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Tian Gangyin: My Chinese Dream has Come True

release date :2013-08-29 10:09:34  |   [ close window ]ViewCount:

Compiler: News Center of BIT  Zhao Lin

Editor’s Note:
    Tian Gangyin, born in April 1982, was admitted to Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) to major in aircraft design and engineering in 2001, and graduated in 2005. He founded Beijing Zhong Hangzhi Science and Technology Ltd. with an alumnus in 2007, and the company they cofounded created the first electronically controlled coaxial helicopter. In May 2013, they got the first order of tens of million yuan for the helicopter which is still in the test phase, and they have orders booked in next year. Tian Gangyin, as an entrepreneurial example of BIT students, gets more attention:

    When I interviewed him, he was calm with clear and smooth conversation, which I thought this was not an interview, but more like listening to a wise man, as he has an old head on young shoulder. 31-year-old Tian Gangyin has been outstanding in domestic unmanned helicopters.
    Life, like an egg, broken from the outside is pressure and from the inside is driving force.
    Tian, with an interest in flight and wireless radio, was admitted to BIT and studied aircraft design and engineering in 2001. Although he chose the major related to aircraft, he still remained a strong thirst for electronic disciplines. Hence, he learned some relevant elective courses which pave the way for electronic instead of mechanical unmanned helicopter.
    Compared with others, Tian's college life was a little bit unruly. As he only bought textbooks when he was a freshman, in the rest of academic years, he just borrowed others' notebooks before exams. As to this, in his opinion, to learn accumulated knowledge and internalize it is relatively easy. The method he learns a new course is: firstly, he browses the catalogue to generally grasp the knowledge in the book; then he reads the content included in every catalogue; at last, he reads the book twice. And in this way he can basically grasp the discipline. A course costs him 3 years to learn in high school, while 3 weeks to learn in university. Although he could get the second and third scholarships every semester, he never deliberately pursued scholarship, as he believes that what he is interested in is the most important.
    The Aircraft Model Association was where he spent the most of his time and energy. Here, his interest----the aircraft model was still his maximum motivation. Making the helicopter model required much money, high-end equipment and place, but with limited school funds he began to study the flight controller. The year of 2002 is an outbreak time for unmanned helicopter in international academic cycle with experts studying new algorithms. At that time, Tian was interested in H infinity and worked hard to study it. Over ten years later, truly commercial products are those with H infinity and neural networks; especially there are three or four international commercialization companies with H infinity. Both the two theories have solved problems that traditional controlling cannot solve, making control more stable and accurate. Maybe it is coincident or lucky for him, his independent thinking and endeavor in the association lays a solid foundation for his future entrepreneurship.
    Dormitories are where students spend the longest on campus. His dormitory was one with the typical polytechnic style of “academic”. His roommates were fond of discussing academic issues, and they began to read books, search on the internet, debate and discuss with being divided into different schools when they encountered some controversial issues. At last, they all became earnest and Tian’s practical attitude and eloquence were formed here.
Youth needs courage to make mistakes

    After graduating from BIT, Tian Gangyin worked in a Japanese unmanned helicopter agency in 2005, and he did not forget the flight controller after work. Two years later, as the Japanese agency could not pay wages, Tian together with like-minded pals, decided to start their own businesses.
    At first, they worked as a team, later some left because of various reasons, at last, only Tian and another fellow called Man Yi stayed. They wanted to create a kind of new flight controller which is smaller, more commercial and convenient. But to transfer the theory into products and conform to industrial standards, required the best accessories and the support of funds. The budget was at least 50,000 yuan, plus loss in experiments of 60,000 or 70,000 yuan, which was handsome. Tian contributed 40,000 yuan out of the money his parents prepared for his marriage and Man Yi 40,000 yuan out of the money which he planned to buy a house.
    In reality, entrepreneurs in various fields invested money into starting businesses instead of buying houses. The difference between Tian and those entrepreneurs is that he is not only for starting a business, but for creating the best flight controller he has longed, even if he fails.
    There were two difficulties at the beginning of starting a business, one is lack of experience, and the other is lack of money. Because of money shortage, they could not make many mistakes. They had to consider possible problems they might encounter carefully and predict over and over again. They bought cheap instruments to do experiments and only these experiments were successful, they began to truly implement. They made comprehensive research and clarify of every detail at theoretical level. Now Tian thinks the method is beneficial. If they demonstrate now, constant tests may need to be done. However, at that time because of limited conditions, they had to be cautious. Their work style ---- repeated demonstration, tolerating mistakes and trying to avoid mistakes lays the company's unique style and culture.
    At the end of 2007, their original intention was to prove the creation of the flight controller which is the perfect realization of theories, but after the assessment, it reached the domestic advanced level. Thus Tian Gangyin and Man Yi made their first fortune.

His dream came true
    Although aircrafts are recognized to be safe, there are accidents. According to Tian’s rough statistics, accidents happen not because of the flight controller, but because of mechanical problems. Although their technology of the flight controller leads the domestic industry, accidents will happen to aircrafts which fly more than 200 hours only with the flight controller technology. They thought if the technology was sold like this, they would destroy the technical reputation of the domestic industry only for immediate benefits. Hence they decided to make their own unmanned aircrafts when their business became prosperous.
    They had studied various international aircrafts when they made their own aircraft. They found they need pay high royalties in international market in traditional way, as it was hardly possible to avoid others’ patents. Therefore, they decided to find a new way to make a new aircraft model. Excitedly, they found the coaxial of Russian KA series possesses such advantages as wind-resistance, smallness and such disadvantages as complicated machine. The coincidence was that Russian applied for few patents in the field of coaxial. After studying the mechanical ratio of KA series, they replaced its mechanical parts with electronic ones. As a result, they reduced the number of parts, and did not involve in patent issues.
    After dealing with the flight controller, they designed a new aircraft model to verify its core part, and then made the first unmanned helicopter. The unmanned helicopter, with the length of 1.5m and weight of 290kg, has two coaxial propellers without tails. As a result, it has special advantage in small space (even in the car trunk) with small land occupation and few parts. It can perform all functions of unmanned aircrafts, such as autonomous takeoff, landing and airline flight. As it is newly designed, avoiding all patents that traditional helicopters use, so it will not encounter technical blockade and have tremendous international market potentials.
    Their unmanned helicopters have received the first order of tens of millions yuan, and with other orders they will sell 6 or 7 unmanned helicopters. Their unmanned helicopters can be applied to such areas as emergency, relief, electricity and agriculture. Tian Gangyin believes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be an intelligence revolution represented by unmanned robots, and his aim is to replace labor with machines and increasingly improve the smartness of machines.

Calm state of mind and action
    Their business ran successfully in just several years. Last year, their company gained 50 million yuan from Beijing government as their company became cutting-edge in the industry from a small company at early time. However, Tian was very calm, and even did not tell his parents about this. As for the future development of the company, instead of any grand blueprint, he just wants to do his best step by step.
    During four years’ life in BIT, he dedicated to studying aircrafts in Aircraft Model Association. In entrepreneurial phase, he together with his fellow, under the circumstance of limited funds, worked hard to create the best aircrafts just for verifying the feasibility of the theory. At present, when the company is in good momentum with abundant capital, he and his fellow spend most of profit on research and development instead of buying houses. In fact, they can lead a rich life right now if they are willing. After the long journey, he lives in the moment as he is down-to-earth and puts his interest in the first place, and he lives not only in the moment as he keeps calm, cool-headed and far-sighted to realize his dream of flying.    Tian thanks the four years life in BIT for building a complete knowledge framework and forming his self-learning ability. He gets to know the existence and differences of disciplines through general education in BIT and keeps learning in the future. The knowledge framework helps him to find out answers from other disciplines, make progress and innovate. He, as a hardworking entrepreneur, learns MBA in English version and books on international financial. Tian also hopes to establish a good relationship with his alma mater, jointly establish practice base to offer undergraduates internships. He is willing to use the company as a platform for younger undergraduates to verify new algorithms and encourages them to innovate.    As long as one has a dream, he will not fear to go farther; as long as there is hope, one is able to overcome all obstacles. People with dreams are eager to be successful, but not fear failure; people with dreams do not always succeed, but they will succeed at last. Beat wishes to Tian Gangyin’s prosperous career.A brief introduction to his company:
    Beijing Zhong Hangzhi Science and Technology Ltd., a vassal state-owned shareholding enterprise, is a high-tech company under the support of Beijing government, with its headquarter located in Beijing economic and technological development zone.     The main business is to produce and sell airport equipment such as unmanned helicopters, aircraft equipment and automatic laser birds dispellers. Its products are applied to many areas such as electricity, agriculture, public security, emergency, relief, marine monitoring, geological exploration and film shooting.
    It has more than 100 employees, of whom the proportion of research and development personnel is 70%. All the employees have college degree or above, among them employees having master’s degree account for 60% and doctor’s degree account for 10%. The company has quick and complete sale and service system which offers comprehensive repair, maintenance and personnel training.
    Its team has over ten years’ experience of development and producing in terms of unmanned aircrafts. It has independently created the flight controlling system which reaches international advanced level, and its core technology leads domestic similar enterprises. It keeps good cooperative relationships with dozens of famous domestic and foreign counterparts and institutions with unmanned technology.
    The company strives to be the leading high-tech enterprise at home and abroad with the pragmatic and progressive philosophy.


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