Samsung chief cracks the whip, ordering staff not to rest on their laurels.
Samsung may be Asia’s most successful tech export, but founder Lee Kun-Hee has told his employees they “must do better”. Samsung’s Electronics division is responsible for nearly a quarter of South Korea’s exports and sold $190 billion-worth of products in 2012, but this isn’t enough for the Samsung boss. “We must resist thoughts of complacency and being good enough”, CNBC says he told staff earlier this year.
Having shipped 215 million phones in 2012, it’s on course to ship more than 350 million this year. But having reached the top of the consumer electronics tree, and with Apple having faltered a couple of times recently, eyes are now on Samsung to innovate and to improve upon its existing success.
So far, it’s been able to stay a step ahead of most rivals because of its capacity to capitalise on interest in new types of gadget. Samsung makes the chips for iPhones and other smartphones, SSD drives for phones, tablets and laptops, as well as the panels used in TVs and tablets. With the necessary components at its disposal, Samsung has found it relatively easy to respond to new trends and make the hardware consumers want.
Now Lee is worried that the company needs new markets and new gadget categories to dominate – and it’s going to have to carve out those new markets itself, hence the call for staff to do better.
Samsung’s 470,000 staff will have to try awfully hard if they are to match 2012’s sales boom. In Q3 of 2012 the company’s mobile phone business skyrocketed by 91 percent, thanks in large part to its Galaxy Android line-up. This time last year, it was outselling Apple by a factor of two-to-one.