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10 minutes with Caleb Junyong Lee – OLI Korea

Caleb Lee OLI Korea

What is a typical day inside the company? 

Being one-man company, my standard working days are divided into proactive sales and prospecting activities, like customer visits, and back-office activities for the management of various documents, I need to manage paperwork for tax and administration/ logistics because I’m using just a simple ERP system for everyday job. Other specific activities are delegated to third parties like storage, shipment management and specific fiscal requirements.

 Which are the main sectors that require your products?

Korea market is characterized by heavy industry, automotive and high-tech, it is a very well industrialized country but in the recent year it is also developing a huge market involving “green revolution” starting from battery production as well as environmental technologies like air filtration or recycling. For sure these will be the main target sectors for the next years.

 What are your long-term goals and how are you working to achieve them?

OLI Korea is just two year-old company and first of all we need to set up some strong bases on core sectors, the market potential needs to be figured out in the next month, but easily we can estimate that in the mid-long term 5-million-euro turnover could be a reasonable target. Of course, OLI Korea structure should be improved adding new sale staff for a capillary coverage of the different sectors. The main task I have now is to increase the customer portfolio by discovering new prospects in the OLI core sectors and then step by step research new applications/niche markets.

How did you make OLI know in your country?

Historically OLI in Korea was sold by Wamgroup, so up to now OLI was known by Wamgroup customers but in the last period, I’m trying to make the brand well known also in other sectors, where our presence in the past was close to null. From the marketing point of view, Korean “culture” is a bit different from the European/American one, so it will take time and a lot of efforts, I am here for this reason. Main activities in these directions: calls and visits, visits, and calls; we need to stay close to the customer as much as possible.

 How did you reach your current position, what has been your journey?

I was given the chance to manage new office in Korea while I was working for my past employer as a New Business Development Manager. I think my cross-functional experience in sales, marketing, logistics, and business management opened the opportunity for me.

My journey has been quite different from time to time. There were times when I had to be patient, when I had to get familiar with unfamiliar stuff, and when I had to make progress despite the challenges. Right now, my focus is to put OLI Korea in the right position to succeed in the next years.

 How do you see OLI in the next years?

OLI should be the benchmark for vibration technology all over the world, and OLI Korea should play its role to reach this goal, by improving customer portfolio and increasing the product range to fulfill every market need.

 What are your main activities as General Manager?

First, general manager are salesmen. OLI subsidiary could be one-man show like OLI Korea today, or even have 10 or more salesmen, but being trading subsidiaries, the general manager should first of all be the best salesman.