Please tell us more about the newly established Smart Innovation Division and the Platform Business Center
Hyundai Glovis has achieved growth worthy of attention in B2B businesses such as logistics and shipping. However, due to the recent changes in the business environment, unicorn companies such as Coupang and Baedal Minjok are creating different values. The platforms that guard the corners for the changes are more popular, rather than the ones that focus on one unit of industry. Accordingly, we have launched the Platform Business Center in the Smart Innovation Division to look at the smart innovation field more closely, and find models that can develop win-win relationships with the existing businesses.
How is the Platform Business Center structured, and what are the roles of team members?
There are about 20 people now, each with various career backgrounds. We have an employee in this team who started his/her career here, an employee who was in the platform business in a telecom company, and employees who joined after working at a startup or a boutique venture capital. Director Kwon Yu-jin, the leader, has experience in various industries such as making app cards at a card company, planning for future TVs at a TV company, etc. before he joined Hyundai Glovis. We are deciding on their roles and strategies based on these varied career backgrounds and experiences, about what to do, how to do it, and why.
What does the Platform Business Center plan to do in the company?
We start by looking at the market from a new perspective. For EV business, for instance, the subject was the EV business itself in the past, but now it should be EV business operator or EV user. We need to consider what type of experiences should be provided to them, and what they are actually experiencing now. That is how you can make better improvements than others, however close they may be.
When they are asked about platforms, people usually think about Naver or Kakao, the companies that attract traffic. What would be the reason for their success? It is because they changed the users’ experiences. Before, people looked to books or newspapers when they wanted to know something, but now they search via the Internet. How easy is it to search for information whenever you have a question? They could become platforms because they attract people.
This is the kind of business that the Platform Business Center aims to start now. When you start a business, you need to have the users as the subject of the business now. We need to fully understand the users’ experiences until now, and establish a strategy that will bring their experiences onto another level.
What are the projects of which you have high expectations among the ones you are working on?
First of all, we have the robot delivery project. We plan to start a pilot project in our cafeteria. When an employee orders a coffee using an app, a coffee robot will deliver it to his/her seat.
Also, the EV environment is expanding as the market is growing, isn’t it? This will lead to the issue of reuse of used batteries, and we are thinking about what would be the platform that will guard the corner of this environment. We are developing different ideas, for example, collecting the used batteries, transforming them into energy storage devices, and reselling them to the new renewable energy companies.
How can the Platform Business Center create synergy effects with other departments?
For the new project of the Platform Business Center to succeed, the work experience and wisdom accumulated in the field of transportation has to be its foundation. Therefore, cooperation with other departments is a must. For example, in the case of the commercialization of the robot delivery system we mentioned earlier, we can think about a linkage with the parking robot technology of Hyundai Glovis, and cooperate with them. When we have enough experience and knowledge, we will be able to create various synergies.
Among the achievements of the Platform Business Center, what are some that you want recorded as the FIRST and the BEST, and what do you think is the MUST-do role or expectation?
I would say the FIRST would be these projects that the Platform Business Center will work on. The BEST would be the employees of the Platform Business Center 10 or 20 years in the future, and looking back at now, and thinking “that was foremost in my mind in my career, it was a meaningful point where I grew to another level.” And the MUST is the growth of the company. I want to make the moment that the Platform Business Center was established in Hyundai Glovis in 2020 a historical moment. When we build a museum someday on new projects of Hyundai Glovis, the launch of the Platform Business Center will be its pride and joy.
What are the responsibilities of the four interviewees here?
KWON EUGENE I think about what to do at the Platform Business Center for the future that we dream of, and planting seeds of the possibilities that can grow big.
KWON JEA-BEOM I work on the development of unmanned delivery services using mobile robots. First, we are consulting the relevant teams in developing the service system to verify the technology in the new building, and we also have meetings with outside technical services.
JOO SUNG JIN I work on discovering startups and building collaboration models.
YI HYUN-JAE I am looking for new business opportunities on the basis of promoting mobility innovations based on MECA (Mobility, Electrification, Connectivity, and Autonomous). I am also working on commercialization related to the second life cycle of used batteries.
What does each of you do to show your fullest ability in your position?
KWON EUGENE To think of brilliant ideas, you need to have good health. So I’m working on developing my strength by walking in Seoul Forest or doing online yoga.
KWON JEA-BEOM As I am working on new projects based on technology, I actively seek advice from members of different departments and learn from their know-how. I also share various opinions with outside technology companies and potential clients.
JOO SUNG JIN Since my job is to discover outstanding startups, I arrange as many meetings as possible through acquaintances. If you build networks in advance, it is easier to work when you start a project.
YI HYUN-JAE I often have to check materials from foreign countries when I do market research. So I am studying English by myself.
* This photo was taken on a Forest Day, when two different groups walking separately met by chance.
We took off our masks for a while to take the photo.
Please tell us what you do to build teamwork with your colleagues in the Center
KWON EUGENE I thought about what I can do to strengthen teamwork in the COVID era, and started the “Forest Day.” Every Thursday, we walk in the Seoul Forest during lunch with two or three other colleagues and have a heart-to-heart talk.
KWON JEA-BEOM As we have many people from different backgrounds, we share our knowledge naturally as we talk with each other.
JOO SUNG JIN Since we have many employees with outside experience, we are not very familiar with standard of the company. So, we make friends by helping each other with trivial issues regarding the procedures.
YI HYUN-JAE The Forest Day that the director mentioned is very helpful. You get to know about each other naturally as you take walks together, and the atmosphere becomes more pleasant when we work together.
Please tell us about your hopes or ambitions for the new activity.
KWON EUGENE I keep thinking about the words by Yoo Jae-seok, “I try my best for the day every day.” I would also like to spend a good day, a good week, and a good year, rather than having an ambition.
KWON JEA-BEOM I want the Platform Business Center to be the department that leads the smart logistics of Hyundai Glovis in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
JOO SUNG JIN I want Hyundai Glovis to be evaluated in the field as a company that is really good in smart innovation. And in the midst of it would be the Platform Business Center.
YI HYUN-JAE I don’t know which item it would be, but I expect that one day, an item that started with my idea will be implemented as a business.
A message to the members of the Center who are in this with you.
KWON EUGENE Platform Business Center is “a startup inside a major company.” To look at the market with a new perspective, one needs to ask, “Is this the best you can do?” You need to always have a question. I am a bit nervous. I wish the members wouldn’t feel too hurt if I drive them too hard. Please understand and think of it as keeping a tight rein from time to time for a better performance.
KWON JEA-BEOM Since it is a place where new projects start, I understand that everyone has many worries. But know that this will be a meaningful time to look back at in the future, and cheer up!
JOO SUNG JIN There are many difficulties as the Center has just opened, but I am sure that one day we will be proud of our outcomes.
YI HYUN-JAE The expression “Seumyeodeulda (to permeate)” is a buzzword these days, isn’t it? I want to use the expression “pl-myeodeulda.” Let’s keep up until the day the charms of the Platform Business Center permeate everyone!