beginning there was a lack of internal processes; no control mechanisms,” Frank notes. “We had to develop everything from scratch like reporting, forecasting, and control systems, to cope with that fast growth.”