From selling fruit on the streets to owning a glass factory
Cao Dewang, born and raised in a poor family in rural China, is a true rags-to-riches story.
Cao started off peddling cut tobacco and selling fruit on the streets in his hometown at the age of 16. He also worked as a farmer and a chef before his luck turned in 1976 when he landed a job at Fuqing Gao Shan Special Glass Factory, where he was later promoted to merchandiser.
The factory soon fell into hard times, and in 1983, he was asked by the local authorities to take over the dying company.
He quickly turned it around and the business, which has since changed its name to Fuyao Glass Industry Group, began to make profits within one year.
His entry into manufacturing glass has not only brought him wealth, but also international fame as the winner of the Ernst & Young world entrepreneur of the year (EOY), 2009 award, according to a June 10 China Daily report.