The meteoric rise of Samsung shows the power of its products, writes Matt Warman.
on the stage at the Odeon Leicester Square, Prince Charles is handing out awards from his charity, The Prince’s Trust, to dozens of young people who turned their lives around in the most challenging circumstances. Behind him, interspersed with the fleur de lis of the royal charity logo is not a great British brand but the blue ellipse of South Korea’s Samsung.
For a technology giant built on selling millions of televisions, washing machines, mobile phones and more, the regal setting is a long way from its roots selling noodles in a provincial peninsula town.
Samsung — the name means three stars — was founded in 1938, but it wasn’t until 1993 that the company started on the road to turn itself into the global conglomerate it has now become.
While Sony now makes most of its money from selling insurance and Panasonic makes a hefty annual loss and wants to reinvent itself as a green giant, Samsung is building its success on making the gadgets that are reshaping the world.
It’s not bad for a family business that is just three generations old. It has grown to such a size that it forms a key part of the whole growth strategy for South Korea.