With great capabilities and efforts, Yue Pingquan rejuvenated the business of his ancestors

2010-02-10

 How could Yue Pingquan achieve rejuvenation of TRT? Some said he had strong backing, some said he was adept at planning and strategies. As a matter of fact, he just relied on a word very familiar to us today: innovation.

 

By thoroughly sorting out old prescriptions and developing new medicines, he accumulated wealth, expanded the market and prevailed over competitors. He developed new and better kinds of medicines. What he adopted was a fair competition, rather than unfair competition in the same product made by the lessee of TRT. He was just and honest and did not resort to tricks. Moreover, he often gave his competitors a hand when they had trouble in operation. He attached great importance to the protection of intangible assets; thus anyone who rented the pharmacy of TRT must use of the name of TRT. He paid attention to the proprietary rights. Even if he only earned five strings of cash a day, he would still keep the identity of head of TRT. Therefore, the Yues could stage a comeback and TRT could continue its sustained development.

 

The new medicines created by him have greatly enriched the list of medicines of TRT and have added many precious and excellent prescriptions to the treasure-house of medicine of our motherland. In 1998, experts of TRT made thorough research of the lists of prescriptions of TRT throughout its history. They found that from the year of Jiashen (1765 A.D.) during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, Yue Fengming started to compile the list of prescriptions of TRT. The list of medicine at that time was divided into 15 categories, including anemogenous phlegm, exogenous febrile disease, summer-heat and damp, tonifying and complicated diseases, with a total of 363 medicines of herbal medicines. After the deletion and addition over years, till the year of Wushen of the reign of Emperor Daoguang (1848 A.D) when Yue Yizhong was the head, the list had 16 categories, 449 medicines. And the list had 16 categories, 495 medicines after revision by Yue Pingquan by the eighth year (1870 A.D.) of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi.. Although it remained to be 16 categories, the number of medicinal herbs was either added or deleted. Before the year of Jiayin (1854 A.D.) during the reign of Emperor Xianfeng, there was the “complicated diseases”, after that year, it was deleted and the categories of “addendum” was added. But in the addendum, sometimes there were 12 and sometimes 5. The number of prescriptions increased, and the formulas of some of the medicines were adjusted or the preparation methods were improved. And so by the eighth year (1870 A.D.) of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi, the list had 16 categories, 495 medicines.

 

The later generations of the Yues once spoke highly of the efforts made by Yue Pingquan in developing new medicines, “The number of medicines added is no less than one hundred. Such medicines as tiger-bone liquor for strengthening muscles and bones, ankun zanyu pills for regulating menstruation, yixian pill for enriching the blood, babao yaomo for subsidence of a swelling, wuwei binlang pill for stomachic tonic, asthma relieving pill for relieving asthma, ginseng and young pilose antler wine for relieving various discomforts and longevity wine for curing deficiency of both vital energy and blood etc., were all created by Yinchuan (another name of Yue Pingquan). They have miraculous efficacies. They are not available in the ancient prescriptions and shall be kept secret.”

 

Many of these new medicines developed by Yue Pingquan are still the traditional famous brand products or important products of TRT today. This is an important historical contribution made by Yue Pingquan to TRT. It also proves that TRT the Yues’ Old Pharmacy does not just live off the past gains of its ancestors but is a time-honored famous brand filled with innovative spirit.

 

The fragrance of flowers needs to be spread by the wind and the mellow taste of the wine needs to be tasted by the guests. A good product should be known by all people. This is also what people say today to enhance the image of enterprises and brands. Le Pingquan was not only good at advertising, but also paid attention to integrated effect of product publicity, enterprise image improvement and charities. In every general civil examination event, the students recommended to take part in the imperial examination came from all parts of the country and gathered at the capital, among whom there were northern students coming by horse and southern examinees coming by boat. When arriving at the capital, they normally didn’t feel well. The students from the north said, “I didn’t expect the weather here to be so hot. I’m afraid my talents and wisdom would be evaporated and turned smoke.”

 

Those from the south shouted, “It’s so dry here. I feel dizzy and my mouth and lips are parched. I’m afraid the article I write will be as dry as dust. What should I do?”

 

At this moment, someone shouted, “TRT is coming, They are sending medicine to relieve the heat!”

On hearing this, they were filled with joy and acclaimed with thanks:

“It’s indeed a timely rain!”

“Thank goodness”

“Guanyin has come!”

 

Some students from poor families asked: “TRT is responsible for offering medicine to the emperor and it must have good efficacy. I am just afraid the price may be too high…”

 

The man sending the medicine was an inspector from TRT. He said: “This is free. We just want to wish you success.”

 

These words attracted more praise from the students. Some even composed poems while holding the medicine boxes printed the Chinese characters of TRT and names of the students.

 

In this way, the medicines and reputation of TRT were spread to all places with the students returning home. What’s more, those who passed the exam and secured a post in the government would repay the kindness of TRT in various ways.

 

In the city of Beijing at that time, as a rule the city moat should be dug once a year and TRT would install the “moat lights” at the openings of the moat. Whenever the darkness fell, the lanterns with the name of TRT were hung high to prevent people from falling into the moat. People who went outside at night were mostly common people working hard for their living, such as carters, porters, vendors, homeless vagrants and beggars etc. Therefore this charitable act of TRT was especially good for them.

 

TRT established gruel’s factories in winter and sent medicines to relieve heat in summer. It also ran tuition-free private schools and gave coffins in charity. These charity undertakings were not only helpful for the poor people at the bottom of society but also helped build up the reputation of TRT. To pass on such charitable acts, TRT specially made the medicines for gynecology called yixian pills for free distribution. TRT also took 8 shares from 200 shares of “lingqian” (a kind of reward system) as the expenditure for charity.

 

In addition to TRT, other dedicated stores also did the same things - giving gruel in charity in times of famine, donating medicines in times of plague, running tuition-fee schools and donating coffins; but Yue Pingquan was the one who really followed the principle of serving the people and cultivating benevolence. He never fished for fame and compliments; he indeed tried to help people, especially those who had difficulty in getting medical treatment.

 

In the afternoon of an early winter of the first year during the reign of Emperor Guangxu, there were few customers in TRT and a newly recruited salesman was cleaning the counter. He had sold medicines for several years in other drugstores and knew that the counters should also be kept clean although different stores had different specific rules. At this moment, an old vegetable grower came to TRT in a tottering manner, wearing a patched and worn-out cotton-padded jacket. The new salesman knew that when the poor got ill, they usually just let it be and waited for death, but if their relatives were ill, they could not just watch them die without giving a helping hand; so they just pooled some money to buy some cheap and no-effect medicines to stall off and also comfort themselves.

 

“What can I help you?” The new salesman was also born in a poor family and TRT had a rule that the salesman should greet customers, whether rich or poor, with a smile. So he gave him a cordial reception.

 

“I heard that the tiger-bone liquor of TRT is very good. Is that right?”

 

“Yes. But it depends on what kind of disease to be cured. For a sore waist and an aching leg, especially rheumatism, it is the best choice.”

 

The old man asked him about the price and then said with hesitation after considering for a while: “Then please give me two liang.”

 

The salesman signed shaking his head, “You are upsetting me. The liquor is not those common stuffs in a small wine store to be sold in a small amount. This liquor should be sold by at least 1 bottle. Moreover, even for the wine brewed by the immortal, you cannot achieve a curative effect with just two liang, not to mention the tiger-bone liquor. ”

 

“But I don’t have so much money.” The old man was puzzledsad.

 

So how should he do? The salesman was in a quandary now. If he didn’t sell it, he felt that the old man was very pitiful; if he sold it, the old man didn’t have enough money. And if he sold on credit, he didn’t have that right. He was just considering discussing with the inspector when a man joined in the conversation, “Who is ill in your family?” It was Yue Pingquan coming over.

 

“I want to buy medicine for my wife. She has had rheumatism for many years. Once the weather changes, especially in the cold winter, she feels painful in both her legs. It is said that this illness can be cured with tiger-bone liquor, but we are so poor. How can we have the money to buy it? So I just pooled some money and wanted to buy two liang for her so that I wouldn’t fail her love to me.”

 

Saying these words, the old man choked with sobs and couldn’t continue.

 

Yue Pingquan immediately told the salesman to give a bottle of tiger-bone liquor to the hands of the old man, saying, “Please take it and let your wife drink it.”

 

The old man did not dare to take it, saying in a trembled voice, “I can’t take it. I don’t have so much money.”

“TRT gives you this. It’s free.”

“No. I can’t do that.” The old man refused to take it and his tears dropped.

 

“It doesn’t matter. We still have many more, just like the vegetables you grow. Take it. If it’s effective, please come again. It can’t be cured once and for all with just one or two bottles. You need to drink more. So please do come back for more. It will be still free of charge for you.”

 

“Then… Thank you so much! People all said that TRT is kind and generous. So it is true!” Saying these, he was about to kneel down to Yue Pingquan.

 

Later, TRT sent several bottles of liquor to the old man for another time. When his wife recovered, they sent a cart of vegetables to TRT to express their gratitude. There were Chinese cabbages, radishes and gherkin with flowers which were so hard to be available in this season. Yue Pingquan wanted to give him money but the old man refused to accept. Having no other choice, Yue Pingquan asked the salesmen to give them another two bottles of tiger-bone liquor.