Crisis Is Seen As Opportunity

Chairman Kim of Hanwha Group calls on employees to build the base for future prosperity as the group celebrates its 56th anniversary

Chairman Kim Seung-youn of Hanwha Group called for aggressive business operations amid the economic slump caused by the U.S. financial crisis in his statement on the group's 56th founding anniversary on Oct. 8.
"The business climate now has become a severe testing period for all businesses. But we cannot wait until the day breaks. We ought to gather things and start marching in the dark so that we can cross the river at dawn,"the Hanwha chairman said.
"When the wind blows, we ought not try to stop the wind, but try to use it to run faster,"Kim said, calling on the group's officers and staff not to panic, but try to counter the challenges with courageous moves, which will help them to occupy a sound base for future growth.

He also called for tireless management reform, saying only it can guarantee corporate survival. The chairman said a business should always improve its physical structure and management through early reform unless a business wants to survive like wild grasses in the gusty winds
He went on to say that cost savings and organizational reform should ensure a thorough elimination of wasteful factors.
Warning that the next two or three years would be a time for bone-shearing pain, he said the period could be a time for the group to put together strategies to put itself on a path of survival for the next two or three decades.
Kim cautioned that each of the group's affiliates should seek to upgrade their operations and find new business areas overseas based on their firm targets without delay.
All of the affiliates of the group took time out for social services as the founding anniversary was also the Hanwha Voluntary Social Service Day. Some 5,000 of the group's officers and staff visited welfare and children's support facilities located near their offices and the activities will continue until Oct. 17 with some 20,000 personnel to be mobilized to devote their time for various volunteer activities.
When the public is having a difficult time like now, large enterprises should have a social mission, he said, calling on the group to carry out social work like it is sharing its hopes for coexistence with the country.
In the meantime, the group is hosting the 2008 Hanwha Dream Conference from Sept. 18 until November with a number of dignitaries in the areas of architecture, futurology and design to deliver speeches at the conference.
The group said the event is hoped to awaken the business community to what it will face in the age of rapid globalization, ushered in by such factors as free trade agreements (FTAs), so that it will be ready with appropriate strategies and Korea will be a leading member of the international community with an enhanced competitive edge over others, the group said.
Through dialogue with famous international professionals from various areas, the group wants to share global views and heighten the understanding of globalization and the future world society.
The event was kicked off on Sept. 18 at the international conference hall of the 63 Building in Yeouido, Seoul, with an address by Dr. Tadao Ando, a world-renowned Japanese architect. And on Oct. 21, the conference will have Rolf Janssen, author of "Dream Society,"a best selling novel. On Nov. 24, industrial designer Karim Rashid will be invited to speak at the conference.
Architect Ando's speech was entitled "Build Your Dream,"which was about humans, nature and architecture. He is currently a visiting professor at a number of universities including Tokyo, Yale and Harvard. He won the Fritz Award, equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the architectural community. nw

Volunteers from Hanwha Group mingle with children during the group's anniversary day.

Chmn. Kim Seung-youn of Hanwha Group.

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