“Jeju Province Development Co. plans to focus on eco-friendly, quality, and consumer-oriented management this year,” said CEO Kim Jeong-hak of Jeju Province Development co.
In an interview with The Korea Post, CEO Kim said, “First, eco-friendliness is the first year of the government’s implementation of the ‘Korean (K)-resource circulation economy, and there may be many changes and difficulties, but as a leader in the drinking spring water industry, we will try our best to present eco-friendly standards and directions for the industry.
In this regard, Jeju Province Development Co. is promoting consumer-centered management with the goal of acquiring the ‘Consumer-Centered Management (CCM) Certification’ this year.
To this end, KDHC appointed a separate chief customer officer (CCO) and announced the new CS slogan, “Add customers to JPDC, GO (customer-oriented) with customers! GO (Customer Satisfaction)! GO (Customer Impression).”
The followings are excerpts from an interview with CEO Kim Jeong-hak of Jeju Province Development Co.
Question: What about changes and innovations in Jeju Province Development Co.?
Answer: Immediately after taking office in 2020, the company announced “gentle reform in stability” as its management policy.
In addition, in order to expand the stage from Jeju’s representative public corporation to Korea’s best public corporation in 2023, eight key growth engines were presented.
The eight key strategies are △Achieving 300 billion won in sales of Jeju Samdasoo △Promoting the expansion of 2+5 regional development public development projects △Preparing the foundation for surplus in the tangerine and beverage business △Expanding JPDC-type social contribution projects that serve as pillars for those in need △Level 1 in integrity , achievement of 'provisional grade' in public enterprise evaluation, △continuous creation of good jobs and establishment of sound labor-management relations △establishment of world-class drinking water research system △building of landmark smart office building leading balanced regional development.
Among them, the ‘Era of Jeju Samdasoo sales of 300 billion won’ was achieved early last year.
Jeju Samdasoo, which was first launched in Korea in March 1998, achieved sales of 100 billion won in 11 years in 2009, and tripled to 300 billion won in sales this year, 12 years after that.
Q: What is the international competitiveness of Jeju Samdasoo?
A: Jeju Samdasoo recorded a 42.7% market share last year, up about 3% points compared to 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.
As the No. 1 brand in the industry, the 3% growth in market share is a very large number and is unusual.
The secret to the success of Jeju Samdasoo lies in its identity as ‘clean and delicious water’.
The biggest competitiveness of Jeju Samdasoo is that it is good water that meets the high standards of domestic consumers.
The source of Jeju Samdasoo itself has cleanliness. As a result of research and investigation by the Water Resources Research Team of the corporation for 4 years, it has been scientifically proven that the origin of 'Jeju Samdasoo' begins at an elevation of 1450m or higher in Mt. Halla National Park.
The ability to maintain the best water quality of Jeju Samdasoo is also the competitiveness of Jeju Samdasoo.
To maintain the best quality, Jeju Samdasoo has secured water quality safety by conducting 21,324 in-house tests, which are 940% higher than the water quality test standard stipulated by the Drinking Water Control Act.
Q: What are the sales and exports of Jeju Samdasoo last year? Introduce its major exporting countries?
A: Currently, Samdasoo is exported to more than 20 countries around the world, accounting for half of domestic bottled water exports.
As key export countries, Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore have been set as major export areas and are being strategically operated.
Exports to Taiwan were resumed in December 2020, and exports to the United States were resumed in March of last year. In the Taiwanese market, 7-Eleven, the largest convenience store, sells more than 5,600 bottles of Jeju Samdasoo on average a day, more than E and V products, which are global bottled water.
Exports to the US market are about 140 tons, with the goal of exporting more than 400 tons, and Samdasoo ranks first in imported bottled water in Saipan as well.
This year, it plans to actively support sales activities in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines, which are major exporting countries.
Q: What are the products and management strategies for carbon-neutral eco-friendliness?
A: Since 2017, the company has been working on water-separable adhesives as well as lightweighting of bottled water bottles.
Last year, it presented an eco-friendly management vision called the Green Whole Process.
Starting with the launch of the label-free product ‘Jeju Samdasoo Green’, the company presented a preemptive and aggressive eco-friendly vision with the goal of reducing plastic use by 50% by 2025 through the use of recycled PET and the development of bio-pet.
'Jeju Samdasoo RE:Born' was jointly developed by Jeju Province Development Co. and SK Chemicals using SK Chemical's 'Skypet'.
The analysis request was made to domestic and foreign accredited institutions to determine whether it was suitable for the water quality standards and container dissolution standards of the Ministry of Environment and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Jeju Samdasoo plans to commercialize it as soon as the mass supply system for raw materials is established.
Q: Introduce the role of the R&D center for excellent manpower?
A: In the second half of last year, the internal R&D system was reorganized, the R&D innovation center was opened, and the functions of R&D work were strengthened and the scope expanded.
Whereas the existing quality research focused on product development and improvement, through the reorganization, the R&D Innovation Center focused on innovating R&D work that encompasses the product life cycle in addition to the quality research function.
Researchers of Jeju Province Development Co. are highly reliable enough to receive the highest grade in the internationally accredited comparative proficiency program hosted by the American Environmental Resources Association for three consecutive years.
Q: What is the CEO's key management this year?
A: In order to maintain the quality of Jeju Samdasoo at the highest level, which is celebrating its 24th anniversary this year, we will strengthen ‘quality-first management’.
While setting 'safe water, delicious water, the best quality' as the slogan, we will push for the innovation of zero-defect manufacturing quality, introduction of smart logistics management platform and logistics/distribution 5star system, eco-friendly packaging and securing excellence in raw water quality, establishment of smart claim response system, cultivation of company-wide quality culture and other management strategies by 2025.
As part of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) management, we will secure safety technology for eco-friendly products and develop ‘free plastic packaging technology’. We plans to secure superiority in raw water quality through a state-of-the-art groundwater use system and Jeju Samdasoo water quality management system.
We will also promote a quality culture that continuously renews global quality certifications such as a smart claim response system that responds to customers with artificial intelligence (AI) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).