2017 New Year’s Message
from Chairman Seung Youn Kim
We are at the dawn of a new year. And I would like to begin it with a New Year wish to every member of Hanwha. I wish you, your families and loved ones a joyful New Year filled with hope and happiness. I also wish to acknowledge and give thanks to everyone in the Hanwha family, around the globe, who worked tirelessly to grow and develop Hanwha this past year.
After announcing our Quality Growth 2020 vision in 2010, we have focused on growing internally, challenging ourselves not to follow but to lead companies globally. And in just the last several years, our efforts have garnered admiration as global company in markets both here and world-wide. But we have further to go. This year marks the start of “Quantum Jump”, the third and final phase of Hanwha’s overall vision. This is the time to remind ourselves of the strong commitment we had made when we launched this initiative. This is the time to remain steadfast to our dream of making Hanwha a global leader.
The winds of change, portending a new era and a new order are blowing aggressively across the world. The speed and power with which it will fundamentally change mankind in this climate of chaotic upheavals are nothing short of revolutionary. And with anticipation, we must ready ourselves with new thoughts, perspectives, and leadership suited for this new era. In this very climate with the market challenges we face, we must not be conservative but instead bolster our intensity to innovate to ensure not only the stability for today but the growth for tomorrow.
We must recreate ourselves into true corporate citizens with redefined social roles and willingness to take on the responsibilities that meet the demands of these new times. But in this world where everything is changing, our hearts must remain compassionate and receptive so that we can collectively serve as the light that shines into every dark corner of the world where there is suffering and neglect. This is how we’ll stay true to our belief to “lead by going further together”, and achieve not only the economic success in all areas we do business but also be recognized for our social, cultural, and environmental responsibilities to our communities around the world.
My beloved members of the Hanwha family, I would like to call upon each Hanwha company to upgrade your business systems and secure new opportunities for growth by strengthening your core capabilities. The rise of the world’s “4th Industrial Revolution” is a very real threat but it is also an opportunity. This revolution is technological, of hyper-convergence, hyper-connectivity and hyper-intelligence; and it is changing things as we know it – breaking down inter-industry barriers and already driving us into a new future. We can preemptively change ourselves and the business environment around us, anticipating the arrival of the soft power revolution. We must first closely read the signs of change, such as the decreasing working-age population that will emerge as a critical issue this year and prepare a strategy to address it. And we must look a decade ahead and elevate our core business competitiveness for the future by pioneering new technologies, new businesses and entering new markets.
Our machinery business, as an innovative technology leader, needs to closely track the major trends and changes taking place in the industrial environment then improve its core technology in response.
With a recent realignment and a diverse portfolio of products, our defense business has garnered much interest from the global defense industry. Our defense business is now strategically positioned to leverage its comprehensive defense systems and cutting-edge technology to aggressively expand its presence in overseas markets, as a global defense company.
Our chemical business should continue its history of successes and expand by going beyond offering only a traditional range of products. To do so, our chemical business needs to focus on acquiring source technologies that deliver high added value. We must also enhance our cost competitiveness, drive higher profit margins and build market-leading first-class leadership.
Great challenges loom over our finance business, threatening its future, if we remain with our existing business models. Currently, rapidly aging population can lead to overwhelming pension payouts. And the adoption of new international accounting standards can dramatically reduce insurers’ capital while making debt balances surge. Our finance business must act now and strengthen our key digital growth engines such as FinTech and Big Data, and make a strong push into global markets.
To strengthen our position as the market leader in the fiercely competitive global arena, our solar energy business must secure technological superiority that raises the bar and truly differentiates itself from the competitors. Moreover, our operations in each key market: the United States, Europe and Japan, must be systematically and carefully managed. We need to increase each region’s business capabilities to serve as the vanguard of Hanwha Group’s global No. 1 leadership drive.
We must reinforce the fundamentals and principles of corporate management that is aligned with the spirit of the new times. Outdated systems and suboptimal practices must be eliminated, and replaced with improved standards that can better drive Hanwha Group’s transformation. Just as rotted tissue must be removed to allow new flesh to grow in its place, we must constantly rethink and refine all our ways to ensure new and sustainable business growth.
We must achieve greater business excellence in all areas by applying: ethical management that keeps us on the right path, undeterred by international and external pressures; transparent management built on shared and trusted communication; and a win-win management approach that involves all stakeholders with whom we will grow together. Through these sincere efforts and by reinventing ourselves, we will become a company that sets an example for others to follow – a company that builds to create a just society and a company that helps to shape a world of coexistence for all.
We must adopt risk management that does not deflect us from our goals even during the worst possible crisis. Over a decade of recession, following the global financial crisis, has mired our country’s growth rate to its lowest level in history. South Korea’s most prominent corporations, who have been recognized globally, have not escaped these difficulties. Our Group must identify and review every scenario for all possible internal and external variables that can impact negative or positive events.
And efforts by our operations to focus on cost-cutting, technology innovation and process improvements must continue. With aggressive initiatives, we need to ensure unshakable financial stability and advance our organizational resilience and core competitiveness.
My dear Hanwha family, it is said that birds build their nests on a day when the wind blows the fiercest. Perhaps, they toil under such harsh conditions to build a house to make sure it will withstand even the strongest gust of wind. We, too, must strengthen our company amidst the relentless gales of change that is blowing against us, knowing that to weather them now will ensure our successes in the future.
Finally, “No. 1 - Hanwha” is a future that will not be shaped by the minds of a few but by the innovations shaped by the hands of the tens of thousands of Hanwha family members around the world. To achieve this dream, we must start the change with ourselves and even shape the winds of change around us. Now, let us begin this new year together, filled with what we’re known for at Hanwha: youthful passion and relentless drive.
Hanwha Group Chairman Seung Youn Kim