This man is no other than Zhong Shanshan, a self-made billionaire who founded Nongfu Spring, a well-known brand of bottled water in China.
If you haven’t heard the news yet, Zhong Shanshan has grabbed Jack Ma’s spot in being China’s richest man with his net worth of $58.7 billion (P2.8 trillion) in the Bloomberg Billionaires index. This is $2 billion more than Jack Ma’s $56.7 billion, as of September 23, 2020. But, how did he attain this spot?
Zhong Shanshan’s life was not as easy as it seems.
Despite him being born into a wealthy family, he had to drop out in grade school due to the Cultural Revolution. In his teens, he worked as a mason’s and a carpenter’s apprentice.
Zhong eventually went back to school and decided to be a reporter. However, he resigned after seeing the business opportunity in China and began pursuing different business projects in Hainan.
Zhong took a leap of faith.
Although some of his projects failed, it did not stop him. In 1996, Zhong founded the predecessor of what is now known as Nongfu Springs, which became a hit in China for promoting its natural water. The company eventually grew and began to sell a variety of items such as tea and energy juices.
Aside from Nongfu Springs, he is also the chairman of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, which was valued at $171 million (P8.2 billion) in 2019.