In the business world when economic times get tough a business that weathers the storm is a true survivor. A standout, that must have incredibly popular products that make people come back for more even when unemployment is high and people are unwilling to spend. A business that survives must have proven itself worthy of providing great products at a fair price. Products that people simply can’t do without. When a business does this for 70 to 100 years or more we are all impressed. The stamina, the fortitude and adaptability to survive for so many years must mean this business has some incredible products which we all crave. Ford Motor Company and Kodak come to mind, some of the oldest American businesses.
But what do you think about a business that has survived providing the same products for 341 years? It is truly unheard of in America. We have only been an independent nation for 240 years and no single business has survived since revolutionary days. Yet, a Chinese herb pharmacy called Tong Ren Tong is still in business after 341 continuous years. They still sell Chinese herbs, just as they did in the year 1669. In fact, in Beijing they operate from the same location since 1702 !
They are a household name in China, Hong Kong and much of Asia. They operate pharmacies, drug retailers and various joint ventures throughout 13 countries in Asia. Wouldn’t you be a household name if you were 345 years old? The picture above is me standing in front of their Hong Kong store. (No pictures were allowed inside)
Tong Ren Tang was the supplier of medicinal Chinese herbs to the royals of the Qing Dynasty, from 1669 until their collapse 1911. They have succeed in weathering the storms of Chinese government takeovers, communism and now globalization and prescription medications. Tong Ren has been successful for hundreds of years because Chinese herbs work, it’s as simple as that. Chinese herbs worked 300 hundred years ago and they work today for all kinds of illnesses. Whether your buying ginseng or reishi mushrooms Tong Ren has the herbs and they know how to prescribe them for everything from the common cold to cancer.
When you have incredibly popular products that work well, are needed by the masses and provide real value at a fair price your business will survive regardless of the economic times and government takeovers. Chinese herbs have proven to be that commodity. Chinese herbs are medicine that continues to heal people, even centuries after they were first introduced.