Understanding Samsung: Much Much More Than Phones

Understanding Samsung: Much Much More Than Phones

Samsung’s chairman Lee Kun-hee died on 25th October. Samsung is one of the world’s largest business conglomerates, with businesses ranging from life insurance to electronic manufacturing to the construction business. Let’s understand its wide-ranging businesses.

Crux of the Matter

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Samsung’s chairman Lee Kun-hee died on 25th October. Lee served as the Chairman of the group from 1987-2008 and from 2010-2020. Under his leadership, the company built a brand value and it expanded into various sectors like shipbuilding and insurance.

In 1993 Lee called his employees and said, “Let’s change everything except our wives and kids.” In 1995 he also ordered to burn the entire stock of 150,000 phones, fax machines, and other devices to initiate production of mobile with advanced technology.

Samsung was founded on 1 March 1938 by Lee Byung-Chul as a company trading in noodles, local groceries, and dried-fish. Gradually it expanded its business in various sectors and entered the electronics business in 1970.

It is the largest business group in South Korea with 424.8 trillion won ($376 billion) in assets, as per the country’s Fair Trade Commission. Moreover, its revenue accounted for 12.5% of South Korea’s GDP in 2019. Its computer chips accounted for 20% of all outbound shipments in South Korea.

A Look At Some Of Its Subsidiaries

  • Samsung Electronics: Has the world’s largest mobile manufacturing unit and its revenue was $198.1 bn in 2019.
  • Samsung Engineering: It is working on the world’s largest oil and gas project i.e. Sakhalin-II project in Russia. Its revenue was $5.5 bn in 2019.
  • Samsung C&T Corporation: A construction subsidiary, it built the Burj Khalifa. Its revenue was $26.5 bn in 2019.
  • Samsung Heavy Industries: Builds ships in a 4 mn square foot shipyard and Heavy Equipments. Its revenue was $0.1 bn in 2019.
  • Samsung SDS: IT arm, providing services like deep learning, machine learning, etc. Its revenue was $9.2 bn in 2019.
  • Samsung Life Insurance: Global insurance subsidiary with revenue of $27.3 bn in 2019.
  • Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance: Largest insurance company in South Korea. Its revenue was $5 bn in 2019.
  • Cheil Worldwide: An advertising subsidiary with a revenue of $2.9 bn in 2019.

It has many other small and large subsidiaries. Now let us look at its revenue sources. Be ready for a surprise!

Let us also have a look at how it earn in India.

  • Samsung means three stars in Korean. Its founder Lee Byung-Chull decided to use the name after his vision for a company as everlasting as the stars.
  • The revenue generated by Apple is more than the GDP of many countries, including Ecuador, Libya, and Iraq (among hundreds of others).
  • The Apple iPad’s Retina Display is actually made by Samsung.
  • Samsung initially sold noodles and other products, it wasn’t until 1970 that the first electrical product was sold by it; a 12 inch Black & White TV. They even created the first-ever fighter jet called the KF-16.