Hyundai and its Success at Globalization


Great story from the Korea Times. When Hyundai Engineering & Construction CEO Kim Joong-kyum took office early this year, the construction market both at home and abroad was not in good shape.

The financial crisis slowed down many large-scale projects overseas, while the domestic market continued to be bogged down by a record-high number of unsold homes. Orders were shrinking with competition at its highest.

All of this meant that the pressure was on for Kim, who was responsible for steering Hyundai E&C through one of the worst economic slumps in history.

Seven months into serving as the top chief, however, Kim has put most of the uncertainties and concerns behind by posting solid records right through the downturn.

Locally, the builder started ramping up efforts to win orders for housing redevelopment projects throughout the metropolitan area and mega public undertakings scattered nationwide.

Overseas, Hyundai E&C won a $1.3-billion gas exploration contract in Saudi Arabia in March. Then, in June and July, it won orders worth $600 million and $1.7 billion, respectively, in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, the company added a $190-million order to build a fertilizer plant in Qatar earlier this month.

The figures added up to hand over Hyundai E&C the market’s No. 1 position again last month after six years struggling to reclaim the top spot.

And many credit Kim for helping one of the nation’s oldest builders renew its industry supremacy.

The veteran Hyundai executive’s willingness to seek transformation and differentiation is what moved the 62-year-old company forward.

Since the first day of taking office, Hyundai E&C officials say that Kim was all about overhauling decades-old systems and practices. Everything from personnel line-up and global management to internal and external communication, the new CEO wanted changed and improved.

Kim said during his inaugural speech: “Hyundai E&C has endured a countless number of hardships throughout its history, but it continued to maintain its market leadership. At this time, what we need is continuous transformation in order to become a global top leader.”

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