Go to contents

Incruit CEO Inspired By Stars, Bill Gates

Posted October. 31, 2005 03:01,   


When Lee Kwang-sug was a first grader in high school, he went to an earth science teachers’ gathering held in Gyeonggi province and could see the stars in detail for the first time in his life. It came as a shock to him.

“It was awesome that the stars that I was looking at were billions of light years away from me,” he said.

He was engrossed in stars and majored in astronomy but, he dumped the stars once he got to know the internet. His love for the internet was deeper.

In 1994, when he was a sophomore in college, he received an e-mail from his friend in America for the first time.

“The mail arrived in one or two seconds from where it would take 10 hours to fly from. It was amazing back then. I couldn’t sleep that night,” he said.

After this, he got absorbed in the internet, dreaming of becoming like Bill Gates.

At 24, he jumped into the venture business.

In 1998, one of his friends came up with the idea of providing service about employment information through the internet. That was when getting a job was one of the hottest issues because of the financial crisis.

With two other friends, he opened a job website. It almost didn’t cost a penny. They rented an office and network equipment from the Korea Association of Information and Telecommunication for free.

In November, 1998, he went to Dong-A Ilbo with a business plan and suggested a cooperative venture. Their job website was linked to www.donga.com for two years and started to draw attention.

In 1999, when establishing a corporation, a Korean in America who he got to know through chatting on the internet provided 34 million of 50 million won in initial capital. The entrepreneur working in Silicon Valley in the U.S. willingly supplied the investment funds, saying, “Young people have brilliant ideas.” He was paid back later with plenty of interest.

He grew into a young entrepreneur-

Incruit got listed on KOSDAQ in May as the first online recruitment company. It went public by taking over New Soft Technology, already a listed company, and merging it with Incruit.

Last year’s business results were 5.2 billion won of sales and 429 million won of operating profit. It has 600,000 business members and 2,700,000 individual members.

In the industry, it is competing with Job Korea for a first place, which was sold to the U.S. company Monster.com, for 100 billion won.

He is taking the lead of the Entrepreneurs Organization, a young entrepreneurs’ club, after taking charge of its finances. About 50 young CEOs such as the president of neoCyON, Baek Seung-taek, and the president of EverCare, Shin Yong-han, consult him on their problems and seek his advice.

He is considered a member of the successful second generation of venture business capitalists, but he is afraid that the fall of first generation of venture business capitalists such as the former chairman of Turbotech, Jang Heung-sun, and the president of Locus, Kim Hyung-sun might happen to him.

“I’m scared. I’ve learned a lot from what they have done. The first generation of venture business capitalists had no recourse when they were faced with tough decisions, so they had to deal with everything by themselves.”

It remains to be seen whether the success story of the young enterprise capitalist will continue.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com