Samsung Electronics will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary Thursday. The South Korean tech giant has established itself as a leading Korean company as well as a globally recognized brand.
It has held numerous No. 1 titles as smartphone manufacturer for eight consecutive years, D-RAM manufacturer for 27 tears, TV manufacturer for 13 years, refrigerator for seven straight years.
What is even more impressive is that it has toppled Japanese electronic companies’ titles in a short period of time, putting Korea on the map in the world of electronic goods. In 2018, Samsung Electronics achieved revenue of 243.77 trillion won and net profit of 58.89 trillion won. Such net profit scale is twice as more than Japan’s top 10 electronic companies such as Hitachi, Sony and Panasonic.
One of the most distinctive events that set Samsung Electronics apart from other companies is founder Lee Byung-chul’s determination to go into the semiconductor business and Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s New Management initiative. Founder Lee made the decisive decision to invest in the semiconductor business despite dissuasion from others. The New Management mantra of “Change everything, except your wives and your children” became the turning point for Samsung to put quality first in everything. The duty of opening the next fifty years rests upon Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
Samsung Electronics declared several times in the past that it was facing challenges, in both times of struggle and celebration. It is no exaggeration considering that GE, once icon of America, struggles to keep ahead of changes in the digital age.
Recently Samsung Electronics has emphasized its plans to create changes to contribute to humanity by promoting joint growth, social contribution and addressing social challenges. The cynical remark that Korea is the Republic of Samsung shows that leaders face containment and demand for social responsibility, which should be borne by Samsung as a key responsibility. The last 50 years has been a time of challenge and achievement for Samsung. It should continue to revolutionize itself in the coming fifty years and become a truly respectable company.