PROMOTION

2021 6월29일 동아일보 인터뷰

WRITE.admin 작성일 [21-06-29 13:49]  HIT.195
Dong In Entech Co., Ltd. was established in 1992 and has been in the business of Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) and Original Development / Design Manufacturing (ODM) of global outdoor brands such as Arc’terix, Gregory, and Patagonia nearly for 30 years. The global market share of high-end backpacks produced by Dong In is 45%. Most of the sales are coming from overseas exports. Currently, Dong In has nine production plants in the Philippines and one production plant in Vietnam, and a sales corporation in the United States, with 11,000 employees working at its operations in the Philippines.

      "As we are with more than 10,000 employees in the Philippines, we try out best to outstand in the global market and represent Korea as one of the most renowned companies," said In Soo, Jung, CEO of Dong In. He believes that being evaluated as a good company directly leads to the promotion of national prestige. Dong In has been having business in the Philippines and has never had a big conflict dealing with local workers for 25 years so far.

      Dong In has implemented a welfare system such as interest-free loans, which are unusually provided for local workers. Moreover, seeking harmony through large-scale events, such as Christmas parties, has won the hearts of workers. "We not only tried to implement a better welfare system but also sought-after what would our workers want and make it as convenient as possible in terms of working conditions and environment," CEO Jung said. "Thanks to this effort, Dong In is now recognized as a recommended company that is to be introduced to relatives among workers." He also said, "It is proud and rewarding that Dong In is highly regarded internationally as a strong Korean company." With these efforts, Dong In has fully established itself as a company that is loved both inside and outside of Korea.
While paying attention to Dong In’s family concord internally, CEO Jung is also faithful to the company's growth. "If we do not compete in the global market, we will be led to decadence even if we had our great potential," he said, enthusiastically emphasizing the importance of challenges.

      CEO Jung has extraordinary confidence in Dong In. "Our company is the only company that can fully respond to the demands of leading companies and buyers such as Arc’terix and Black Diamond," he claimed. As an example, because hiking backpacks vary, depending on body, back, and sizes for users, they should be made with precision and details; this is where Dong In technology shines to produce highly engineered products that are more comfortable, user-friendly, and technical with its weight dispersion technology. With a strong base and skills, Dong In has led itself to achievements of global competitiveness in the market. Such integrated technology is obtainable only when sewing and frame technologies are combined. "We were able to build more skills in the process of accepting various requests by collaborating with top companies in the industry," CEO Jung explained.

Meanwhile, Dong In is set to launch its brand. CEO Jung is planning to launch a premium outdoor brand called 'Insooth' based on his experience in making several products derived from his aluminum production experience and technology.
Insooth’s main products are hiking backpacks and sticks. The climbing stick under development features a unique function with its button-adjusting system that can let the user adjust the height of the stick when the handle button is pressed. The stick, which took 5 years just to research and develop, contains refined aluminum materials that are solid but relatively light in weight.

CEO Jung said he also gained confidence after the launch of the new baby product brand ‘Forb,’ back in 2006, which was also well-received in the market. Forb introduced strollers and car seats that incorporate aluminum frame technology to the market. In addition to its successful launch, Forb developments have been proceeded further and reached to the evolved product named "Bonette,” which is a folding aluminum car seat that is 9 times stronger and weighs 30% less than ordinary plastic materials. Due to its high-strength lightweight material, it is not only more portable but also easier to install than conventional car seats.

      The launch of brands and expansion of the aluminum product reflects CEO Jung's business philosophy. "We insisted on lightweight materials that are widely used in areas where safety is needed, replacing plastics and securing product users’ safety," CEO Jung added. "This eventually led to the development of baby products (car seats) using eco-friendly aluminum materials that can be recycled."

      Dong In plans to focus on further product development, keeping an eye on the situation and market of leisure products that have changed since the COVID-19.



Interview with In Soo, Jung, CEO of Dong In Entech Co., Ltd.

"Strong-rooted enterprise, unwavering in crisis."

      Dong In Entech Co., Ltd. is a company that mainly focuses on professional hiking backpacks, featuring high-strength aluminum processing and high-level sewing technology that are top-class worldwide.

      Black Diamond Harness, a company that has a 40% share in the global harness market, is also produced by Dong In. Dong In has particularly distinct strengths in aluminum production, such as producing aluminum frames with 3D automation equipment for the first time in Korea.

    Although the company has been growing steadily since its establishment in 1992, it has also experienced unexpected difficulties in the face of the COVID-19 situation. CEO Jung said calmly, "we are having a lot of difficulties such as falling sales due to the COVID-19 incident, but we have also learned a lot from it." "Some of our clients requested sudden cancellation or hold on production due to a sharp drop in sales on their end," he added. "There were companies that did not even pay for the promised payment." "On the other hand, there were clients that would try the hardest to keep their promises by making pre-payment; this let us distinguish between those who would support each other and those who will not.” He added.

CEO Jung also shared the story of another big difficulty which he has overcome with challenges and wise responses. "In 2007, when the KIKO (Knock-in Knock-out) crisis was such a nightmare for small and medium-sized companies, we invested 7 million dollars to build factories and made 62 million dollars worth of sales," CEO Jung recalled. "We achieved 100 million dollars in sales in 2011," he said. "Crisis is an opportunity." "Companies that have deeply rooted go their way solid regardless of any crisis, including the financial crisis," he said. "We should have a spirit of warmth that keeps the old and constantly challenges new," he conveyed the message to the market and industry, currently in recession.

      Dong In expects this year's sales to reach 160 million dollars as outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and golf, have increased after the global distancing trend since last year.

Reporter Ji Won, Park jwpark@donga.com
Translator Yoon Hwan, Jung yjung@dong-in.com