Samsung Group was founded in Daegu, Korea on March 1, 1938. Its founder, entrepreneur Byung-Chull Lee (1910-1987), whose starting capital was only 30,000 won ($2,000), named the company “Samsung” (Samsung Trading Co), translated from Korean as “three stars.” “, on the first logos of the company these three stars are present in different variations. One of the most plausible versions about the origin of the name says that the entrepreneur had three sons. This version is also supported by the fact that the company, in the spirit of many Asian companies, remained a family business, passing on and multiplying capital among the circle of relatives (and making a relative of the one who managed to enter the business and stand out: intra-clan marriages are one of the traditions of business in Asia).

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The entrepreneur, who, according to some sources, never received an academic degree, became one of the most famous and most respected people in Korea; the Korean equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the Ho-Am Prize, established by Samsung and awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of science and technology, is named after him. Few people probably know that Samsung began as a shop selling vegetables. The founder of the company is Lee Byong Chul. Lee’s store sold vegetables and herbs grown in nearby fields. The company brought in good money, so Lee decided to move to Seoul, where he started processing sugar and later founded a textile factory. Lee tried to make the word “diversification” his slogan. Samsung was involved in many things – insurance business, security, retail trade.

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Lee Byong Chul 

Now Samsung, in addition to producing a variety of electronics, is engaged in the production of polymers, oil refining, makes tankers, military equipment and even passenger cars (which are called Samsung). The company is also involved in finance, insurance, textile production, and owns a chain of hotels, resorts and amusement parks. This company did not even think about any high technology at that time, quietly supplying rice, sugar and dried fish to China and Manchuria. It was seen as a protest against dependence on Japan, and Samsung gained a reputation as a patriotic entrepreneur. During World War II, the United States landed on the Korean Peninsula and liberated South Korea from the Japanese. By this time, Li Biong had a large factory producing rice vodka and beer. These products sold well to the American army and Li Biong’s business went uphill. In 1950, a war broke out on the Korean Peninsula between the communist North and the pro-American South. And for this, the North Korean communists put the name of Lee Byong Chul on the hit list as an accomplice of the puppet regime.

Warehouse in Daegu, 1938 

If Lee hadn’t smelled the heat, reinvested all the profits, and turned all the proceeds into cash, Samsung would have died. How the money stuffed into a wine box survived is a separate story. The car in which they were transported was confiscated, the house in which they were hidden was completely burned down, and the wooden box was only charred! And Samsung, as they say, has risen from the ashes. The second time Lee was put on the execution list was under Park Chung Hee. Formally, for illegal enrichment from government supplies and economic sabotage, but in reality for rubbing shoulders with the Japanese, trying to learn from the experience of the zaibatsu (chaebol in Korean, but in our opinion something like a powerful clan). After a sincere conversation with General Lee, not only was he not shot, but he was appointed head of the entrepreneurs of Korea. Samsung has become a concern that accepts government orders and enjoys all kinds of subsidies and benefits. In the 1960s, the Lee family expanded its business, building Asia’s largest fertilizer factory, founding the Joong-Ang newspaper, building ships, hotels, universities and hospitals, and creating a citizen insurance system. In 1965, South Korea restored diplomatic relations with Japan. Lee Byong Chul reached an agreement with the Japanese leadership on technological support for the radio-electronic industry, which was emerging at that time in South Korea. As a result, in 1969, Samsung – Sanyo-Electronics (SEC) was created together with the Japanese company Sanyo. It began to specialize in the production of semiconductors and a few years later became the property of Samsung. In 1970, cooperation with Sanyo Electric led to the merger of companies and the creation of Samsung Electronics Corporation.

Samsung management in the sixties of the twentieth century 

In general, everything that happened before the 70s somehow loosely correlates with the image of a modern corporation, and its real predecessor can rightfully be called Samsung-Sanyo Electronics – the first joint Korean-Japanese venture. True, cooperation with those same zaibatsu turned out to be not the most successful – the Japanese clamped down on the latest technologies and shared only outdated ones, and raised prices for components. This is one of the reasons for removing Sanyo from the company name – the Koreans simply learned to make semiconductors themselves. Since August 1973, the company’s main office began to be located in Suwon (South Korea), and in November the construction of a plant for the production of household appliances was completed. At the same time, the Korean company Semiconductor Co. joins the corporation, as a result of which mass production of washing machines and refrigerators began.

The first Samsung TV assembly shop 

In 1977, the company’s export volumes exceeded 100 million US dollars. In 1978, Samsung’s first representative office opened in the United States. In 1979, the first consumer video recorders were released. However, half the cost of the product had to be given to the Japanese for the use of their technology and design. In addition, in other countries, Samsung products were sold under other brands or at very low prices. As a result of the economic crisis that swept South Korea in the late 70s, Samsung Electronics began to make losses. In response to this, Lee Kun-hee, the son of the company’s founder, decided to reform the company. He reduced the number of subsidiaries, stopped subsidizing divisions, and put the quality of products at the forefront. These transformations had a positive impact on the company’s financial condition – Samsung Electronics’ revenues increased again. At this time, Korea Telecommunications Co. joined the company and was renamed Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co. By the end of the 70s, Samsung Electronics had become the flagship enterprise of the Lee empire, and in the late 80s there was an economic crisis in Korea, and the company became unprofitable. Samsung again had every chance to cease to exist, but this did not happen, since Lee the Second (Kun Hee) developed a rescue plan long before the crisis. Everything was planned to change, with the exception of wives and children. The key point in the restructuring was a shift in priorities – quality became more important than quantity. Perestroika lasted 10 years and was crowned with success. One after another, companies went bankrupt: Hanbo, Daewoo, Huyndai, while Samsung increased exports and established itself in the global high-tech market. In 1983, Samsung Electronics launched its first personal computers (model: SPC-1000). In the same year, the following were released: a 64M DRAM chip with a memory capacity of 64 MB; a player that could read regular CDs, CD-ROM, VIDEO-CD, PHOTO-CD, CD-OK. In 1984, a sales office was opened in England, a plant for the production of audio and video equipment was built in the USA, as well as a plant for the production of microwave ovens (2.4 million units per year).

Samsung plant in the eighties of the twentieth century  

In 1986, Samsung Electronics received the title of “Best Company of the Year” from the Korean Management Association. In the same year, the company produced its ten millionth color television, opened sales offices in Canada and Australia, and research laboratories in California and Tokyo. From 1988 to 1989, company representative offices were opened in France, Thailand and Malaysia. By 1989, Samsung Electronics ranked 13th in the world in the production of semiconductor products. In the fall of 1988, the corporation merged with Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co. In the 90s, Samsung Electronics intensively expanded its activities. In order to improve the management structure, a unified presidential management system was introduced at Samsung Electronics in December 1992. In 1991-1992, the development of the personal mobile devices sector was completed, and a mobile telephone system was developed. In 1994, sales reached 5 billion US dollars, and in 1995, export volume exceeded 10 billion US dollars. In 1993, the year of the company’s 55th anniversary, an updated Samsung logo appeared – an inclined blue ellipse with an inscription inside. The new logo successfully reflected the company’s entry into the international arena, a unique bid for global leadership. Visually, it seems that the word Samsung is located inside the orbit of a celestial body, undoubtedly the corporation is a kind of universe, but at the same time this universe is open to the world, just look at the letters “S” and “G” – they are in contact with external space. One of the highlights of the logo is the writing of the letters “A” without a dash; this technique was repeated many times subsequently; this technique still remains familiar to Samsung.

Samsung factory today   

The year 1995 can be called a turning point in the history of Samsung – the beginning of the company’s transformation into a high-quality brand. The symbol of this moment is a photograph in which 2,000 employees smash defective Samsung products to smithereens – 150 thousand faxes, mobile phones and other devices. Samsung Group survived the last Asian crisis in 1997 with a new president, Jong-Yong Yun. Sacrificing his tail to save his life, Yun liquidated dozens of secondary businesses, fired a third of the staff, breaking the practice of lifetime employment, and bet on emerging digital technologies. As you can see, while other companies were engaged in research and one after another released the world’s first new products – a compact disc, a transistor radio, a video camera, etc., Samsung survived, struggled with difficulties and developed. So it’s impossible to say about this company that some distant year it came up with something innovative and everyone loved it. Samsung’s hit products come precisely from the current millennium.

Samsung factory today    

It’s even hard to imagine that this company once produced b/w TVs and other goods at “reasonable” prices. Today, Samsung has become one of the most innovative and successful players in the consumer electronics and semiconductor market. It is the world’s leading manufacturer of memory chips, flat panel LCD displays and color televisions. The company was a pioneer in the development of SDRAM, the ultra-fast memory chips used in personal computers, and a special memory chip used in the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console. A camera phone the size of a credit card! A third generation phone that receives satellite TV programs! The smallest multifunction printer in the world! And what’s most amazing is that in the summer of 2005, Samsung’s brand value surpassed Sony for the first time! This was calculated by one of the British research companies. In the TV market, Samsung definitely surpassed not only Sony, but also Philips, and did so back in 2003.

The evolution of products manufactured by Samsung

Today, the leading division of the Samsung Group – Samsung Electronics has become a world leader in the production of electronics and household appliances. Samsung Heavy Industries – a division engaged in shipbuilding – is the second in the world. The corporation is headed by Lee Kun Hee, the son of the founder. It is to him that Samsung owes its success in the modern world, having accepted the responsibilities of the head of the conglomerate after the death of his father in 1987, Lee Kun-hee abandoned the idea of ​​​​mass production of goods of low, so-called budget quality and focused the company’s efforts on the production of high-quality products that are innovative and ahead of market trends . The Samsung brand has benefited a lot from this decision, because those who considered the company’s products to be of insufficient quality have in recent years discovered the world of household appliances and electronics with an exceptional price-quality combination, and if we add here the company’s high level of service, then There are practically no alternatives to the company’s products. Samsung Group is one of the largest conglomerates in the business world; in its homeland, South Korea, the word “chaebol” is used for such companies. Chobol is a large financial and industrial group, predominantly owned by one family and associated with government circles.

The evolution of products manufactured by Samsung 

The leading division of the Samsung Corporation is rightfully Samsung Electronics, a world-famous manufacturer of LCD panels, DVD players, mobile phones, memory modules used in computers, phones, and players. Samsung Corporation also owns Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung SDS, Samsung Securities, Samsung C&T Corporation. Until 2000, Samsung also included the Samsung Motors division, now owned by Renault.