Passion & Expertise: The Power of Open and Honest Communication

An interview with a top trader discussing pioneering Samsung C&T’s ore concentrate business in Mexico and the importance of open and honest communication.

Jadon Kim Samsung CNT Trading and Investment Interview June 2024
Interview with Samsung C&T Trader Jadon Kim

In business, “firsts” are always challenging. Being a pioneer requires the boldness and dedication to take the road less traveled. Jadon Kim is a pioneering trader who was instrumental in developing and growing Samsung C&T’s ore concentrate business in Mexico.

Jadon Kim’s hard work was recently recognized with an award for the best employee in the T&I Group. Kim was commended for his groundbreaking work in developing Mexico’s first ore concentrate sales operations and securing long-term sourcing contracts.

As part of our ‘Passion and Expertise’ interview series, we caught up with Kim to discuss his journey and how he uses open and honest communication in his work.

Charting New Territories in Mexico

Jadon Kim joined Samsung C&T’s Non-ferrous Metals Team in 2013 and has devoted over a decade of his life to ore concentrate sales. In April 2021, he was appointed as the first expatriate employee at the Querétaro Coil Center (QSSC), established in Mexico in 2010, focusing on ore concentrate sales.

The shift to ore concentrate sales was unique given the center “initially focused on steel coil operations” and has “since expanded into various sectors, including ore concentrate and synthetic resins,” according to Kim.

When establishing the ore concentrate business in Mexico, Kim highlighted that he was not alone in this endeavor and noted the support he received from his colleagues was crucial. He explained that while “venturing into a new business domain, I received significant support from corporate leadership to ensure the new venture could thrive.” Kim also noted that other sales team members and QSSC employees provided invaluable support as he adapted to the new role in a new country.

A Successful First Contract Through Open and Honest Communication

Kim touched on the experience of his first contract and how memorable it was. He recounts embarking on “a three-day on-site inspection at a remote mine” that proved to be transformative. Following the mine inspection, “intense internal deliberations and tight deadlines” took place to secure the contract.

When faced with issues, Kim says he always reminds himself of the Korean method of facing things in a straightforward manner and being open and honest in one’s communication. Kim explains, “Whether dealing with partners or internal reports, it’s crucial to address core issues in a transparent and honest way. While specific conditions may result in losses, building trust between partners and companies can lead to greater opportunities in the long run.”

Kim uses this open and honest communication method as his guiding principle. This is what helped him secure his first contract in Mexico. Thanks to the perseverance and hard work of Kim and his team, the partner investor agreed to meet the client’s funding requirements. Kim secured their first ore concentrate sales contract in Mexico, leading to the first shipment in January the following year.

Cultivating a Culture of Open Communication to Advance Forward

Open communication is crucial for business growth. Kim noted that it was important to ensure that there was open and effective communication with Samsung C&T’s headquarters back in Korea, team members in Mexico, and relevant stakeholders. Kim noted, “In Latin America, due to the significant distance and time difference with the headquarters [in South Korea], communication has become even more critical.”

Kim indicated that it is important to create an environment where team members feel comfortable addressing issues without judgement. He mentioned that this fosters trust and ultimately fuels business growth. “I am grateful that our team places importance on fostering a culture of open communication, allowing all individuals, regardless of their position, to discuss their perspectives during meetings freely.”

Kim expressed gratitude for the extensive company support he received. “Reflecting on the growth of the ore concentrate business in Mexico, it’s clear how much support and resources we received from the company. The infrastructure support from QSSC allowed us to launch the business on time. Additionally, support extended to S-ERP setup, settlements, and risk management all contributed to the stable growth of ore concentrate sales, highlighting the collective effort.”

The Challenges Ahead

Despite their achievements, Kim acknowledges that there is still much work ahead to further elevate their market position. “With the business now stabilized, we are focused on strategic planning and enhancing execution to compete with top market players. Analyzing competitors and exploring our business model’s limitations and expansion opportunities are ongoing efforts.”

With these valuable lessons, Kim continues to navigate his career in the ore concentrate industry. He aims to continue applying open and honest communication methods to inspire his team and partners to strive to unlock new opportunities in unknown territories.

Graphic image with text from a Q&A asking 'What does passion and expertise mean to you?'
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