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[Interview with a resident enterprise] SCDD Co.

Rediscover laver, hit the jackpot. SCDD Co.

‘Coincidence’ is said to be the starting point for ‘inevitability’. That was the beginning of the SCDD, which is now often ranked at the top of Korean Gim (laver)-snack exports. In an accidental trip to Thailand, CEO Gang Byeong-soo came back with a breakthrough business idea. Exported as a ‘side dish’, laver was presented as a ‘Snack’ dressing overseas. Unlike previous products, SCDD’s laver products are not strong in taste and smell good because they drastically reduce MSG and are condensed with natural ingredients. Let’s listen to the story of SCDD which made 17 billion won in revenue by promoting Kim snack that contributes greatly to the exporting business.

 

Business ideas found on travel

Trade with Thailand was started ‘by chance’. The move comes after Kang Byung-soo found Korean-made laver in Thailand, where he visited to cool his head while preparing to change jobs. “It looked so delicious that I accidentally tasted the Gim-snack at the store in front of the hotel. Suddenly, I looked at the back of the snack bag and found that the raw material was marked as Korean-made seaweed.” Thailand was not a producing country for laver. Out of curiosity, I called the contact number on the back, and the person in charge connected me to the Merchandiser. CEO Kang, who secured the way for Thai exports, returned from his trip and founded SDCC. With a severance pay of around 30 million won, the company purchased a 20-foot container of dried laver and shipped it to Thailand, which led to full-scale trade with Thailand.

 

“At that time, the market in Thailand was booming, so it was possible to export it if it was average quality, and the exchange rate was good, so I was able to earn money to stay in Thailand.”

 

​He earned a small office in Thailand and spent about a year learning Thai. Starting as a trading company, SDCC gradually transformed itself into a dried laver and snack laver manufacturing and exporting company with production lines and systems.

All-weather support of the Cluster Support Center has helped reorganize the business

Currently, SCDD runs a factory in Thailand that manufactures laver snacks, while in South Korea, it operates a trading company that consigns and exports laver, the raw material for the laver snack. Thailand’s laver snack is sold in Thailand, ASEAN, as well as China and Taiwan, and is also imported back to Korea.

 

​”I think good ingredients, taste, and quality are the driving forces of rapid growth.”

says Kang Byung-wook, the younger brother of Kang Byung-soo and head of the SDCC. Unlike previous products, SDCC’s laver products are not strong in flavor due to the drastic reduction of MSG and the seasoning of natural ingredients. It forecasted 20 billion won in sales in 2018 after achieving 17 billion won sales in 2017. Thailand’s buyer, who was trading, became the No. 1 company in Thailand thanks to the strength of the SDCC’s product. With the completion of the plant in February 2018, the company joined the cluster in earnest.

 

​”At first, I was lukewarm, but when I got it, there were a lot of consulting that I really needed. The Cluster Support Center provided technical and marketing support for small and medium-sized enterprises, which were bound to be limited. Thanks to HACCP and USDA ORGANIC, we have obtained all the necessary certifications. So far, I have received support from the clusters, but I would like to think about some areas where I can collaborate in the future,” claimed Kang Byung-wook, giving a thumbs up. He continued saying the entry into the cluster has given him a good chance to cultivate technical skills on his own.

SDCC Co., Kang Byung-wook / Director

 

What is the strength of SDCC?

It is handmade and is more delicate than other Kim snacks. In addition, 95% is laver and 5% is the sauce, so it is close to the raw materials. Among the laver snacks, roll products are the most popular. Recently, we have launched the ‘Double Roll’ products, which have doubled the texture of existing roll products; this product is very loved. With no MSG added, you can enjoy various flavors including original, spicy, honey butter, bulgogi, durian, coconut, and wasabi.

 

What was the biggest concern you had before moving into the National Food Cluster?

In February 2018, I was worried about how to build a factory, what to do and where to start, even before I moved in. However, after moving into the cluster, the Cluster Support Center was able to give all-weather support to the entire business from marketing support to research equipment support. Thanks to this, we were able to envision not only the food currently being manufactured, but also the next development product.

 

What are the future plans and the support you need accordingly?

Although we have remained as an export company, we have started our export marketing business in earnest since this year. As small and medium-sized companies in Jeonbuk Province lack the ability to self-sustaining exports, I want to help them develop their own self-sustaining power and lay the groundwork for exports. So far, we’ve only received support from the cluster, but we’ll see if there’s anything we can collaborate on in the future. I think that’s when I’m going to ask for professional advice from the cluster again.

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