Beijing pet hospital owner pursues big dreams

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 24, 2013
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The legacy of American entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs is inspiring a new generation of Chinese to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. This is the case for Zhang Jingtao, one of a number of entrepreneurs in China with lofty ambitions.

Zhang, who is in his late twenties,resigned from a big state-owned telecommunication company two years ago to open Beijing Homelike Love Hospital for Pets purely out of his love for animals.


Zhang Jingtao, the owner of the Beijing Homelike Love Hospital for Pets

"Pets should not simply be raised to protect a house or chase rats. They are our companions, they are part of our life, are sharing our joys and sorrows," Zhang said.

"I hope that people will understand this fundamental concept and improve the living conditions for their pets."

Zhang's story started when he adopted a homeless cat. The cat convinced him that lending a helping hand to a pet in time would definitely change the destiny of the animal.

But to do something solely for charity does not satisfy Zhang's ambition. He wants to make a change -- to make the Chinese people care more about their pets. He has built a business model to raise enough money to fund his pet protection campaign.

Zhang is also considering building an online "match-making" platform to match potential owners with pets.

Zhang's ideas about how to take good care of pets even run to cooking for them, injecting them with an anti-parasite solution once a month and not to abandon them during a family pregnancy.

However, Zhang's pet hospital is his first step.

The hospital has been running for two years. It is full of imported medicines and an X-ray machine and a staff of 12, including four doctors and five nurses. The hospital has already broken even.

Usually, people who needed treatment for their pets would be balk at the prices of the hospital's imported medicines, they would ask why we sell a vaccine at hundreds of yuan when a domestic one costs less than 10 yuan, Zhang recalled.

"But we were not put off when they left. We knew that our sincere service would eventually win them back," Zhang said.

"Although we use expensive medicines, we don’t overcharge clients, or prescribe what is unnecessary to them."

The hospital now welcomes an average of 20 customers a day.

Life has not been easy for Zhang. He had to coordinate with various government departments, persuade his neighbors to give him a permit to use the X-ray machine, raise funds, find talented staff and comfort his family, so they would be convinced he is doing something worthwhile.

As a pair of intellectuals from the older generation, his parents found it hard to understand why their son gave up a stable state-funded post of department manager to open a private pet hospital.

Nevertheless, Zhang remains thankful to his parents for understanding him and giving him the freedom to pursue his dream.

"My parents often tell me that if everything fails, I would still be able to find a decent job. Some failures are inevitable,and success often comes by chance," Zhang said.

"When I am engaged in something I never think about failure."


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