On 2nd August, DB had the pleasure of sitting down with Jonathan and Monica, the founders of Red Pony, to chat about the history of the company and get a sneak-peak into some of their plans for the future. It was made immediately apparent that the couple are very passionate about what they do. Jonathan has an in-depth knowledge of the history of wine in Europe and Monica has a profound understanding of the Chinese market. Together they select the best value wine from France and distribute it in China. They both have a firm belief in the potential of their business and share a philosophy and a love of wine.
DB: 小红马酒业的企业宗旨是“为客户创造价值”，请问你是如何保证质量的同时也让价格平民化？ One of Red Pony’s promises is to create value for your customers. What is your strategy for ensuring that quality is not compromised in exchange for affordability?
Jonathan: When we say affordability, we don’t mean that we sell cheap wine. We do sell cheap wine but we also sell the most expensive wine as well. We try to get the best value and we cater for many different budgets. We have entry level wine for a low price but we also have very good wine. Our aim is to be is cheaper than our competitors. We taste the wine to ensure the best value for money. That doesn’t mean cheap, although we are usually cheaper than out competitors. We provide every different level of wine.
Monica: Cheap in price, good in value.
DB: 是什么让“小红马”成为葡萄酒信心的保证？ What does it take for a wine to earn the Red Pony stamp of approval?
Jonathan: Part of this relates to the last question, i.e. it must be good value for money. Second, we need to like it. We taste all the wine before we choose it. If we don’t like it, there is very little chance that we will take it. I have my foreign taste and Monica understands what the Chinese customer would like. Also, there are some wines which have history and international accolades. That is added value but it is not our main standard of choice.
DB: 成为葡萄酒专家意味着什么？ What does it really mean to be a wine expert?
Jonathan: Wine expert is a big word! I will say the most important part is to have an interest in learning about your subject. I love wine and I will always try to learn more about it by reading and wine tasting as well. Wine is a very fast-moving market. There is a new region and new vineyards created frequently. You need to keep your eyes open and your mind as well. Never stop learning. If you stop learning you become outdated.
DB: 可以告诉我们你们主要的业务和确保业务成功的商业战略吗？ Can you tell us the main focus of your business and what your strategy is to ensure its success?
Monica: We now mainly focus on importing the French wine. No company will import French wine only because the price and famous vineyards are well known by the public, but that’s what we are doing. We plan to make this our starting point and we will import wines from different areas eventually. We also have wine tastings, training and vineyard visiting.
DB: 小红马酒业的企业精神是“厚德载物，自强不息”。我们挺好奇，这句话与你们所经营的酒业的联系是什么？ The philosophy of Red Pony is “the superior man makes himself strong and untiring and has breadth of character carries the outer world”. We are just curious how this saying is related to the wine business you are running?
Monica: I think this saying is suitable for all kinds of professions as it is our Chinese Confucianism philosophy. It is the foundation of the Chinese spirit. Creating value for our customers shares something in common with this philosophy. To work with our customers, we need to work with a generous mind.
DB: 2010年到2015年之间，中国进口葡萄酒数量增长至58.28万千升；同时我们也知道，在中国，白酒占据了主要的市场。想问，这样的竞争是否有影响你们的经营？ Between 2010 and 2015, the amount of imported wine has increased to 582.8 thousand liters. Nevertheless, spirits dominate the alcohol market in China. How does this competition influence the way you operate?
Monica: We always look on the bright side. The spirits market is the dominant market in China but the wine market has great potential. Some of our clients ran spirit companies before and have now transferred to running wine company as well. All in all, as long as we keep working for our customers, we believe our company can go further.
DB: 请问创立小红马是谁提出的想法呢？当初决定经营这家酒业公司的推动力是什么？ Whose idea was it to set up Red Pony and what were the motivations behind your decision to run a wine company?
Jonathan: It was both of our ideas. Monica has a background in logistics with an international company so the team was there. And we love wine! We were searching for wine for our personal use and we ordered a supply of 13,000 bottles, which would be about 30 years of personal consumption. We decided we would keep it for ourselves if we didn’t manage to sell it– but we did.
DB: 为什么会想要起名为“小红马”？ Why did you choose the name‘Red Pony’ and what is ‘Petit Pony’?
Monica: Red Pony was the name of my previous company so it was already registered. It has the ‘cute’ appeal which attracts the Chinese market.
Jonathan: Petit Pony is our registered brand in France and China. This brand is one of our key trades. We sell it exclusively in China. We do a lot of marketing for our own brand and are trying to see what works best.
DB: 想请问一下小红马酒业未来的发展计划是什么？ What are your plans for the future of the company?
Monica: We want to occupy the market. We will buy properties in France and hope to establish ourselves in other Asian countries one day. I have the idea of making a film of “Wine Stories”. I want to teach the Chinese to love wine and want to tell the story of a couple that fall in love over their love of wine. Wine helps people feel more relaxed and people in China want to slow down. I want to share this.