“I have been mesmerized by the level of automation here. The process of making one car is 90% automated. Humans are at the end of the assembly line where they do 90% of the work. No wonder they are so efficient..."
PIC: Pakasa Youth Awards 2016 winners at South Korea's largest industrial area Hyundai, in Ulsan, South Kore. Photos by Sebidde Kiryowa
On a tour of South Korea’s Southeast Economic Zone, South Korea's largest industrial area, the Pakasa Youth Awards 2016 winners have visited the Hyundai, in Ulsan, South Korea's seventh largest city.
Unfortunately, as the case is with most industries in South Korea, the young entrepreneurs were not allowed to take photos of the assembly line but had a lot to learn.
“I have been mesmerized by the level of automation here. The process of making one car is 90% automated. Humans are at the end of the assembly line where they do 90% of the work. No wonder they are so efficient. This is what we need in business,” said Hazel Namuwaya, one of the winners currently on tour, who runs Ambrosia Foods, a juice processing firm.
Hyundai is the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world with a production capacity of 6,000 cars daily and an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units.
Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan (it covers 5,000,000sqm) and 19 other factories in 8 countries around the world.
The company employs about 52,000 people in Korea alone and an additional 34,000 worldwide.
Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships and showrooms with Eleganta being their premier brand.
Heavy industries like Hyundai are among the top 10 corporations in South Korea that are the backbone of South Korea’s flourishing economy, contributing 79% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). South Korea is the world’s 11th largest economy.
Visiting Doosan Heavy industries
The young entrepreneurs started their tour of Korea's largest industrial area with a visit to the Doosan Group in the city of Changwon early this week.
Doosan, one of the world’s largest companies with 8500 employees in South Korea alone and 1900 in various companies located on several continents. They manufacture ISB (Infrastructure Support Business) with five subsidiaries - Doosan Corporation, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, Doosan Infracore, Doosan Engineering & Construction and Doosan Engine.
They are also into electrical power, desalinated drinking water, construction equipment, advanced machinery, defense supplies, houses, highways and bridges, chemical processing equipment and industrial engines.
South Korea emphasized an export promotion development plan right from the 60s to pull themselves out of poverty. The vision, conceived by the political leadership, focused on heavy industries and skilling their youth. Like Samsung and Hyundai, Doosan is a result of these efforts. Plenty of lessons for us.
About the awards
The 10 young entrepreneurs who won in Vision Group’s Pakasa Youth Awards 2016 in June this year are in South Korea for a two week business tour as part of their prize. The other was sh10m in business support.
The Pakasa Youth Awards 2016 is a countrywide competition organized by Vision Group from October last year to March this year.
The 10 were selected from a pool of 171 profiles that were published by the New Vision's various media outlets. Their businesses range from Agro business, health, waste management, education and construction.
The team comprises Charles Amaku (West Nile), Moses Kibirige (north), Godfrey Munyegera (east), Martin Kibirige (central), Muzaphal Sekulima (west), Grace Nalugwa (woman), Hazel Namuwaya (woman), Denis Kasule (Kampala), Samuel Isale (east) and Ambrose Angulo (mid north).
KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) sponsored the trip jointly with Embassy of South Korea in Uganda as part of the prize for the competition.