“Yihong Zhao’s ability to stand out from hundreds of candidates and win as the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year comes from his unparalleled skills in innovation, demonstrated by his leadership at Besunyen Holdings Company Limited in the past 20 years and his brilliant performance in his role,” quoted the Summit Committee.
In 2000, Yihong Zhao founded “Besunyen” in Beijing. Nowadays, Besunyen has become a one-stop enterprise mainly focusing on the R&D, production, sales, and promotion of effective health teas. Based off his knowledge on traditional Chinese medicine, Zhao selected Chinese herbal medicine while considering the homology of both medicine and food, combined it with Chinese tea, and used modern industrial technology to develop two core products: Besunyen Detox Tea and Slimming Tea. Besunyen’s market share has been at the forefront of the industry for several consecutive years. In 2021, its market share was 22.38% and 13.89% respectively, still ranking highly on the market.
In 2000, Lipton, the top international brand in the bagged tea market, had a sales scale of 100 million yuan in China. By 2010, Lipton’s had sales had risen from 100 million yuan to 300 million yuan, while Besunyen’s sales rose from 0 to 800 million yuan. In the same year, under Yihong Zhao, Besunyen rapidly advanced and was successfully listed as a top brand in Hong Kong, becoming the only health tea enterprise in China to do so.
Furthermore, Yihong Zhao also seeked to expand and optimize Besunyen’s unique product line by forming joint ventures, R&D and operations with poineering health care products and OTC drugs in Europe, the United States, and Japan.
In addition to his strong roots to his culture, Yihong Zhao also fully focuses on scientific and technological R&D. In 22 years of entrepreneurship, he has developed 10 patents, which have become the Besunyen brand’s core competency. Among them are two patents for “health tea that improves gastrointestinal functions and its preparation method” and a “weight loss tea and its preparation method”, which apply to the company’s two main products — Besunyen Detox Tea and Slimming Tea, respectively. Until today, Besunyen has cumulatively sold over 5.585 billion bags of tea products, exceeding RMB 7.494 billion in sales. Offline, Besunyen has sold through 87 distributors and 142 distributors, selling in nearly 500,000 pharmacies and supermarkets in China, and the company has opened 122 stores on 35 e-commerce platforms for online sales. Nowadays, Besunyen’s bagged tea are sold internationally in various markets such as France, Italy, Germany, and the United States.
With years of practical experience, Yihong Zhao has formed his own unique understanding and insight on health industry. Over the past 20 years, he has successfully used various combinations of investment, funds, and trade cooperation to actively follow and understand mechanisms in science and technology fields. He has used his comprehensive abilities to create more team growth opportunities, introduce healthier methods of consumption, and upgrade product and service supply systems.
While developing Besunyen, Yihong Zhao has strived to expand and strengthen the slogan of “the first brand of functional healthy tea” and gather resources based on this core concept. Nowadays, Besunyen already has a mature and established foundation in healthy consumables and other related fields.
When it comes to Besunyen’s future development, Yihong Zhao said that he would uphold his original intention of continuing to operate in the health industry, further strengthening the company’s existing business scope, and accelerating the growth of Besunyen’s big health ecosystem with digital construction, international expansion, and group layout. He said that in the international community, with the help of Chinese creations, brands, and traditional medicine, together they can provide people from all over the world with better health. Chinese herbal medicine is natural and healthy, and Chinese herbal tea uses natural plant ingredients. Yihong Zhao says, Besunyen’s lifelong goals and missions consist of promoting the concept of “herbal health” to allow people from across the globe to have access to improvement and fulfillment.