Hikvision's CEO talks growth strategy

North America is fastest growing region, 'Glocalization' plan means more local control
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

HANGZHOU, China—Video surveillance provider Hikvision is anticipating 80 percent growth in its fastest growing region, North America, according to CEO Yangzhong Hu, president of Hikvision who spoke to a group of trade media reporters, through an interpreter, at the company’s headquarters here on Oct. 26.

Hikvision, which launched 14 years ago as a 29-person startup, expects to have $3.65 billion in revenues this year, up from $2.78 billion in 2014 and $1.76 billion in 2013. In the first three quarters of this year, Hikvision is growing at 56.3 percent globally.

This year, 25 percent of the company’s turnover is from markets outside of China.

It’s a growth rate that CEO Hu characterizes as “OK fast.” Hu says his company has been “very lucky” to get behind the right technologies (H.264, video content analysis, cloud computing and big data among them) and to have started the company during a booming economy in China. He said the company is also lucky to have had significant local engineering resources.

Hikvision’s headquarters here has two 22-story towers linked by a four-story mezzanine. The day it opened, it was full of employees, according to Alex Asnovich, Hikvision North America marketing director. Across the street from the headquarters is an enormous construction site, where a third tower, which will house 11,000 employees, is being built now.

The company has 35 domestic branches and 18 overseas subsidiaries. It employes 14,500 people, 5,400 of whom are engineers.

On average Hikvision factory workers produce 160,000 units daily: 90,000 network cameras, 65,000 analog cameras and 5,000 related (non-camera) products.

It invests 8 percent of its annual revenues into R&D. Last year it established the Hikvision Research Institutue.

Hikvision’s growth strategy, called “Glocalization” is focused on allowing local management to make decisions. Hu’s vision statement addresses the importance of local control: “The evolution of decentralization is in its process to empower the mid-management team for their decision making, and further to move on to the secondary management team.”

Hikvision’s North America expansion plans are well underway.

Hikvision is in the process of building a new headquarters in City of Industry, Calif. It’s a completely new facility with a warehouse and office.

It recently opened an office in Montreal, which “focuses on technical support, engineering support, product- and business sales support for the French Canadian market,” Asnovich said.

It has a new logistics center and warehouse facility in Miami.

In 2016, it plans to open a new R&D facility in Silicon Valley.

Right now, Hikvision employs 200 people in North America. “As we grow sales, the plan is to increase the number of employees,” Asnovich said.