3 Million Dollar Export Tower
Pioneering markets with bare hands
Korea is surrounded by the sea on three sides and has excellent fishery resources. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is issuing the K-FISH certification mark and is promoting Korean seafood products to seafood restaurants overseas. ACE T&C, which received the $3 million export tower at the Trade Day ceremony, is selling various Korean sea products to five European countries, the United States, Japan, China, and Taiwan. CEO Kim spent a long time studying abroad, through which he accumulated knowledge of global logistics and trade. He got a job in the overseas sales department of a tuna processing plant in Korea and pioneered export channels and secured contracts. One thing that was disappointing was that even though everything had been done, there were many cases where the final decision was not made and canceled because he was not the owner of the company. He decided to start a business at that time because there were many things that fell over even if he put in the ball. He left the company after 10 months and founded ACE T&C. He secured export channels and developed products with his bare hands, receiving the 1 million dollar export tower last year and the 3 million dollar export tower this year.
|▲ ACE T&C / CEO Kim Hyeo-min|
Opening a market with persistence and passion
Established a joint venture with a Spanish partner
CEO Kim said, “I didn’t have any personal connections or a lot of money. And I didn’t have a company I inherited. So I had no choice but to work hard. But that made me strong and make things happen.” he explained. He was a persevering young businessman. For example, he stayed in only one place for three days and met with buyers every day, and the buyers who valued his passion and persistence gradually opened their minds to him and decided to buy his products. Tuna and seaweed are the two sea products which new comers can hardly break the entry barriers. But with passion and persistence, Kim has made the two products his main export items. This year, he established a joint venture with a Spanish business partner to directly make and sell seaweed products with its own brand name in Spain.
Change the impression of Korean seafood
CEO Kim pioneers all sales channels and is in charge of all contracts. He also writes all the trade-related papers himself. Unfortunately, the fishery is one of the not-want-to-do job expecially by young people. CEO Kim said, “There are many elderly people in the fisheries industry, but there will be more in 10 years. Then the golden age of the fishing industry will come to an end.” So he is trying to break this bad impression. For example, he decorates office interiors stylishly and has a packaging company do product packaging to enhance visual appeal. CEO Kim said, “It was unfortunate that the fishing industry in Korea felt conservative and outdated. I think the industry can be as trendy and sensible as any other sector. These days, when youth unemployment is becoming an issue, I think that if these problems are solved, many young people will be able to enter the fishing industry.”
From B2B to B2C
Efforts to promote the fishery industry
ACE T&C plans to enter B2C from the current B2B structure. Most of the company’s products are currently manufactured and sold as OEMs, and are supplied to overseas buyers through B2B. CEO Kim expects that the transition to B2C will lead to the development and sale of high value-added products, and will achieve 5 million dollars in exports next year. Kim said, “I don’t have any political aspirations, but I intend to become the president of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives and even the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries. A new system is needed to promote the fisheries industry. I think I know better than anyone how this industry will change in 10 or 15 years. As the fishery industry is a business with a future, I want to lay the foundation for it.”