When many of us hear the word "Samsung" we instantly think of smartphones, tablets, perhaps TVs and laptops. However, the Samsung Group is much, much more than that. Not only do they sell pretty much every consumer electronics product under the sun, from vacuum cleaners to smart fridges, they also manufacture many parts that other customers rely to build their products. In South Korea, Samsung's home the company is much more than just the company known for the Galaxy S line of products, and the Samsung Group and its subsidiaries are practically part of the nation's fabric. As with many famous businesses in the Far East, the Samsung Group is a family-owned business, and while Lee Kun-hee is currently chairman of the group, the 73 year old has been in Hospital for quite some time, leaving the running of the business to a younger generation.
Vice Chairman, Lee Jae-yong, the Chairman's son, has been taking over many aspects of day-to-day business of the group, with positive results. According to Business Korea, Jae-yong has sealed as many as eight merger and acquisitions since May last year. These acquisitions have been about the future, with Jae-yong fearing difficulty going it alone in emerging sectors like the Internet of Things. As such, he has led a number of acquisitions to bring new talent under the Samsung Electronics name. Jae-yong is 46 years old, and obviously quite a bit younger than his father, so it's no surprise that he's looking to the future. He's also looking ahead to even more global expansion, this week he is headed to the Boao Forum in China, where he will not only meet with China's President Xi Jinping, but also key business leaders. These include a meeting with Microsoft's founder Bill Gates and Baidu Chairman Robin Li.
As for the Chairman's daughter, Lee Bu-jin, this is where things get a little more interesting. Bu-jin is the President of Hotel Shilla, a hospitality firm centering around THE SHILLA, one of South Korea's most prestigious hotels which hosts high-ranking officials from both home and abroad. Recently, Hotel Shilla has increased sales by 30% since last year, and the brand has been expanding into the Duty Free business in Macau as well as Singapore. Again, this is a sign of growth and expansion outside of the domestic business, and a sign that the Samsung Group is in more places than you'd first think.
Finally, Lee Kun-hee's second daughter, Lee Seo-hyun, is the President of Cheil Worldwide. Cheil is an advertizing company that has done many high-profile campaigns across the globe for companies like the Red Cross in both Poland and Hong Kong, as well as many campaigns and projects for Samsung Electronics, naturally. Acquisitions seem to be a recurring theme here, and Cheil Worldwide recently purchased British marketing firm Iris last year, as well as Bravo Asia of China to attract new business from China on the whole. More interestingly though, Seo-hyun has been put in charge of Samsung Everland, a theme park and fashion business which is often referred to as the Group's "de facto holding company".
It would seem that a younger generation is driving new growth for the Samsung Group, and globalization seems to be the common goal. With Samsung Electronics looking to expand further into emerging sectors like the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality, Hotel Shilla to expand globally and seal lucrative duty free deals and Cheil Worldwide to expand worldwide as well. It's interesting to note that the Samsung group, while massive and sprawling, is still primarily ran by a family. There are few large companies that can say that about themselves, and even fewer as successful as Samsung. The future looks very bright for the Samsung Group, and with devices like the Galaxy S6, it looks like Samsung Electronics is about to stay on top for some time to come.