100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2016-2017 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Wizkorea

CEO Lee Jae Hwan

1966
Birthplace
South Korea
Message to young people
There are some young people who regard the founding of businesses simply as an alternative to the loss of a job or a job search. This is regrettable. If your business succeeds, you will have a big fortune. It is only natural for successful people to have a strong desire for money. But if people start businesses only to make money, they sometimes lose control of themselves because of their strong feelings about money. People who start companies can be likened to activists who try to solve problems while thinking about what must be done, and when and why they have to do so. If you are young, you must clearly establish the goal and purpose of your business before obtaining an economic sense to pursue profits.

My parents paid attention to my freedom, which probably fostered my creativity. My father frequently talked to me about dreams. When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a teacher of the Korean language, but after I grew up, I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

I started working with a trading company after graduating from university. While I raised my two sons, I became interested in businesses related to the education of children. At that time, my sons were attending a major kindergarten where English was spoken. It was costly. One day, I visited the kindergarten, and the scene I saw there was quite different from what I had imagined. This made me believe that true education can be done, not with good curricula, but with a philosophy that creativity should be fostered so that children can actively respond to changes in the environment around them. My current business is based on this experience.

Amid changes in the domestic industrial structure, South Korea was in a difficult economic situation toward the end of 1990s and the government had to take various measures under a prescription made by the IMF. As a result, my confidence and vision about the trading business disappeared and I made up my mind to realize my dreams. The economy was then in an IMF-supervised process and our business went rather smoothly thanks to a favorable exchange rate. Later, I became interested in education for children. I concurrently worked for trading businesses and cram schools for English education for a while. But it was difficult for me to do the two jobs simultaneously. As a result, I decided to focus on educational for children.

The first problem in my business for education was how to communicate smoothly with my staff. I solved this problem while maintaining a firm target.

For its brand strength and reliability, WizKorea was chosen by consumers as the winner of two annual awards. We provide materials for educational organizations. We have three goals for our future business: expansion into the world market; the establishment of a new Wiz brand; and the opening of an international school with our brand. I would like to consider expanding into the Japanese market in a positive manner because Japan is three times as large as South Korea in the education-related business. But we believe we should approach the Japanese market only after obtaining enough information about Japan’s characteristics, including its culture.

Company

Name
Wizkorea
Headquarters
South Korea
2003
employees
120
business
Preschool education service provider
url
http://www.wizkorea.co.kr/