100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Genesis BBQ

CEO Yoon Hong

South Korea
Message to young people
In order to be successful in business, you need to have a good idea, an excellent strategy and a strong ability to push through your plans. I write down ideas whenever they hit me. Sometimes, I actually implement these ideas. When you have got a good idea, do not hesitate to take action in a determined manner.

I was born to a wealthy landowner's family. My grandmother had a firm idea about education. I was raised as a well-behaved child of the head family. When I was a child, I dreamed of being an entrepreneur who makes people happy by creating something for them. My father died of a disease just before I entered university. I studied hard to obtain a scholarship at the university. I also worked as a tutor and a night school teacher.

After graduating, I entered Miwon, now called Daesang Corp. I worked with a strong resolve to be a business owner. I was always telling myself, “I'm the president.” I was promoted to a higher position ahead of other people. I opened the first shop in April 1995. Three months later, I was told by the head office to discontinue operations using the name of Miwon. They hoped I would continue only operations that would not hurt their brand image. This let me think about launching my own business.

I had been interested in the franchise business from the start and I had obtained knowledge from a friend who entered Lotteria. Miwon lacked a strong decision-making capability. I concluded the best way would be for me to establish a subsidiary and take on all risks.

Financing was the biggest issue I faced when I started my business. I had to raise at least 500 million won for starting the business. I secured about 100 million won by obtaining a loan from a bank and dipping into my savings. The balance was raised from classmates and friends who agreed to chip in with 20 million to 50 million won each.

The success of a food business depends on ingredients. It is only natural for costs to be higher if we provide high-quality items. We hope to be one of the world’s finest food franchise chains to provide items of the best possible taste and quality and health to people in various countries. We made the first master franchise contract in Japan. We obtained $3.45 million in franchise fees. This grew to $9.85 million in 2008. We expect royalty revenue to account for 3.5 percent of overall sales in the years to come.

Genesis BBQ aims to increase the number of franchisees around the world to 50,000 by 2020 and achieve 2 trillion won in royalty revenue. If the targets are realized Genesis BBQ will surpass McDonald's as the world's No. 1 chain.

Company Profile

Genesis BBQ
South Korea
Franchise restaurant chain operator