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GS chairman urges innovation from his group

May 18,2017
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Huh Chang-soo
GS Group Chairman Huh Chang-soo ordered his affiliates to keep up with fast-changing market trends and come up with innovative products and services to prosper and create more jobs.

“Innovation is the driving force of the group’s growth and also a foundation to create more jobs,” Huh said at GS Group’s annual Value Creation Forum Wednesday at company headquarters in southern Seoul. The yearly forum is intended to share ideas for innovation between GS affiliates such as GS Energy, GS Caltex, GS Retail and GS Engineering & Construction. This is the eighth such forum.

“Market environments change rapidly these days, often in unexpected directions,” Huh added. “At a time like this, we should more closely monitor changing trends in customer demand and respond in various ways we have never tried before.”

Following Huh’s speech, some innovations already made by GS affiliates were introduced at the forum.

GS Retail, for instance, released an app called “My own refrigerator” which enables customers to save coupons for 1+1 or 2+1 promotion events to use later at branches of GS25 convenience store. The app was first released in 2011 and has been continuously upgraded following market trends.

From March 2016, reservation services for lunch boxes were newly launched. Mobile shopping for foods, books and products for pets are also possible through the app.

“It is one of our flagship IT services connecting offline shops and online services,” GS said in a statement. “We are expecting roughly 100 billion won ($892.4 million) in additional revenue will be created through the app in the short term and that it will play a major role in establishing our digital retail platform in the longer term.”

Other presentations were made by oil refining affiliate GS Caltex, which upgraded its cracking process to increase yields from extra-heavy oil and environmentally-friendly energy supplier GS EPS, which increased profitability of biomass-based power generators.

According to Huh, the ultimate goal of such innovation is to create good jobs for society. GS Group has been expanding its number of new recruits every year to contribute to society, the company said in statement.

“We should also provide more opportunities for creative talents by recruiting workers not based on specs but their actual capabilities,” Huh added.

Over 300 people including CEOs, executives and team leaders from GS affiliates participated in the forum.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]