Lily Chen is Chairman of Shandong Alltour Automotive Co., Ltd. (Alltour Automotive). Alltour Automotive’s mission is to become the world’s leading friction material manufacturer in the commercial vehicle market. The company provides superior quality brake pads and brake linings for trucks, trailers, buses and vans. In the following Q&A, Lily shares with us her valuable insights on the topics of leadership and success.
TBR: What is your current role and area of responsibility?
LC: I’m the Chairman of Shandong Alltour Automotive Co., Ltd, and the founder of our brake pad brands ANTCH and Alltour.
TBR: How would you describe your leadership style and why has it worked so well for you?
LC: I’m a very tactful woman of great resolution, which makes me feel the world more easily and make decisions quickly and correctly. This is very important for a woman working in a predominantly male environment such as the brake industry.
TBR: What do you see as your biggest challenge right now?
LC: When I founded ANTCH I had the drive to make the best brake pad and lining in the world. Later when I founded Alltour, which especially focus on CV brakes, I make this drive to be our team vision and mission. We strictly follow the quality process and devote ourselves to make the highest level brake pad in the world and strive to be the benchmark for all Chinese friction material producer or even in the world.
But today the business rules are not the correct rules, not only the price war give me a big challenge, and also the people outside china still believe that all what coming from china must be cheap, but this is not for ANTCH & Alltour. I will never give up to proving to the world that Chinese company can also make the best product, it is my mission and also challenge to change this partial opinion.
TBR: What do you look for when evaluating top talent?
LC: I don’t mind the age, race, or gender…! I am looking for excellent skills not people.
TBR: What was your first job in Industry?
LC: After graduated from university, I joined a trading company of rubber hose for about half year. Then I left and established my first company, ANTCH Industries, started my business in brake system spare parts.
TBR: Name your favorite / recent book(s) you have read:
LC: Recently I just finished the book “Ferryman”, it is about love, life, and death. The character Dylan gives me a lot of courage in real life.
TBR: What is your favorite quote and why?
LC: “We should not waste our lives, we should be able to say: “I have done what I can do.”—by Marie Curie.
It is my childhood dream to be a scientist like Mrs. Marie Curie, I believe I’m gifted for something and now I’m attaining it.
TBR: Tell us a something that most people might not know about you or your organization.
LC: I am not typical Chinese; Most of my friends say I am very open but too strict and tough, I am not sure if this is because my grandmother is from Russia or because this hard land give me strong and strict personality.
I am a mechanical engineer, and do the work very strictly as all my team knows well.
But I am also a dreamer, when do any work or develop any product always want to be the best one, This maybe good attribute of an engineer, but as a company leader it can be painful sometimes. I believe that life is a permanent learning which never ends, and I wish to meet some very wise people who can help me grow as a real wise leader.