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Build Your Dreams

That’s not the cheesy title of this blog’s first post — it’s a leading electric car company in China that is blazing a trail in the automotive industry.

Founded in 1995, BYD Company started as a manufacturer of batteries, competing against established Japanese firms to become the world’s leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries by 2000.

It entered the automobile industry via an acquisition in 2002, with zero experience in the car business. In 2008, Warren Buffett invested $230 million for a 10% stake in the company and BYD launched the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, successfully integrating forward from just manufacturing batteries to producing battery-powered cars.

 BYD has been consistently rated among the most innovative companies in the world, beating entrenched automobile industry heavyweights such as Ford and Volkswagen.

 BYD’s story doesn’t just represent the rise of a new innovator — it is symbolic of a surge in technology-driven, product companies from Asia. BYD has broken the stereotype of the Chinese mass manufacturer, one capable only of churning out commoditized products at low cost.

From focusing on only outsourcing and mass manufacturing of commodity products, nations like India and China will now produce more innovation-driven companies driven by the three-way confluence of the availability of high-quality technical talent, a large domestic market and broader shift in the economic center of gravity from West to East. This is a strong, secular and structural trend whose momentum will be a key driver of the next wave of economic growth.

There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur — and as BYD has shown, build one’s dream.

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