Today we visited two Korean companies, Cheil Worldwide and Kyobo Life. Cheil Worldwide is a marketing and advertising firm whose slogan is “Passion for Ideas.” They label themselves as the “Idea Engineering Group” because they believe there is a science behind how ideas are created. Cheil Worldwide was founded in 1973 and is Korea’s largest ad agency and the 16th largest agency in the world. Their primary client is Samsung and, in fact, they are partially owned by Samsung. They are headquartered in Seoul, but have 28 offices worldwide, including the US. Cheil executives strongly believe in building a comfortable and healthy climate for their employees. New hires are actually taken on a one month retreat to learn more about the company and its climate. In addition, employees are given a 2-hour lunch break every day to rest and refresh their minds; granted most of the staff stays in the office until 7-8:00 in the evening. Overall, our group had a very enjoyable and informative visit with Cheil Worldwide.
The above picture is taken from the top floor of the Cheil Building. Not a bad view!
After Cheil it was time for lunch. Some of us headed to a well-known Indian restaurant in Seoul. I know, I know…Indian food in Korea? Let’s just say we’re soaking up as much of the “international experience” as we can while abroad. For the record, the food was delicious!It was now time to head to Kyobo Life, which is Korea’s largest life insurance company and the world’s 8th largest. Kyobo is a privately owned company that has really taken off in the last ten years. The literal translation of “Kyobo” is “Education Insurance.” The company takes this translation to heart and really tries hard to educate its clients, as well as the Korean people, with various initiatives. Kyobo Life makes up 55% of the current market share of the Big 3 Life Insurers in Korea (Samsung and Korea Life are the other two.) Kyobo is expected to grow even more in the coming years due to the demographic change of Korea. We certainly had an information-packed presentation at Kyobo and learned quite a bit about their company.
At this point in the day, our company visits were over. We decided to head towards Insa-Dong for some shopping!
Lastly, I cannot conclude without sharing our experience last night with Mr. Joo, owner of several Din Tai Fung restaurants in Seoul. Mr. Joo is a Kelley School alumnus and graciously hosted our group for dinner. Members of the Korean chapter of the IU Alumni Association were present, as well. We cannot thank Mr. Joo enough for his generosity. The food (traditional Chinese) was superb! Thank you!!!
Tomorrow marks the last day of our company visits; we head to Samsung in the morning. It’s also our second to last day here in Seoul – it’s gone by so fast! Have a good day and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.