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GS chair urges execs to get down with the kids

Aug 27,2019
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Huh Chang-soo
GS Group Chairman Huh Chang-soo stressed the need to understand younger customers - both millennials and Generation Z - that are rising as major consumer groups in the slowing economy during a two-day forum with group executives that ended Saturday.

Millennials and Generation Z together include everybody born from the early 1980s to the early 2010s.

“We are going through slow economic growth spurred by demographic changes like societal aging and difficulty in securing future growth engines,” Huh said. “Rather than being satisfied with our status quo, we have to venture into new markets and understand our new target customers.”

Huh ordered GS affiliates to make pre-emptive investments into business areas that go well with the tastes and consumption patterns of younger customers.

Huh also picked Southeast Asian markets as the key target market for the future.

“We should monitor what opportunities lie in the fast-growing Southeast Asian markets and understand what strategies earlier movers in those countries are using,” the GS chair added.

Experts who took part in the annual GS Executive Conference said Southeast Asian countries have been showing rapid economic growth and that there will be opportunities in the energy, construction and retail sector, according to GS.

To effectively respond to changes in markets at home and abroad, Huh said it’s important to make the group’s organizational structure agile.

“The faster the market environment changes, the more agile our organizations need to be,” Huh said. “When an organization moves in harmony for the same goal, we can then expect fast job execution and high performance.”

The 15th GS conference was held at a resort in Gangwon and attended by some 60 group executives including affiliate heads.

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