Niu Gensheng is the founder and honorary president of Lao Niu Foundation, he is also known as other titles such as the founder, former chairman and president of Mengniu Dairy Group, the founding member, former director and vice president of Yili Group, the vice chairman of China Charity Alliance, a member of China Entrepreneur Club, the vice president of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Great China Council and the trustee of The Paradise International Foundation.
He was once honored as “CCTV's China Economic Figures of the Year” and elected as one of “China's Most Influential Business Leaders” for consecutive five times; he won “China Charity Prize” twice, “Lifetime Achievement Award” and “Special Contribution Award” for Philanthropy, TNC’s “Oak Leaf Prize in 2014” and “Outstanding Prize for Philanthropy” of Committee of 100 of the United States; he was elected into“TOP 10 of China Charity Leaders List” and “Top 100 Most Influential People Engaged in China’s Philanthropy in 2016”.
He began to work as a cow raiser and bottle washer in 1978 and later was appointed as the director and vice president of production and operation of Yili Group. During this decade (1987-1997), he built Yili into “the first ice-cream brand in China”.
Despite the lacks of market, factory and milk source, he founded Mengniu Dairy Group in 1999. He created the miracle of “Mengniu speed” - annual average growth of 158% during 7 years. The prize announcement for Mr. Niu of “CCTV's China Economic Figures of 2003” goes like this, “He is a cow, but runs in the speed of a rocket”; “Under his leadership, Mengniu Dairy Group has become the champion of liguidmilk in the world and the champion of China’s dairy industry”. .
At the end of 2004, he and his families founded the private foundation - Lao Niu Foundation. He donated family assets (Mengniu’s entire shares and part of dividends) for public welfare and philanthropy affairs, aiming to explore a path of the development of “Chinese-style modern philanthropy family foundation”, aiming to promote the overall development of public welfare and philanthropy through the project activities, such as “promoting charity legislation, talent training and international communication”, “establishing and supporting philanthropic educated research institutes” and “founding philanthropy forum”, and striving to explore a charity path of “globalized philanthropy and internationalized project” on the basis of the two areas of “environmental protection” and “cultural education”.
Since 2006 to 2009, he resigned from the chairman and president of Mengniu Group successively, andhe transformed from entrepreneur to philanthropist. Influenced by him, all his family members also devoted themselves to philanthropy. His children initiated and founded “ Lao Niu Brother &Sister Foundation ”, which has expanded the family philanthropy further. The Niu family was rated as “ China Strategy Philanthropy Model ”.
The Foundation was rated as “An Excellent Organization” in 2013-2014 China Charity Transparency Report. It ranked the first in 2015-2017 China Charity Transparency Index, and it topped the list of “2014 China’s Non-Public Offering Foundation Donation”, ranked in first three of “2015 China’s Non-Public Offering Foundation Donation”, and honored as one of “2016 Top Ten Non-public Foundation” and won the prizes of 2014 Wise Giving Promoter and Top Ten China–European Green Foundations. It was awarded the titles of National Advanced Social Organization by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Class 5A Social Organization by the Department of Civil Affairs of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Prize for the Outstanding Contribution to Philanthropy by Hohhot Government. Its flagship project in environmental protection - “Inner Mongolia Shengle International Ecological Demonstration Zone” once won China Charity Prize “The Most Influential Project” of Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, and the cultural and educational project--“Lao Niu Children Exploratorium of The China National Children's Center (CNCC)” earned a nomination and one of “2016 Top Ten Philanthropy Project”. The disaster relief and poverty alleviation project—“Vision Recovery”Social Public Welfare Activity has been honored as the activity of the sixth “Touching the Inner Mongolia Character” and also has been awarded as “The Only Special Award” in Asia by The Asian Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness .
2. Maxims/core values on philanthropy of the founder:
A small victory is won by wisdom while a great one must be achieved by virtues; the more fortunes one has, the greater responsibility one should undertake; giving assistance to others is to make self-improvement; it is advocated that the giver should be grateful to the accepter; if everyone does good, everything will be good; how happy you are depends on how many persons love you.
Starting from scratch and meeting individual needs is small pleasance; giving all fortunes back to society is great happiness.