Korea's Top Exporters - (11); Humax Receiver Export Grows Stronger

Article excerpt

It has often been said that nothing in life is fair. The saying seems to go for businesses as well.

While some companies, especially small and mid-sized industries, have struggled to make ends meet in Korea during the last couple of years, one company has accelerated into its position as the top exporter of digital satellite receivers at a breakneck speed -- within just three years of its exporting history.

The company is Humax Co. Ltd., the maker of multimedia technology systems like video character generating boards, graphic system controllers, video karaoke players and, of course, digital satellite receivers.

It seems that Humax never missed a beat in its 10 year progressive record to get to where it is now.

Since its establishment in 1989 as Gun In System, Humax Co. Ltd, headed by Byun Dae-gyu, anticipated that multimedia technology based on emerging digital technology would bring on revolutionary change in consumer electronics products.

To prepare, Humax began to concentrate its efforts on development in that field, leading to the establishment of its R&D center in Youngin in 1990 where t produced a video character generating board ``VideoMix'' for IBM PC and compatibles.

For this product, the Korean Ministry of Commerce and Industry branded Humax a company with ``Highly-Advanced Technology,'' a recognition worth bragging about at the time.

Encouraged, Humax produced two more new products in 1993 -- a graphic system controller ``CV1021AF'' and a CD karaoke player ``VCDO-6000,'' firmly establishing its reputation in the field. Again, in 1994, it won a ``Prominent Medium Sized Enterprise'' prize awarded by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

The company's real fame, however, began in 1996 when it released and exported for the first time a satellite service receiver, ``SAT 500 IRD.'' The product, sold under the name ``Conin,'' acquired a ``KT Mark'' from the Korea Industrial Technology Association the same year.

That the company, which changed its name to Humax Co. Ltd. in 1998, is now among the few businesses in the world who succeeded in meeting the demand for the first wave of digital set-top box products shows how correct it was in its early prediction -- that high-level multimedia technology was going to be an essential part of all households. …