It is the story of Hyundai & its founder.
When Chung escaped home in 1933, he never thought he would build a $35,000,000,000 business – a story of grit, discipline, and dire need.
But a stolen cow and a rice shop lead him to Hyundai.
Chung ju-yung was born in a North Korean village in 1915.
His parents were poor farmers. While his dad cultivated rice while his mom managed the household and raised silkworms for extra money.
So Chung grew up poor but managed to graduate from 5th grade. You may be thinking… yea that isn’t hard. But this was an impressive accomplishment for his town and we are talking about 1920s!
Aspirations & Choices !
All Chungs wanted to be is a teacher.
But the problem was that his family could not afford to pay for more school. So, he had two choices:
Be a lifelong farmer Or Run away from home !
Dire Need and Actions !
So Chung tried leaving home 4 separate times.
At 16, he escaped for 2 months to do construction work… His father dragged him back.
At 18, he escaped to South Korea (part of Japan back then) but his dad found him hiding at grandpa’s house.
The 3rd time he stole and sold the family’s cow for the equivalent of $50 today. He was rich now! So he took a train, escaped and enrolled in accounting school.
Not so fast… His Dad found him and took him back home again.
The 4th time Chung runs away… he was gone for good.
In 1934, he escaped to South Korea and worked as a bike boy delivering rice.
The Grit , The Success and The Roller-Coaster Ride
He does so well that his boss gives him the store.
This was the big break!
Not so fast. The rice store prospered until 1939 when Japanese shut down his shop.
Angry about the loss of the rice store Chung opened up an auto repair shop.
The best part?
He knew nothing about the cars. But in 3 years, Chung grew from 20 to 70 employees.
Then in 1943, Chung is shut down again by the government.
So he takes his 50k in savings and plots his next move.
4 years later, he finally did it. Hyundai Civil Industries is born.
No Looking Back
And the story of Hyundai was just beginning.
Hyundai starts as a construction company. They earn big government contracts to build bridges and shipyards. But they eventually turn into a business conglomerate. Building damns, highways and even nuclear power plants.
8 years later Hyundai exports its first car to the world: the Hyundai Pony The Hyundai Pony becomes a point of national pride for South Korea. By 1985, Hyundai has manufactured their millionth car.
Chung ju-yung died in 2001 at the age of 84 but Hyundai lives on as a $35 billion automotive empire.
Summary : the story of Hyundai and Mr. Chung :
• Too poor to pursue his dream of teaching
• Tries and fails to escape home 4 times
• Government shuts down his rice shop
• Government shuts down auto repair shop
Sill he could make it big.
Let’s be like Chung: Unstoppable in pursuing the dream , you don’t need a vision , you just need discipline , grit , and determination and who knows that you might end-up making a great story.
You can read more about him by clicking on this link ” Chung Ju-yung“.