Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung talks with a group of people in their 20s and 30s before having hamburgers on May 25. [Photo provided by FKI]
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung sat down and had hamburgers with a group of people in their 20s and 30s on Thursday, speaking as a mentor about his experience and business insights during an event that resembled one of Warren Buffett’s famous charity lunches, organized by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).
“One of the most memorable times in my life was in 2005 when Kia Corp. was struggling. I had to beg for a loan, visiting bank after bank, in the face of the company’s collapse,” said Chung. “The most important thing for a business in such a crisis is teamwork. Every member, from the top tier to the sales end of an organization, should become one to overcome the crisis. I learned a lot back then when the company was facing a tough time, especially about the mindset of staying strong.”
Chung said he had decided to join the FKI lunch event because he thought talking with young people could inspire him. “Listening to you really helps me to steer the company in the right direction, giving me a clearer vision through conversations with you,” he said.
During the talk, which took place ahead of the lunch, Chung talked about his life goal, in-line with the topic of the event, which was living a fulfilling life. “I hope I can help people to do what they want to do in their day-to-day lives by making good cars,” he said. Describing his business as connecting people, he specified his hope that he could help people travel to other places to work and to meet other people.
He talked about his daily schedule. “I go to bed at 9:30 p.m., wake up at about 5 a.m., and get to the office by 6:30 a.m. I work at the office in the morning and usually go out into the field or meet people in the afternoon,” Chung said. He eats three meals a day, but he eats a smaller portion for breakfast, he said, while trying to get some exercise three or four times throughout the day.
About what constitutes a fulfilling life, he said, “there is no answer,” as to how to live life to the fullest. However, he added that “finding what you care about and think valuable, and focusing on that” is his answer to the question.
Participants noted Chung’s down-to-earth attitude throughout the lunch. “Before the lunch, he felt so distant, as I’ve only seen him in the news or on TV, but the actual person today was very friendly and made us feel comfortable with an unpretentious manner,” said one of the participants.
Another participant commented on his knowledge of recent trends. “He seemed to be very trendy, very knowledgeable about the latest TV shows and brands,” said a participant who introduced himself as a university student. One elementary school teacher there chose Chung’s comment about teamwork to overcome a crisis as the most impressive anecdote from him.
Along with Chung, SoCar Inc. Chief Executive Officer Park Jae-uk and entertainer-cum-businessman Ro Hong-chul were also in attendance as mentors. Former Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul was also present to encourage all the participants in the event. All the participants that day paid for their lunch through their potential voluntary contributions to society by sharing their skills.
By Chung Seung-hwan and Chang Iou-chung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]