Choung Tai Kim, Woojin Industrial President - Forty years in the land of opportunity, growing up solely through 'trust and honesty'
Choung Tai Kim, Woojin Industrial President - Forty years in the land of opportunity, growing up solely through 'trust and honesty'
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  • 승인 2021.05.25 16:11
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Gulf Reinforced Plastics L.L.C President
Choung Tai Kim ㈜Woojin Industrial President ⒸMonthlyPeople
Choung Tai Kim ㈜Woojin Industrial President Ⓒsungrae park repoter

President Kim Choung Tai's last choice, who has been doing business in the Middle East for 40 years based on 'trust and honesty', is his hometown. I'm very proud of the experience and know-how I have gained in oversee. This is to contribute to the development of Tae Angun, which is my hometown. He has led various local organizations, considering ways to develop them, giving lectures and donations, and leading the harmony within residents.

Above all, he strives to cheer and encourage young people toward future generations. These activities led to the 2018 Proud Korean National Awards and the 2018 21st Century Grand Prize for Korean People who shone Korea.


The nurses and miners who dispatched to Germany contributed greatly to laying the foundation for Korea's growth after the war. Since then, the Middle East boom has erupted to make foreign currency as an industrial powerhouse. I also challenged my life in the Middle East with a dream of success.


Challenges to the Middle East that led to 40 years of business.

Those who were dispatched as construction workers in the Middle East in the 1970s and 1980s were hidden heroes in the history of the Republic of Korea. The foreign currency earned by construction workers who beat concrete in the scorching sun and built roads and buildings contributed greatly to the Korean economy, laying the groundwork for overseas construction. Recognized for its contribution to the development of the country in the Middle East, many Korean companies are still doing business in the Middle East, and the public sentiment is also favorable to Korean companies as well as for Koreans in general. The Middle East was a dollar supplier that enabled our rapid growth. Even when our economy was reeling from oil shock, we enjoyed the "Middle East Special" with foreign currency earned in the Middle East. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. won orders in 1976 for Saudi Arabia's Jubail Industrial Airlines, accounting for 31% of Korea's foreign exchange reserves at that time.


Kim Choung Tai, a graduate of the Department of Architecture, participated in the construction of the new Naval Academy at the Jubail Naval Base in Saudi Arabia for five years in 1980 at the young age of 28. He recalled at that time, saying that he wanted to return to Korea right away because he misses his family and the breathtaking heat of nearly 48 degrees. After the construction was completed in 1985, he became the first Korean to work as a Saudi naval base officer and worked for 10 years. It was the first time for a Korean to be in charge of all general construction and construction of a naval base.

During the Gulf War in 1990, all Koreans living in Saudi Arabia left Saudi Arabia, but President Kim Choung Tai remained at the naval base until the end. "At that time, the Saudi naval base was the most important military hub and was in control of all operations of Saudi naval base As a military secret guard, I couldn't go outside, and I went through the Gulf War with a firm determination that I would die if I died here. If I had escaped the war at that time, I would not be who I am today."

After serving at the Saudi Naval Headquarters for 10 years, President Kim Choung Tai had worked at the site of MHI in 1996 with Jin Yoshida-san, the head of the Middle East Construction Division in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He joined the company as an executive and was selected as a Mechanical Construction Mgr for the first time in six months, leading the construction of Saudi Arabia for 10 years. At a time when there was a deep emotional gap between Korea and Japan, it was also difficult to serve as deputy site manager of Mitsubishi as the only Korean in the company. President Kim said that all his teeth were lost in the stress of field work



My experience in a Japanese company has become a great asset to me. I always tried my best to be a necessary person among the Japanese, doing my best with humility, order, and honesty. The relationship at that time continued until now and became a good business partner for Woojin Industrial Co., Ltd


Even at the most difficult moment, President Kim Choung Tai endured, reflecting on the sentiment "This is Not the End ! Game is Not Over!" Mitsubishi sent trust and recognition to him, who did not give up in any circumstances and sought answers. President Kim Choung Tai said, I realized that even if frustration and hardship continue in life, it can be a blessing in disguise depending on how to establish countermeasure and overcome the situation.


Clear, Clean, Honest, Trusted Company

Plant industries are industries that supply facilities or build factories that can produce products such as electricity, gas, and water. It refers to a device, factory or production facility that supplies raw materials or energy, such as petrochemical, natural gas (LNG) facilities, and thermal power plants, for physical and chemical action.

Woojin Industrial Co., Ltd. and G.R.P. are partners in the engineering plant construction division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). It is currently headquartered in Abu Dhabi and operates in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman. G.R.P (Gulf Reinforced Plastics L.L.C., a company specializing in oil plant RTR, has also grown into a trusted company in the Middle East, partnering with multinational companies such as Samsung Engineering, Samsung C&T, French Technip, SUEZ, and SEPCO III China.

G.R.P. is a non-metal construction company of petrochemical plants, accumulating long experience and construction technology, and boasts unique competitiveness to the point that it has never operated separately for orders since its inception. It was able to continue its stable growth despite the Covid-19 situation, and President Kim Choung Tai said, "As it is an area related to the plant's life, we are fully engaged in perfect construction based on our abundant experience, performance, and technology."

Until Woojin Industrial Co., Ltd. and G.R.P. strengthened their strong positions as they are now, there were three strict rules called "Clear, Clean, and Honest." It is the life of a business to keep its promises thoroughly, and the arrangement of work and surroundings is always fundamental. It is always 'clear' so that it can clearly check the work situation at any time. The second is 'Clean'. In order to be a true leader, all actions must be as transparent as glass bead. The third one is 'Honest'. This is also the

power that President Kim was recognized in Mitsubishi. He was trying, above all, to keep his promise to himself with 'honesty' and 'best' in his heart. Being selected as the Overall Construction Mgrin six months was largely recognized for always doing his best

based on honesty and sincerity. In fact, President Kim has been known to have operated strictly and honestly in accordance with principles so that there has never been any wrong data for 10 years, such as a request for ordering materials strictly investigated by Mitsubishi.

He said there was nothing to fear in the world if he worked honestly and accurately, and that it was a fight against himself. Above all, Kim Choug Tai has done his best to himself.


From where we are, we must leave one day. If you can get a round of applause for your contribution as soon as you leave, you will feel rewarded. You don't know when, where, and with whom you will reach after you leave, but if you leave a deep impression on the other person through your work, you put wings on the business



Talent-driven, field-driven management continues to grow President Kim Choung Tai will have his headquarters in South Korea and Abu Dhabi, where he will stay alternately for a month and directly manages five Middle Eastern countries. Each plant site in the area operates on a single unit company scale, not a construction site. He says the reason for this operation is because of the "21st century revolution," the mobile revolution and the smartphone revolution. This is because it can lead all domestic and foreign businesses anytime, anywhere through smartphones that enable connecting, saving time, and saving money. This created an environment in which employees could focus on the field and precisely construct through a systematic safety management system. In addition, he seems to be focusing on communication with the site. In December last year, he visited the site and encouraged executives and employees who had suffered during the year in the Covid-19 situation. When asked why he is still visiting the site, he replied, "Trust." President Kim said that the most important thing in the company's operation is talent, and that he is trying to keep his promise to his employees and become a leader who can be trusted and respected. When employees work like their own with affection, they seem to keep their welfare and trust as much as they can increase the efficiency and performance of their work. In fact, Woojin Industrial and G.R.P. boast low turnover. The child of an employee who was with him when he first started his business joined to work for the company. Efforts to share performance are also notable. Through various evaluations twice a year, employees are paid incentives, and in the event of Covid-19 infection, the best hospitals in the region can be treated, and funds are provided free of charge in the event of congratulatory or natural disasters. The idea is that it is difficult to concentrate on work if the family is not comfortable. President Kim said, "We are making all-out efforts to secure talented people, and we are working hard to foster talented people through corresponding programs to secure talented people through various channels and create an environment where they can expand their capabilities."

"The plant industry is a comprehensive industry that includes hardware such as machinery and equipment to manufacture products and installation engineering, software, construction and maintenance. It's a high value-added industry, and it's our main export sector.“


Recently, the Middle East plant industry is facing intensifying competition among global companies, including Korean companies. Korean companies' participation in EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) is also increasing. President Kim said that it is urgent to increase competitiveness by fostering technology and manpower. The country is also fostering professional workers for overseas construction and plant industry development. He advised young people that the plant industry is likely to develop in the future and has high value-added competitiveness, and that they will have a chance to develop themselves by competing with leading overseas talents.


A life of gratitude to the Middle East and home To President Kim Choung Tai, the Middle East is a "thankful land" that has grown itself to the present. While serving as the president of the Korean Association in Saudi Arabia, President Kim worked for four years to revitalize Korean schools for Korean children in the Middle East. This is why I felt sorry that the children of many Korean employees who were dispatched to the country of martyrdom over 45 degrees were not learning Korean language. To this end, the government provided overall school management expenses, including local teacher recruitment, salary, and rental costs, to strengthen Korean cultural education such as Korean language, Korean history, and culture. The move was accompanied by an aspiration to make it a mecca for global talent production. The Korean language school, which was newly created through his diverse efforts, is providing various support, including ways to foster competitive teachers, to foster talented people and to advance to a better learning field. In addition, President Kim, who has returned corporate profits to the Middle East, stressed that companies should be separated from management and ownership and returned profits from the companies to the places that raised them.


The Middle East, where opportunities and potentials are alive, is a blue ocean that needs to be renewed with challenges and hopes. It's a land of opportunity to bet on life and a land I'm grateful for. If young people look away a little bit, they will find a new wave beyond the highly competitive red ocean.


Currently, President Kim is wrapping up his 40 year overseas life and has now focused on developing his hometown and fostering human resources. Having served as chairman of the fraternity in Tae-An hometown community and alumni of An-Myeon Elementary School and Middle School, he has been sharing his love for neighbors for years by providing scholarships for the development of his hometown, helping the underprivileged, and supporting senior citizen centers. Recently, the An Myeon eup Happy Donation" promoted by the An Myeon-eup Regional Social Security Council in Tae An-gun, Chungcheongnam-do is an extension of this move." In addition, it has continued various efforts to harmonize and develop the region, including supporting sports events for residents' harmony, and plans to continue to promote scholarship projects in the future.


He expressed his willingness to support his hometown's needs in both ways and to contribute to development, saying that his hometown, An Myeon-do, is still underdeveloped. In addition, President Kim Choung Tai likened Tae Angun to a moving orchestra and said that it can develop when everyone is harmonized and harmonized.

"Unfortunately, Tae An-gun is an area where the population continues to leak. We need to work harder than anything else to attract capital in the region. I'm sure we'll be rejuvenated if we have a business-friendly climate and decent jobs.“


Recently, he gave an invitation lecture to Tae An-gun county office under the theme of ' My Dream, My Passion, My Home Tae-An '. The lecture was followed by stories related to 40 years in the Middle East and suggestions for the development of Tae An-gun. Regarding the lecture, Tae An County Mayor Ka Se Ro said, "President Kim Choung Tai's passion for life and affection for Tae-An were desperately buried," adding, "The process of overcoming many hardships helped our employees a lot." He also thanked President Kim Choung Tai for always lowering himself and working for the people. He also cheered for his juniors' dreams through lectures under the theme of "Dreams Can Come True." President Kim Choung Tai said, "Everything is possible," stressing that anything should be overcome with an active mindset.


Some people say I'm a lucky person. But luck comes to those who try. I also chose to go to the Middle East when my daughter was just over 100 days after getting married. Many times have passed the crisis in the Middle East. Only those who try can have a chance to catch luck. You can feel good luck and seize an opportunity because you tried hard.


President Kim was willing to devote himself to the development of the Middle East, a land of opportunity and grateful land, and his hometown Tae An-gun, where he was born and raised. He expressed gratitude for his wife's help not only in her choice but also in the absence of the head of the family for a long time, raising her two daughters well. In addition, he said that there was a lot of help from many people, and said that he will continue to do his best to repay the favor.


Directiona and D ecision, t o m ove t oward a d ream

President Kim Choung Tai focused solely on building "trust" until he went to the Middle East at the age of 28 and started his business after 25 years to form partnerships with global companies. He said that he had made a lot of efforts to build up the evaluation that he was definitely a person who did his job once, and that he never forgot and

remembered himself.

"I learned the details of the meticulous and delicate work from a Japanese company. Later, they were told that we, the Japanese, can't keep up with Kim San's preparedness. "Let's prepare thoroughly and honestly do our best" is a promise to keep to ourselves and a source of my competitiveness."

In the 1990s, Japan boasted technological prowess ahead of us in petrochemical fields, while Mitsubishi employees graduated from prestigious universities such as Waseda, Keio, and Tokyo University. It would be possible for them to make an unconventional proposal to President Kim because they had absolute need and deep trust in him.

"It hasn't happened now because Korea's status has grown, but at the time, it was neglected by the national sentiment of both Korea and Japan," he said. But no matter what the odds were, he silently focused on his work, shouting 'No Pain, No Gain'. He also established principles in his work, never compromised in any case, and walked his way proudly and honestly.


This attitude also applies to properly leading the business. It is based on the belief that the company can never move properly without trust even if it has manuals and systems for operating the company. President Kim was trying to give trust to employees, considering promises with the client as well as employees as his life.

He stressed that the company has been able to grow so far because he knows that employees keep the CEO's honesty and promises, and that he will continue to be a reliable representative. In terms of relationships with the Client, the company has focused on developing technology and managing the site completely under the belief that trust in the business is built when it satisfies the other person.

Not only that. G.R.P., which acquired a French company in 2011, has grown from a small company with small sales to a company that continues to hire talented people 11 years later and boasts its unique position in the Middle East with accumulated technology. This is an achievement that could be achieved because trust and honesty were underpinned.

"What's important in life is Direction and Decision. You have to set the direction of life, occupation, and business. You have to decide after setting it up. Setting the direction without a decision means nothing."


If President Kim's first turning point was to go to Saudi Arabia, the last turning point is to return to his hometown. His determination to devote himself to his hometown, which became his dream home, moved him. After returning to his hometown in 2009, President Kim set three goals. To have the soil to develop future generations, to lay the foundation for Woojin Industrial and G.R.P. to grow as a global company without President Kim Choung Tai, and finally to give back to the organization that helped them for 40 years. He predicted that by returning to society, the time would be sorted out.

"I came all the way here in pursuit of my dream. The current dream is not to make money, but to give back society. From how we can repay our society and the grateful Middle East to the direction the company has to move forward, it's our dream now to find answers one by one and finish them meaningfully."

President Kim constantly looks back on himself and tries to find the best answer. He emphasizes the need to look back on the present, whether business or personal, and prepare in advance and draw pictures. He continues to organize his habits with notes whenever he thinks about good ideas.


President Kim Choung Tai, who chants "Everything is possible," was always trying to make a better decision, thinking about the best way. The indomitable spirit of walking silently without giving up was the foundation for him to embrace his long experience and devote himself to the development of his hometown. President Kim, who has turned the crisis into an opportunity with the belief of trust and honesty, sends a message that anyone can achieve their dream if they do not give up. Above all, he sends his support for young people to challenge with passion. I hope that the value of "trust and honesty" that President Kim Choung Tai has kept and the path he has taken will be the seed of a challenge that will lead young people to move toward their dreams.


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