DJI: From University Dorm Project To Global Drone Giant
In a modern, spacious showroom in Shenzhen, a dozen visitors spend a Wednesday afternoon checking out the sleek-looking products from the world’s biggest drone maker.
The showroom, located in the Weixin Software Science & Technology Park, stands in contrast to the drab, blue-grey high-rise buildings around it, typical of Chinese science parks built in the early 2000s.
That will soon change though. SZ DJI Technology, whose products are sold in more than 100 countries, has commissioned world-renowned British architectural studio Foster and Partners to design a new headquarters.
This main office will not be ready for another four years, but it is fitting that the Chinese company known as the Apple of the drone industry is using the same outfit responsible for designing Apple Park, the US technology giant’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Founded in 2006, DJI has grown from a cramped room in a university dorm to a global enterprise with 14,000 employees and 17 offices internationally. It controls more than 70% of the global commercial and consumer drone market and generated sales of 18 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion) in 2017, an 80% jump from the year before.
Frank Wang Tao, the man behind DJI’s growth from university dorm to global giant, seldom speaks in public or gives media interviews. DJI said he was not available to be interviewed for this article.
“Frank was passionate about helicopters when he was a child … He is very private and prefers the spotlight [to be on the products],” said DJI spokeswoman Natasha Gray.
Born in 1980, Wang grew up in Hangzhou, the home base of China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding, and has been passionate about aircraft since childhood. New York-listed Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post. Continue reading about how DJI began.
Source: South China Morning Post