[FDI CEO , Special Interview] with EVONIK Korea CEO , Mr. Thomas Choi
GEBS Anchor : Alicia Inseon Song
English: Hello Everyone, my name is Alicia Song and I am a reporter for GEBS, a foreign company news station in Korea. Today, I am honored to be joined with YoonYoung Choi, president of Evonik Korea.
English: Hello Thomas, first of all, thank you very much for accepting this interview. I know that Evonik headquarters is based in Germany and Evonik Korea is located in Dongjak gu, Seoul. Would you please share with us an introduction about Evonik?
Welcome to Evonik and Evonik Korea.
Evonik is German base multinational company with 170 years history with its innovation and expertise in the area of Specialty Chemistry. Our head office based in Essen, Germany with operation in more than 100 countries. The revenue of the company is 12.2 bil. Euro (14.7 bil. USD) according to 2020 result and more than 33000 employees working globally.
What is about specialty chemicals? We may not manufacture tires, mattresses, medications, or animal feeds, but Evonik is part of all of those products –and many more. While we often contribute only small amounts of material, those contributions are precisely what make the difference.
That's because Evonik products make tires fuel-efficient, mattresses more elastic, medications more effective, and animal feeds healthier. That’s what specialty chemicals are all about. And when it comes to specialty chemicals, we're among the best in the world.
Talking about Evonik in Korea, we had been established in 1985 and went through group wise Merge&acquisition then we’d change out corporate name to Evonik in 2007. Our head office in Seoul next to Boramae Park in Nongsim town. Additionally, we have technical lab in Bucheon and H2O2 plant in Ulsan. Total employees of Evonik Korea is currently 108.
English: Thank you for the introduction. Would you please describe what the organizational Development and Culture (OD & Culture)?
Our corporate culture starts with 4 core values which is Trust, Openness, Speed and Performance. These bases enable us to work together with customers and colleagues in trust, Open to new ideas with respect to diversity, agile to dynamic changes and last but least perform to deliver solution to customers’ need.
As you see our company claimer “Leading beyond chemistry”, we stress its meaning that we as specialty chemical company take the lead to improve today’s and tomorrow’s better life beyond chemistry itself. We dare to stand in the front line of the market and provide excellent performance to our customers products which eventually contribute to better life for all. When you ask why Evonik exist, I would answer “ We are leading beyond chemistry to improve life, today and tomorrow.
In Evonik Korea, We have implemented organizational and cultural changes in order to transform our core value to further advanced competences. For example, we officially stop Korean position title in HR system and also calling each other by English nick name instead of by Korean position title. This initiative will ensure or organizational agile in dynamic environment based on horizontal communication, respect diversity as well as focus on role& responsibility.
Additionally, we have placed smart work mode on top of existing flexible working hour system. Both working systems are accelerating our performance, openness as well as speed. Also, self manageable work mode motivate us a mutual trust.
English: Would you please share with us about the 6 working principal of Evonik?
As mentioned about 4 core values, it provide all employee on meaning of our existence in the company and indicate clear direction like compass.
With 6 working principals, it defines our attitude and behavior toward each other, customers and partners as well as society. Those are our promises and resolutions.
6 working principals are literally self explained… Decide and deliver, Focus on the customer, Seize the opportunities, Move fast and simplify, Stick together, Try and learn. We act according to our decision, explore need on customer perspective, expand opportunities and secure chance to improve, yield efficiency via simplification and speed, cooperation and collective energy is impulse for joint growth and we learn from experience and try to discover new insight.
Our working principals are well connected to 4 core values like ecosystem so that core value is being firmly present in the company via acting according to 6 working principals. Another word, 6 working principals are our DNA for Evonik employees
English: Would you please outline the compensation & benefits (C&B) and HR Management (HRM) system of Evonik?
The welfare benefits include a core-time working hour system that allows employees to adjust their working hours flexibly, the leave policy that supports special leave according to the years of service in addition to the legal annual leave, support for children's education fee and foreign language learning expenses, loan support and etc. Most employees are highly satisfied with these welfare benefits.
For HR Management, compensation system, performance evaluation, employees competency development which come a long with combination of on the job training, Peer coaching and class room training.
Recently, we started with E-buddy program even under Covid. Newbie to company are matched with experience colleagues and casually interact even online in order to catch up faster for company culture and resolve individual specific questions.
English: How would you describe the labor-management culture of Evonik?
I would like to say Evonik's labor-management culture is a more horizontal and respectful culture by using an English nick-name instead of using Korean calling title.
Evonik Korea Managers take the lead in using English nick-name continuously and try to eliminate the hierarchy, now all employees are communicating naturally by calling their English nick-name. Through the labor-management council meeting, we try to gather and reflect the opinions of our employees every quarter actively and using English nick-name helps to smooth and harmonious meetings.
Evonik Korea also supports maternity protection for female employees. All female employees could their maternity leaves without any hesitation. Rather, all employees celebrates the birth of a precious life and rejoices together. During maternity leave, the company provides additional support so that employees can receive full compensation for 90 days. This makes employees on maternity leave can concentrate on their childcare comfortably.
English: Would you be able to inform us of any job position currently available at Evonik or a position that is scheduled to be available in the second half of this year?
Evonik Korea hire across the year. We have positions such as Technical manager, Plant engineer, Business administrators in hiring process and planned.
Additionally, We also have several intern position for university students. Further detail, please refer to job portal which is know for foreign invested company recruitment
English: The world economy has been stunned since the Pandemic. Would you please highlight some of the real difficulties that currently surround your company industry as well as the future outlook of the industry?
Indeed, Covid19 pandemic situation impact on world economy and also for business.
We as specialty chemical company, we have demonstrated Evonik is robust company with well balance product portfolio.
However, challenges are remains. Current challenges across many industries are supply chain especially logistic part. There has been shipment delay, port congestion due to lack of labors. This caused material price increase and shortage of feedstocks. This situation would remain till end of this year.
Beside, Chemical business will be paid significant attention related with safety and sustainability such as green energy and circular plastics. The company itself as well as our customers drive business according to ESG (Environmental Social and Governance). Of cource this is not only trend in chemical sector but also broaden in any business.
English: Lastly, as a mentor who contributes so much to his community, please share with us any wisdom you may have for young job seekers)
People says there is alphabet “C” between B and D. it means there are choices between Birth to Death. In fact, we are doing lots of life time decision as your choice. I would like share with those who step into business world Trust your decision – your choice is and being the best choice as long as it is yours.
We often make decision after struggle through several choices. When you make a decision from your choice, let’s keep it with full trust thus you will put extra miles effort to make thing happen. In the end, it will be the best choice because it will make you successful in your own choice. So, I would like to stress “whatever you decision on your own choice, it will be the best choice”
English:Thank you very much for your valuable time Mr. Choi and I hope we can inform and educate Evonik to the Korean people even further. This has been Alicia Song, the Anchor of GEBS, the Foreign Company News Station in Korea.