Go to contents

Five Ex-Trainees Visit Korea as Successful Entrepreneurs

Five Ex-Trainees Visit Korea as Successful Entrepreneurs

Posted May. 18, 2005 23:13,   


“While I was in Korea, I took night duties everyday. I worked from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and sometimes until 2:00 a.m. After coming home country, my mother cried a river when she heard about the way I worked to earn the money,” said Sopa Dengengam (46) from Thailand, who had worked for two years as a trainee at the Jung Ang Industry Company in Daegu.

With his savings of 10 million won from his 600,000-800,000 won monthly wage in Korea, he returned home and opened up a rice mill and also started to raise pigs. Currently, he is a successful boss with a 5.4 million-5.7 million won monthly income.

He is one of the five “foreigner success story” special guests invited by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business during “Small and Medium Business Week” (May 16-21). They poured out their stories of hardship and achievements not as trainees, but as bosses on May 17.

Ryudentai from China is another success story. He went back home with the “family management” strategy that he had learned while staying in Korea and hit it big at home. He worked in the Hanyang Feed Industrial Co. located in Yeongi, Chungnam, for three years starting in 2000.

“They emphasized that ‘We are one family.’ You cannot find such a notion in China. With the 24 million won I earned in Korea, I opened up an iron ore business at home. I was able to manage the workers by implementing this ‘family management’ strategy.”

Sunareto Muhamah (35) from Indonesia, who worked at Hyoin Industrial Co., located in Eumsong, Chungbuk, for two years, said, “After saving money by not eating when I wanted to or play when others did, I was able to open up a fantastic seafood restaurant on the water at home.”

He added, “The only thing that didn’t cost money was fishing, so while staying in Korea, I went fishing a lot. This is when I got the idea to open up a restaurant on the water.” Muhamah, who owns three restaurants that bring in a total profit of five million won monthly, states that there is a great difference between his current income and the income he used to receive during his stay in Korea as a trainee.

Saparariyep Jahongire (30) from Uzbekistan and Sungkono (35) from Indonesia went each back to their homelands and have opened up a successful restaurant and a bakery factory, respectively.

They said, “There are many people around me who wish to go to South Korea to work,” and gave the following advice to those who wished to work in South Korea:

“Do not transfer from job to job after comparing wages”; “Korean people are hot-tempered. Even though they are cornering you in an argument, do not run away”; and “get used to a fast-paced (pali-pali) culture.”

On Wednesday, they visited the company which they previously worked for and spent an enjoyable time with their past fellow workers. After attending several events such as a party held by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business and sightseeing tours of historic places, they are expected to return home next Monday.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com