Wind through e-cigarettes: Some strong men have broken their wrists, others are so painless
Source: | Author:magicalflavour | Publish time: 2019-12-07 | 165 Views | Share:
Ou Junbiao, chairman of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce's Electronic Cigarette Industry Committee, who recently completed a survey report on the electronic cigarette industry, said to the Economic Observer that he had the deepest feelings of visiting enterprises in the past two months.

After the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration issued the "Notice on Further Protecting Minors from Electronic Cigarettes" (hereinafter referred to as the "New Deal") on November 1, last year, the Electronic Cigarette Industry Committee of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce carried out A survey of "layoffs and losses of electronic cigarette companies" was conducted. The survey yielded three results: severe losses in the entire industry, a sharp decline in industry employees, and excessive law enforcement.

Ou Junbiao also steers an electronic cigarette manufacturer that has landed on the New Third Board, Guangdong Sigray Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. (871818.OC). Just in the first half of the year, like other e-cigarette entrepreneurs, he was ready to do a big job and expand his business from overseas to China. "This is based on the judgment of the market. The past three years have been the most prosperous in the e-cigarette industry. In the past year, product technology has become more and more mature. "

However, the reality has taken a turn for the worse, and the New Deal is pouring down in the same cold water, which has caught the entire industry off guard. The 1,800-square-meter office that Ou Junbiao just rented had to sublet and stop losses. The domestic teams recruiting at high prices to expand the domestic market must also be cut off. "The first half was very hot, and the second half was cruel, like riding a roller coaster."

Like Ou Junbiao, the e-cigarette industry entrepreneurs interviewed described the past year as "too difficult."

Online bans, factory layoffs, over-enforcement, brand presses ... bad news is endless like dominoes. So far, China, South America, Thailand, Canada and other countries have introduced restrictions on e-cigarettes.

In the industry storm, some people left the field, and some people continued to adhere to it. The entrepreneurs were anxious and lingering, but also hoped.

Out of the siege

In the first interview with reporters in early March last year, Lu Hui (pseudonym) was still introducing his second-generation product with great interest. On January 2nd, when he exchanged again, he had "out of the pit" and moved to cross-border e-commerce.

Lu Hui said that his mentality before the transition was "the strong man broke his wrist and healed his bones to heal." After coming out of the "siege", he was already "Liu An Hua Ming Another Village".

Because of his busy career after the transition, Lu Hui hasn't exchanged e-cigarette topics with his friends for a long time. The latest exchange was not long after the New Deal was promulgated. The focus of the topic is: Can I make an electronic cigarette in the future? What should I do if I do n’t make an electronic cigarette?

Lu Hui, who entered the pit in 2012, is a veteran of the electronic cigarette industry. He experienced making a lot of money in the cross-border retail business of e-cigarettes; he opened a foundry factory in Shajing with a like-minded friend, but the factory closed due to product homogeneity and price wars; he created his own cigarette after the player-level large smoke box cigarette appeared Oil brands, which have made dozens of times of retail profits; foreign governments have suppressed the e-cigarette industry and have fallen to the bottom of the valley; when the small cigarettes are about to become popular, they began to design independently, transform their R & D and develop their own brands; All stages.

2019 is Lu Hui's fourth year as a brand. He has no professional operation team, no venture capital, and his operations are all supported by his own funds. After four years, I spent a lot of money for wrongdoing. If I persist, I can only embark on the road of debt. But he has real distress: "The actual situation of the family does not allow me to be in debt. I have elderly people to support and I plan to have children in the near future."

What really made Lu Hui determined to "get out of the pit" were some things during 3.15 last year. The 6 minutes at the party made him foresee that the exposure was just a prologue, and there will be policy constraints in the future. During the same period, the second-generation products produced by its crowdfunding just happened to go online, and sales were severely affected. The platform was forced to go offline in the last few days.

After that, Lu Hui began to gradually reduce capital investment and promotion. At the end of June, the finished product inventory was officially withdrawn after it was almost cleared.

"If I did not make a mistake in withdrawing early, I would definitely have millions of stocks for the Double Eleven at the end of the year, and it will be very miserable now." Lu Hui said, looking back over the past 7 years, he has changed from curiosity, participation, obsession and delusion , Persist, doubt, deny, recognize, and finally leave the scene, and figured out a truth: e-cigarettes have passed the stage of making fast money, the threshold for future employment will be high, and small self-funded entrepreneurial teams can hardly win.

"The sideline just needed"

As a veteran in the e-cigarette foundry industry, Nanwei (pseudonym) is the same as Lu Hui before the transition—anxiety. The difference is that he is still insisting and does not have the initiative to leave the industry. At present, in order to survive, he has to develop a "sideline" and become a "slash youth" with multiple occupations and identities.

In 2013, Nanwei resigned from the research and development work of Heyuan, an electronic cigarette production plant, and rented a 300-square-meter factory building in Shajing with friends, hired a dozen workers, and became the boss. According to his memory, the threshold for the e-cigarette foundry was very low at that time, and they had resources in hand, and the factory could be started as soon as it was rented. "With the heart of selling cabbage, and earning money for selling white flour. As long as you produce it, someone will definitely want it, and you don't have to go to the market at all." In Nanwei's memory, around 2013 was the most popular e-cigarette and small cigarette business. In good times, many of my colleagues came from Liyuan and other major factories at that time.

This "making money" didn't last long. Around 2014, big smoke overtook small smoke and became fashionable. The performance of Nanwei, which has been producing Xiaoyan, has been affected. "But this situation did not last long. Over the past five or six years, big smoke and small smoke have taken turns in battle. In exchange for the popularity, our business has been stable and stable."

Relying on the rapid and strong demand for electronic cigarettes in Europe and the United States, Nanwei's foundry has developed step by step, and the number of employees has grown from a dozen to hundreds. The main business is still foreign trade.

But this year, Nanwei has felt the difficulties it has never experienced since its establishment. In his words, "You can't use a roller coaster to describe it, business will not be better after the Spring Festival in 2019, and it will decline like a cliff."

In June last year, Nanwei's factory began to lay off workers, cutting nearly 100 employees in half a year. In July, when the capital market wind of the electronic cigarette industry was the strongest, it did not blow to the foundries in Nanwei. In September, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement to strengthen the supervision of electronic cigarettes, which has made the market undercurrent more and more.

Restricted by European and American market policies, Nanwei wanted to expand other markets. Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South Korea, and Japan were all his considerations, but because of the lack of layout before, it was not easy to squeeze in for a while.

"My factory needs to survive. I have to survive. I do n’t talk about making money, but at least I want to keep the factory running. So I have to find a way to make money flow. I talked with friends a while ago and said that the hair removal instrument is good. Currently we are working on it. Develop this one. "Now, in order to survive, Nanwei temporarily suspended the e-cigarette business and also started other businesses.

Nan Wei told reporters that the current development of hair removal instrument business is only a "slow strategy", he did not want to leave the electronic cigarette industry. "Unless the industry is completely gone."

Breakout on multiple routes

On November 1 last year, Ou Junbiao and all e-cigarette entrepreneurs experienced an emotional roller coaster. "The newly emerging e-cigarette brands rely on online sales, and more than 70% of e-cigarette sales in the domestic market are completed online." Ou Junbiao said that the new policy may be devastating for most e-cigarette brands and is undoubtedly one. Earthquake in the industry.

Ou Junbiao's business is mainly in overseas markets, and its products are sold to 68 countries. In 2019, under the call of "Fengkou", Ou Junbiao set out to expand the domestic market, doing promotion, recruiting teams, renting office space, and spent millions of dollars. As soon as he "pumped up his sleeves" before he had time to "come on," he was caught off guard by the New Deal, and the backlog of inventory has not yet been cleared.

Recently, Ou Junbiao submitted a survey report to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, hoping that the decision makers can truly understand the current situation and plight of the electronic cigarette industry. At the same time, he is also trying to find a way for his brand.

"I will definitely continue to do e-cigarettes to the end. At present, I can only refocus my business abroad, and come back when the policies are clear." Ou Junbiao told reporters that it will be difficult now and tomorrow will be more difficult, but the day after tomorrow It will be wonderful, depending on whether we can persist.Compared with other brands, Xiwu is a lucky one. In the view of company CEO Chen Min, 2019 is a year in which opportunities and challenges coexist.

"As soon as we were established, we encountered 3.15 roll-calls (e-cigarettes), but on the bright side, this also set the direction for our marketing strategy. We started from science and focused on the consumer Cognitive. "Chen Min said, Xiwu's luck lies in every major decision in the big changes in the external environment.

Prior to the New Deal in November, Xiwu's sales model consisted of two parts, online and offline, but because the product was just launched, the impact of the new deal was not disastrous. Since then, Xiwu quickly adjusted its sales plan, and opened the offline specialty store model while the products entered the supermarket and convenience stores. On November 8, Xiwu's first offline store opened in Wuhan. At present, 10 stores have opened.

"Before the Spring Festival, we will open another 15 stores in various major cities across the country." Chen Min said.