South Korea’s biggest business success story is the Samsung Corporation, which is currently one of the leading manufacturers of smart phones and other electronics in the world. Samsung sales account for 17 percent of South Korea’s gross national product. The business was started in 1938 by a food exporter named Byung-Chull Lee with an investment of 30,000 Korean won (approximately $29.50.) The word “Samsung” means “three stars” in Korean.
During its first decade, the company focused on food exports and production. During the 1950s and 1960s, Samsung began expanding into other business sectors including insurance, construction, petrochemicals and textile manufacture. Samsung’s construction division is responsible for the construction of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which at 2,722 feet, is currently the highest building in the world.
In 1969, the company diversified its reach into the burgeoning electronics sector, establishing a division called Samsung-Sanyo Electronics that focused primarily on the manufacture of black and white television sets. In the 1970s, Samsung acquired a 50 percent stake in a company called Korea Semiconductor, thereby consolidating its reputation as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of semiconductors and the products that depend upon them. By the late 1970s, Samsung had become the world’s leading manufacturer of black and white TVs with over four million sets in consumers’ homes.
The rise of the personal computer brought Samsung even more success. The company began manufacturing PCs in 1983 along with air conditioning units and microwave ovens as well as personal entertainment products such as tape recorders and VCRs.
It was the development of flat screen TVs and cell phone technologies that established Samsung’s ascendency in the world of electronics, however. In 2011, Samsung’s net sales equaled $247 billion, and 100 Samsung television sets were sold every minute. Samsung is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of mobile phones and smartphones in the world, and is number one in the lucrative U.S. market. Indeed, Samsung sells well over twice as many smartphones around the world as its closest competitor Apple. Samsung also dominates the world marketplace in television sets (24 percent), LED screens (21 percent), LCD screens (15 percent) and semiconductors (35 percent). Samsung is truly the exemplar of the 21st century global business with 26 subsidiaries invested in 80 separate business sectors, operating throughout Asia, North America, Europe and Africa.
Source: Best Choice Reviews