Even after the onset of pandemics and the hardships brought by it, Samsung still had its total revenue of over 210 billion dollars in 2020. Do you know the net income of the company even in this time after the entire totaling was $23 billion?
It is no wonder that Samsung is the closest competition to Apple. Even if they might not be the leader in smartphones, they still are into a lot of other lines of business- air conditioning, kitchen appliances, life wear accessories, are only to name a few.
Seeing how it has gained popularity in the world and captivated the world, it is definitely worthwhile to revisit the company’s history or humble roots. Considering the recent achievement, it is really hard to imagine that it was merely a diamond in the rough.
There are so many things to learn about Samsung besides knowing it as one of the smartphone selling brands. Want to know more about the company Samsung and its history? Scroll ahead to know about its roots and history ahead.
The History of Samsung
As the Korean War in 1953 came to an end, South Korea was still trying to recover from the division of territory and the scars from the military conflict. Against all the odds, it was this recovery game that gave rise to the new period- “Miracle on the Han River”. It was similar to the “Miracle of Rhine”- it was described as the economic rebirth of West Germany after World War II.
One of the companies contributing to South Korea’s rise to industrialization and economic stability was Samsung. Samsung is a Korean word, meaning “three stars”- an auspicious name because the stars are considered a symbol for endurance.
The history of Samsung dates back to 1938 when Japan still ruled and occupied Korea. Lee Byugn- Chul founded Mitsubishi Trading Company- also known as Samsung Samhoe. He was a son of a simple land owning family and had moved to the city- Daegu. The company started with merely 40 employees and was primarily into groceries, food, dried fish, and noodles. As it became prosperous and shifted its main office to Seoul.
Post World War II, Samsung started expanding its business into other lines of business like insurance and retail. Next, Lee Byugn Chul had a joint venture with Cho Hong Jai in 1947- namely the Samsung Trading Corporation. However, this ended very soon because both had conflicting management styles. As a result, they separated as Samsung Group and Cho’s Hyosung Group- operating still today.
Samsung Came Into Electronics
Samsung stepped into Electronics in the 1960s. It created a division- Samsung Electronic Devices and Samsung Semiconductor and Telecommunications. They set up their first factory in Suwon and offered the first electronic device- A black and white television.
It was in the 1980s when Samsung started manufacturing telecommunications hardware or devices. These were grouped under Samsung Electronics. After the death of Lee Byugn Chul in 1987, his son- Lee Kun Hee became the second chairman of the company. Later the Samsung Group Wass then separated into five different groups- Samsung, Hansol Group, CJ Group, JooAng Group, and Shinsegae Group. Each group is into different industries but Samsung stepped its foot in Electronics firmly.
Lee Kun Hee gets all the credit for pushing heavily into research and development. He was aggressive to make Samsung an International Brand and ordered radical changes that eliminated the traditional management styles.
In Samsung, Lee Kun Hee insisted the subordinates learn to be comfortable pointing out mistakes. Moreover, he also imposed rigid standards when it comes to the quality of the products. It was his guidance and leadership that made Samsung one of the few Korean Companies to appoint and promote women to senior positions.
This leadership attitude of Lee Kun Hee helped Samsung to take the stairs of success to International Prominence in the 1990s. They eventually became the world’s largest producer of memory chips in 1992. The company Samsung was also able to handle the Asian Financial Crisis 1997 but it cost them selling of Samsung Motor and Renault at huge losses.
Further, Samsung also moved forward into manufacturing gas turbines and aircraft engines with the Samsung Aerospace- merging with Daewoo Heavy Industries and Hyundai Space becoming the Korea Aerospace Industries.
Today Samsung has become a force to be challenged. It has achieved several US patents- more than any other company in the entire world. In the year 2020, it had received the eighth highest global brand value. Samsung had its revenue equal to 17% of South Korea’s GDP. Whereas, the affiliate companies of Samsung made a fifth of the country’s total exports. It is almost equal to South Korea and became one of the greatest influences on the economy.