Samsung is South Korea’s largest conglomerate company. Started by Lee Byung-chul in the port town of Taegu, Korea in March 1938, Samsung was initially just a grocery trading company. The aim of the company was to provide dried Korean fish, fruits and vegetables around the Korean market and to Beijing. How then did a mini-scale grocer turn his dream company into the largest technology manufacturing company of today?
THINKING OUT OF THE BOX
Success does not come over night, and for the initial years Samsung underwent a lot of criticism regarding its products so much so that the Korean locals used to refer to it as “Samsuck”. The former president Park Jung-hee of South Korea ensured some loans for the company for it to step into the field of manufacturing electronics. Until the 1980’s Samsung was low quality electronic company which produced cheap television sets, microwaves and ceiling fans. Chang Sae-jin, a Korean business man commented in his book that, a Samsung ceiling fan “was so poorly designed and manufactured that even lifting it up with one hand broke its neck.”
OVER POWERING THE DIGITAL MARKET
Samsung owes its miraculous and enviable transformation to the son of the founder of this company, Lee Gun-hee, who took the position of the CEO after his father died. He made the incredible decision to step into the digital market at a time when the digital technology was the new thing to be discovered.
Lee Gun hee made a famous statement to the employees of his company, “Change everything except your wife and children”. From this moment onwards he revolutionised Samsung. The Korean market was undergoing change at this point in time and no one really cared about Samsung. This was taken into a positive manner by its CEO. He stepped into manufacturing mobile phones which did not turn out to be a success until quite a few years down the road. It is reported that Lee Gun hee burnt all the defected phones available in the Samsung factory so that no defected product was sold under the Samsung name.