The Ultimate Rags-To-Riches Story Behind Sany
Whilst a lot of heavy machinery is utilitarian in design, with a story that can be summarised as a business finding a gap in the market and using their capital to produce a machine to meet a need that hasn’t been fully served yet, there are so many interesting people and creative minds behind equipment often taken for granted.
An interesting case here is the excavation equipment made by Sany Heavy Industry. Whilst the company itself does not have an unusual story, unlike the brothers who created the Bobcat compact loader, the story of its founder is one of the starkest rags-to-riches stories in business.
Born in the small town of Maotang in Hunan province, Liang Wengen was born to a teacher and a factory worker, with the struggles that can come from living in a family of eight.
They struggled, and once Mr Liang could help out, he would work on his family’s farm to ensure their survival.
However, ultimately his talent and intelligence shone through once he got a scholarship to Hunan University, which after he got his degree allowed him to rise up the ranks of a state-owned steel plant.
This gave him enough capital, along with three other businessmen, to found a small welding company in 1986 based in his hometown.
The company would quickly change course to construct heavy machinery, rapidly growing in the process and having the capacity to create a wide range of general-purpose heavy machinery and specialised equipment for particularly major projects.
During that time, the initial 60,000 yuan investment would pay off hundreds of times over, to the point that the company would make billions in profit and make Mr Wengen himself temporarily the richest man in China, although he has since been superseded by others.
Whilst he retired in 2023, his story is one of the benefits of hard work and constantly developing one’s skills, as that has made him exceptionally wealthy and up until recently the custodian of a range of highly capable heavy equipment.