Thursday, July 06, 2017

Everything Korea - South Korea, Land of Change

Starbucks Korea Reserve

I was sharing with a firm investing heavily in South Korea the considerable opportunity but one that comes with some challenges. Top on my list, I feel it’s a land of change. More than most foreign companies operating or looking to launch in Korea realize.

This translates in deals and agreements more as frameworks, a roadmap and subject to change. It’s rare to see a long- term strategy… 2020 now a common target for planning purposes.

 So what am I getting at?

Regardless of where a foreign company today sees their project in 3-5 years… it will need to evolve. The team on the ground needs to focus 100% on the construction deadlines and milestones—but senior overseas leadership need to develop contingencies…

For example,

in one for my project where I served as an advisor, Incheon’s Songdo International District it evolved over the years.... the current model differs lots from the early 2000s original plan and even at midway point 2007.

1000 plus strong Starbucks Korea, too, is evolving more in Korea than even the US... Now with 60 plus “coffee forward” Reserve cafĂ©, and more are opening monthly—the brand adapting to the Korean upmarket demand for premium goods and services.

So when looking at 2020 and beyond… as my work takes me…

I consider:

What will be seen as new and different in 5 years?

What other projects, product and services in the works or being considered might better target Korea in 5 years?

Finally, as caveat is with regard to local partners… What are the plans if the local partner shifts and alters their focus?

Many do and have exited projects as their goals change. This is common and not an exception.

Again, all said, advising on best practices, workarounds and a sound plan is where I provide a framework, context and strategy.

As always, we open to discussing your needs and concerns.

Stacey,, my assistant can schedule us a time to meet, or chat by phone.  For urgent matters, Text me at 310-866-3777

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