Zong Qinghou
Chairman and CEO of Hangzhou Wahaha Group
Age: 66

Zong Qinghou watched as China reformed and opened up, and he saw an opportunity to challenge Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Zong started the Wahaha Group, which has grown into a beverage empire with more than 50 billion RMB ($7.9 billion) in annual revenues. His experience with Wahaha, from its union with Danone to its subsequent split and the lawsuits that followed, was a textbook lesson on maintaining control and localization.

In the past two years, Wahaha has expanded from carbonated drinks and dairy products into the raw materials and retail industries, with the goal of becoming a Fortune Global 500 company within five years.

-- Wang Yiding

By Fortune China editors @FortuneMagazine - Last updated January 12 2012: 9:09 AM ET
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