Looking back at a company’s history is like looking back on one’s life. It’s dotted with countless milestones, challenges, and successes, and is often too complex and nuanced to describe. But there are those definitive moments that help dictate the future – events and fundamental changes that invariably define which course life takes.
On March 22, as Samsung C&T celebrates its 80th anniversary, we look back at some of the most momentous times in the company’s history that helped shape its future. It now houses four different groups – Engineering and Construction (E&C), Trading and Investment (T&I), Fashion, and Resort – that offer their expertise in each field, but also come together to produce synergy that previously would have been hard to generate.
Take a look at Samsung C&T’s longstanding history of innovation and transformation.
From a Small Shop in Daegu
The roots of this mega corporation, which is behind sprawling construction projects in all parts of the world, complex networks of global trading deals, fashion trends evolving at break-neck speed, and a massive hub of entertainment, all trace back to one small shop in Daegu, South Korea.
Established in 1938 by Samsung Group founder Byung-chull Lee, Samsung Sanghoe grew rapidly over the years, and by 1948 it was trading with Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and other markets in Southeast Asia.
By the 1970s, Samsung Corporation, designated the country’s first general trading company in 1975, was growing at an exponential pace, expanding outbound shipments and continually renewing its record as top exporter. It hit the US$200 million, US$300 million and US$500 million mark, respectively, from 1975 to 1977, solidifying its position as a leading domestic trading company.
Having built a strong foundation in these years, the company was able to carry this momentum throughout the following two decades, despite the global recession in the early 80s and the Asian Financial Crisis that pummeled the Korean economy in the late 90s.
At the turn of the century, Samsung Corporation was ready to undergo yet another transformation, changing its name to Samsung C&T in 2008 and advancing into a variety of fields with operational bases covering over 90 locations worldwide.
Bold Steps for Change
As Samsung C&T looks at its journey ahead, it continues to undergo multiple changes designed to strengthen the company, give more back to society, and ensure benefits are shared with all stakeholders involved.
Its recent decision to improve its corporate governance structure by separating the chairman of the board of directors and the CEO will bring greater transparency and growth that can only be sustained by long-term vision and a commitment to openness.
With these changes, Samsung C&T will once again position itself as a global leader that looks to add value to every aspect of people’s lives through continual change that will have long-lasting effects over the decades to come.