The book <Like Cho Hong-je - The Hands of Gold that Battled
against the Global Market> with the life story of our company’s founder Cho
Hong-je has been recently published. As the tenth volume of <The Series of
Economic Giants that Changed Korea> published by the Federation of Korean
Industries (FKI), this book presents the life story of Chairman Cho Hong-je who
battled against the global market in order to find the way to make lives better
for the country and the people. <The Series of Economic Giants that Changed
Korea> introduces the management philosophies of Korea’s 10 representative
entrepreneurs as well as their remarkable achievements of contributing to the
national economy. The 10 entrepreneurs include Samsung Group founder Lee
Byung-chul (Vol. 1), Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung (Vol. 2), LG Group
founder Koo In-Hwoi, (Vol. 3), SK Group founder Chey, Jong-hyun (Vol. 4), and
POSCO founder Park Tae-joon (Vol. 5).
Chairman Cho established Hyosung Corporation at the late age of 56 in 1962, building it up as one of Korea’s top 5 leading conglomerates within only 10 years. He gave himself the nickname ‘Manwoo,’ meaning ‘late and foolish.’ He fulfilled his dream to become an entrepreneur for life at the age to 56 when everyone said it was too late to found a company. Moreover, he insisted on righteous management rather than to choose a shortcut to run at the pace similar to or faster than others. The following words prove his belief.
“Worrying about age and hesitating just because you are old is one of the maladies of Korean people. I am going to forget about my age when I work. I will live a life in which I can proudly answer the question, ‘How did you live your life?’, by building a company that contributes greatly to the society.”
And these words can teach the following lesson to teenagers: ‘There is nothing that cannot be fulfilled at any time,’ which had been a constant resolution for himself throughout his whole life.
Chairman Cho was, more than anything, an entrepreneur with the insight to see the future. He always thought more of what comes ‘next’ rather than now, looking out into the future. At the time he began the chemical fiber business that had only existed in advanced countries, domestically producing nylon that had been solely based on exports. He also upgraded the quality and rather exported the nylon products to the global market, contributing to the service of our country and laying groundwork for our company to play an active part as the world’s best textile company today. Even without immediate profits, he always cultivated technical experts for the future and tried to improve the productivity and economic feasibility of many plants to the level of advanced countries. He established the first private institute of technology in Korea in 1971 and focused on developing new products and technologies. He also served as chairman of Dongyang Academy to nurture talented individuals, achieving a significant development of Dongyang Technical High School and Dongyang Technical College (currently Dongyang Mirae University) and contributing to the cultivation of technical experts. The manpower that came forth in these schools is currently working as experts in various fields of the technology industry and has become dynamic forces that lead the Korean industry.
Life is like a process of building a house. There are countless choices, from which you choose materials you like to build your own house. In this book, Chairman Cho gives the following lesson: “The most important thing is not to forget the will to build a house of your choice, and to make the best decision you can make.” The book <Like Cho Hong-je - The Hands of Gold that Battled against the Global Market> is highly recommended for Korean teenagers to develop their aspiration with their own goals.
Written by Lee Yoon-jeong (Deputy Section Chief of Communication Team)
Photographed by Choi Sang-won (Section Chief of Communication Team)