By Kevin Lee
Vice President Bang Chan-young of Saemi Corporation received a plaque of appreciation for his contribution to promoting Korea-Malaysia trade when Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry led an economic delegation to Korea on March 14, 2023.
"When the Malaysian minister recently led an economic delegation to Korea, I gave a lecture and held a question-and-answer session on our successful trade deals with Malaysian companies at the invitation of the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul," Bang said.
"Our current import trade volume from Malaysia may not be as large as other companies, but we think Malaysia has chosen our company as a successful case because of the increase, speed, and future growth of our trade volume," said Vice President Bang.
In an interview with The Korea Post Media, which has been publishing English and Korean media for 38 years since 1985, Vice President Bang said, "My management philosophy is to run a company that helps the country and people. My role model is the late Chairman Yoo Il-han.”
"Like the respectable late Chairman Yoo Il-han, I always think that contributing to the country, for the people, and for the industrial front, is the basic principle that Korean industrial front-line managers must uphold," he stressed.
The followings are excerpts from an interview with Vice President Bang Chan-young of Saemi Corp.
Question: Would you introduce yourself and your management philosophy?
Answer: I'm Bang Chan-young, vice president of Saemi Corp. The exact my job is the director of the management team.
It has been nine years since I joined the company. When I first joined the company, I worked at the overseas purchasing team.
My management philosophy is to form "a company that is beneficial to the country and its people."
When people asked about my future dream, I said that I wanted to be a manager when I was in the 5th grade of elementary school. I think I have prepared for my dream of being a good businessman since I was young because I got a lot of news from managers and the business community through my lot of experience from my family tradition.
The only role model I have dreamed of since I was a student is the late Chairman Yoo Il-han. Like the chairman, I always think that contributing to the country, for the people, and to the industrial front, is the basic principle that Korean industrial front-line managers must uphold, like other professional managers take such a job oath.
Q: Tell me about the background of Saemi Corporation's birth and how it has so far grown.
A: After 40 years of working at Industrial Bank of Korea, Bang Hyung-bok, CEO of Saemi Corp., established Saemi Metal in Incheon Namdong Industrial Complex around 2010, engaging in retail and wholesale business. The main items were silver brazing and flux. I heard that the first start of Saemi Corp. was difficult.
The CEO thought he had grasped many difficulties in the industrial field while working at the Industrial Bank of Korea for a long time, but the international industry was more intense and difficult.
In order to prevent our company from being exposed to such risks, the CEO enacted the motto of our company, “Three “Jeong,” which means Jeongjik (honesty), Jeongjin (devotion) and Jeongro (right path). This motto is still written in calligraphy in the headquarters office.
While operating the retail and wholesale businesses of silver brazing materials and flux as mentioned above, we imported overseas parts for KORAIL and the Ministry of National Defense, carrying out the trade business as an additional business. Over the past 10 years, our company has grown into the current Saemi Corp. through corporate transformation, name change, and expansion & relocation.
In October last year, Saemi Corp. expanded and moved from an office in Namdong Industrial Complex to a 1,000 pyeong site in Seo-gu, Incheon, and directly operates warehouses in Seoul, Gwangju, and Daegu.
Q: You recently received a plaque of appreciation from Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry Jafrul Aziz at a Malaysian investment explanatory meeting held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on March 14, 2023. Please tell me about the business progress between Saemi Corp. and Malaysia.
A: Recently, when the Malaysian minister led an economic delegation to visit Korea, I was requested by the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul to give a lecture and hold a question and answer session for participants at the Malaysian investment explanatory meeting held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul. After finishing the session, I received a plaque of appreciation from the Malaysia's minister of international trade and industry.
Our current import trade volume from Malaysia may not be as large as other companies, but we think Malaysia has chosen our company as a successful case because of the increase, speed, and future growth of our trade volume.
In July 2020, we organized a TF team for the items of stretch film import and identified all manufacturing countries in Asia to prepare for import.
After finding out that Malaysia is the country that includes both crude oil production and raw material processing plants among many manufacturing countries, we tried to contact Malaysian companies.
However, it was not easy to contact the companies by wire because the trade and logistics industries were in a difficult situation due to the influence of COVID19 pandemic.
As a result, I and two members of our TF team visited the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul three times recklessly, and we contacted the Malaysian Ministry of Commerce to conduct company meetings and video conferences.
Malaysia is a good trading partner. The Malaysian Ministry of Commerce was very active, and companies that we met through the commerce ministry were all forward-looking and aggressive. Through several video conferences and contract coordination, Saemi Corp.’s first import from Malaysia was conducted in April 2021, and its product import came to 300 million won in 2021, and the estimated import figure is expected to reach about 20 billion won in 2023.
Q: Could you give us an overall introduction to your domestic and overseas business?
A: Our company distributes stretch films, silver brazing materials, and fluxes domestically, and we are in the trade of importing overseas parts and plastic packaging materials. We expanded processing facilities in 2023 to meet various product standards of customers, and supply stretch films that protect products of large and small-sized domestic companies safely.
Currently, we have jointly expanded facilities with a local Malaysian company, and are preparing for joint purchase with the Malaysian Investment Authority to purchase raw materials and respond to prices.
In addition, we have been developing carbon-zero stretch films tailored to ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) since the TF team was organized in 2020, and some products have reduced carbon emissions by more than 50%. We are developing and supplying eco-friendly biomass-based stretch films for zero emissions at the carbon footprint stage, which is our ultimate goal.
Q: Please introduce your company's flagship products/services in detail.
A: The quality of our flagship stretch film is the best in the world.
Through the exchange rate stabilization contract between Saemi Corp. and the Malaysia's Investment and Trade Agency, the import unit price is determined and delivered at the lowest in the world.
With nanotech technology that is a few steps ahead of the top 9 layer stacking technology of other products, our product is excellent in terms of tensile strength and growth rate even in the same thickness through 64 layer production technology.
We are the only one who can produce machines with this technology, except for special agencies.
Also, a basic waterproof coating is applied to the box of the product, so the level of product defects is about 6 sigma.
In principle, products are also directly delivered to all regions except Jeju Island on the next day after the order was placed, and it is possible to respond to logistics and supply issues without any problems by securing minimum inventory for three months by customers.
Despite last year's eventful logistics issues, we were able to deal with our business smoothly without any customer’s delay loss through sufficient inventory and direct delivery.
Q: What are your company’s differentiated features in the same industry?
A: With the best ESG product development response in our industry, we are the only domestic company that can directly issue international certification documents on carbon emissions, waste, and plastic emissions.
Through the soon-to-be-completed 100% biomass stretch film, we can make zero percent of stretch film plastic waste when delivered and exported to customers.
Also through direct production through eco-friendly electricity that starts in 2025, we can respond to ESG without wavering even when implementing carbon footprints such as C-bam.
In addition to the price, quality, and supply stability of our stretch films, we are confident that we are the sole company that has prepared ESG response in advance.
In light of Korea's industrial structure environment, which lacks resources and exports a lot, export difficulties will be very large if certified documents are not attached when exporting to overseas markets.
From the perspective of domestic companies, tariffs and taxes that seem unfair are paid, and this process can be solved with our products with plastic zero and carbon emission zero. We are confident that we are the only supplier of stretch film that can build partnerships in line with ESG.
Currently, our company is preparing to expand facilities for direct production in Incheon. It is the preparation stage for producing 100% stretch film of eco-friendly biomass.
After 2024, international certification documents for eco-friendly stretch films will be prepared, so we will effectively respond to the purchase of eco-friendly packaging materials from advanced countries such as Japan and Europe and respond to the purchase of global companies.
Q: Please tell me whether you have any specific plans to go abroad in the future.
A: Malaysia is the only country where our company has entered overseas. We are now looking for an additional joint venture to produce ESG products in Vietnam.
Our company is carrying out the B2B business through Amazon in the U.S. and Europe. Our total exports are expected to reach 7 billion won next year.