“Grape King is the pride of Shui-chao Tseng, the founder of the company. Each fruit of the vine represents the results of dedicated work and cooperation of the company and its employees.”
The story and business building experiences of Shui-chao Tseng, Founder and Chairperson of Grape King
(April 14, 1935 to December 1, 2014)
Chairperson Shui-chao Tseng in his younger days Founder and President Shui-chao Tseng came from a family of tenant farmers. Life was difficult when he was young. To support his family, Mr. Tseng started working at Hsing-Nan Pharmacy after graduating from junior high school. He later traveled north and began working at the Japanese company Taiwan Tanabe Seiyaku Co., Ltd. and proved himself to be a tireless worker. Mr. Tseng began his career as an apprentice and as a marketing agent for pharmaceutical companies as he slowly familiarized himself with the business ecology of the pharmaceutical industry. After gaining enough familiarity with changes in market trends, Mr. Tseng decided to fulfill his dreams of entrepreneurship. At the age of 29, Mr. Tseng started a company to distribute pharmaceutical products that mainly include patented drugs. He then entered into a joint venture with 2 pharmacy owners from central and southern Taiwan and founded China Fuso Seiko Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. This company was later renamed in 1971 as Grape King as the founders hope to adopt the natural and healthy image of the fruit to better convey their corporate mission and vision. The bountiful fruits of the vine also symbolize every employee in the company as well as the effective partnership between the company and its staff.
Emphasizing the principles of Health First
The 1970s is a critical time when Taiwan transforms itself from an agricultural society to an industrial economy. The huge population of laborers have a strong demand for energy drinks to keep their spirits up. Mr. Tseng, well-aware of this need, the famous ComeBest Oral Drink, the first commercial product of Grape King. ComeBest immediately took the Taiwanese market for energy drinks by storm and became the very product that symbolizes the brand of Grape King.
While pursuing his vision of building better health and expanding the economy, Mr. Tseng also greatly supported public athleticism and started a business-education partnership with the Department of Physical Education of Fu Jen Catholic University in 1977 by founding the Grape King Baseball Team to actively improve national standards in baseball. Mr. Tseng also organized a Plum Flag Championship League that became the pioneering event of sport events organized by private enterprises in Taiwan. Golf was another sport that Mr. Tseng focused on. He later went on to serve as the general director of Linkou Golf Course for 3 terms (and a total of 12 years) and organized a number of Grape King Cup golf tournaments that proved to be popular among professional golf players and public alike.
Award ceremony to the baseball team and group photograph with Mr. Tseng
Mr. Tseng (first row on the left) and six leading Pro-partner consultants
Grand meeting of Comebest dealers
Live Healthy, Think Grape King
In 1991, Mr. Tseng advanced the company further by establishing the Biology Center and recruited biotech professionals. The Center started by focusing on fungal fermentation and biotechnology research and development to transform Grape King into a health food company. Grape King then successfully shattered the myth of health foods being expensive luxury items by releasing the Original Ganoderma King that came with a price where each pellet is less than NT$ 10, granting every member of the public ready access to health foods. The product represented the successful transformation of Grape King from its original role as a supplier of functional drinks.
To better communicate product effectiveness to the public, Mr. Tseng changed his perspective and decided to adopt the model of word of mouth and sharing good things to promote awareness and marketing efforts of health food products provided by Grape King. In 1998, the subsidiary company Pro-partner was established, using multi-level marketing models to become a strong and effective sales channel.
“Mr. Tseng is a down-to-earth and determined individual. Grape King is the representative of his lifelong career.” described a fellow employee who had worked with him for many years. Despite being the chairperson and director of Grape King, Mr. Tseng had always adopted a hands-on approach on everything, large or small. He also worked tirelessly towards the betterment of fellow employees and was often praised for such efforts by many senior colleagues.
Having started from nothing, Grape King has gained immense success, suffered from a temporary setback and loss before achieving an even higher peak in development. Many regard Grape King as a happy company backed with robust systems, procedures, and organization thanks to Mr. Tseng’s tenacious spirit in business management. Grape King shall continue to advocate such spirit and adopt his vision of becoming a Health Expert for the Entire Family to provide the public with a healthier and better life.