The One Liner

The Korean Wave is for Real. Read on to know more on What has made them so Successful and How?

The One Liner

January 22, 2021. 3 minute Read

If I switch to Nykaa, I see K-Beauty Products, if I switch to Spotify I see a Podcast trying to make me learn how to speak Korean. If I go to shop for noodles from Amazon I see Samyang Chicken noodles being sold on top. If I go to buy electronic gadgets I see LG, Samsung on the list and now if I go to buy a car I see Hyundai, Kia selling their cars to Indians. Even my Netflix ID is flooded with many K-Series or dramas, making South Korea second most content contributor to Netflix.

But how could this small nation could do it all? Is the Korean wave for real?

There must be something done too correctly by the Government, People and Corporations that they have managed to gain prominence around the world!

Seoul is the capital city of the South Korea and they are the world’s 28th most populous country in the world. Be it Technology, Innovation, Music, TV Series, Electronic devices, Smartphones, in every sector they have huge pool of talented and workaholic folks and have created many opportunities for all.

But what is that so correctly done by the Government Itself?

Since 1961 to till 1979, President Park Chung-hee drove South Korea’s development whose first five-year plan focused on strong Research and development (R&D). And also shifting the focus of Economy from post war dependence on Technology imports to the construction of Industrial facilities by foreign companies to focus on home-grown labor-intensive industries, such as clothing and textiles.

Innovation drives South Korea

Recently, in Bloomberg’s 2020 Innovation Index South Korea ranks second only to Germany and had been reigning top position previously for almost five years.

But what led to it Massive Success?

We know how in India Jio disrupted and changed the way, we use Internet today. Similarly, Wowaa brothers, Seoul based food delivery application with existing technology infrastructure connected restaurants, customers, and Riders in 2010.

Around 2010, this new generation of entrepreneurs were backed by government funding and were also supported by National technological infrastructure.

When so much is being invested in Research and Development, it led to emergence of Large industrial groups called Chaebols, namely LG, Lottie, and Samsung, who have further expanded into petrochemical, car manufacturing and ship building industries.

Just Can’t Ignore Samsung

Samsung is the classic Chaebols from South Korea that is not only into electronic devices but is also into insurance, construction and ship building. They are so huge Corporation in South Korea that it contributes 15% of nation’s GDP.

In fact, Government along with Chaebols has been developing Regional Innovation centres like Gyeonggi, which has around 13 million people around Seoul.

The K-Dramas that Changed the way we see South Korea

The whole world was shocked when Parasite won Oscar in Best feature film category in 2020. And K-Pop’s BTS has been so immensely popular that they had “Permission to Dance” in United Nations. Bands like BTS and BlackPink are so popular that you will often see them collaborating with famous singers like Charlie Puthe to Salena Gomez. Well, the list is long.

In fact, last year in 2021, Squid Games was the most watched series in the whole world. And K-series are so popular that you will see people listening to their songs without even understanding the single word of the song. So, what keeps them hooked up to the song? The creators often cleverly add 2-3 lines of English, so that world may not understand whole song but at least understand a part of it.   

And because of K-series, glassy skin glow of many Korean actresses is so popular that every girl wants to have that skin glow. And the impact of Korean series is so good that they have been successful in selling their innovative products ranging from beauty products to cars to gadgets, food, culture, technology etc. to the whole world.

A still from K-Drama,
'Suspicious Partner.'
A still from K-Drama. 'Descendents of the Sun.'

Trends that speak for Itself

Be it setting up first 5G network in whole world or be it real robots with display screen and more specifically LG robots that help passengers to move around in Incheon Airport or huge market of Internet of thing(IOT) of $1.5 trillion Industry or Artificial Intelligence(AI) that has been controlling from lighting to Refrigerators or Blockchain Technology or AR and VR or Cloud Technology or Smart Cars or healthcare and AI or using technology to fight covid 19. This country has mastered it all.

That Korean Culture that we don’t know about

In South Korea, obviously because of huge technology infrastructure, it has about 82.7% of internet penetration and also 78.5% of entire population is on smartphones.  In fact, you may simply scan QR Codes and shop in world’s first visual Supermarket.

Seoul, is in fact, one of the top shopping cities of the world because they are world top users of Credit card in the country.

By the way, which country on earth, labels you rude and boring if you don’t drink? South Korea does that. In fact, Koreans celebrate or drown in sorrow by drinking Soju.

Having Shots

Grass is always Greener the other side

But not everything is so great about this nation. They have their own struggle and one of them is poor fertility rate of 2022 is 1.082 births per woman, a 0.64% decline from 2021 percent which is not a good sign and means the current population is aging and also average age of the country will also keep on increasing in future.

The problem is so huge that even the Government is offering many incentives because of the poor fertility rate. It is important to have a young population in country. Because a young country always helps in producing fresh ideas, bring creativity and energy to the nation that drives the economy further.

Final Thoughts

Nobody is perfect. Even the most developed countries are struggling in some or the other way. But we can always hope for a better future.

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