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Samsung SDI learns about innovation from Busan-based fish cake firm

Samsung SDI, one of the nation’s largest battery maker, sought to learn from a local fish-cake maker based in Busan, in an effort to innovate its operation and business strategies.

Executives and employees of the battery firm looked at the example of family-run fish-cake maker Samjin Eomuk, which has survived financial difficulties and achieved market success by changing its strategy from business-to-business to business-to-customer.

Samjin Eomuk was a small supplier of filleted fish on the brink of a financial crisis with debt until incumbent CEO Park Yong-jun took over in 2012.

Park turned the crisis into an opportunity by easing distrust among consumers about the hygiene of fish-cake making.

Samjin launched shops in the style of bakeries in order to reveal the manufacturing process to consumers and offer hot and fresh fish cakes cooked at the shops, SDI officials said. 

(Samsung SDI)
(Samsung SDI)

As a result, the company grew tenfold in six years, hiring around 550 employees and raising 9.2 billion won ($7.9 million) in sales.

“The story of Samjin Eomuk offered a lesson to Samsung SDI employees about the importance of quality and creativity,” the company official said. “Like food companies, battery makers would lose trust from customers if problems occur in quality.”

By Song Su-hyun (