Electronic lecture board maker stresses importance of human resources and technology
For companies in the information technology industry, quick adaptation to changes and planning are prerequisites for survival. Shin Soon-hee, the chief executive officer of Modnnet, suggests there was more to that for her own success.
Modnnet, a company mostly known for manufacturing and exporting electronic lecture boards, was not just able to establish a solid foothold in the market, but also to become a career model for many females and disabled people.
Shin suffered from polio herself, but communication networks with experts, consumers, and the employees were key elements in overcoming her barriers in doing business.
Her story of 14 years running the company proves it was not an easy road to success. She had to taste countless, but priceless, bitter failures.
The company, which now has four branches, started small in Daegu in 1997. When starting the business, Shin was often discouraged by people’s bias against disabled people and doubts over Modnnet’s products.
Modnnet CEO Shin Soon-hee
A number of professors from regional colleges who saw the potential in Modnnet products started buying the devices to use for their lectures. Fourteen years later, the number of schools using Modnnet’s programs has sharply increased. Lecture rooms in Korea University and Hanyang University in Seoul, Daegu University and Kyungpook National University in Daegu are also equipped with its systems.
Being the first company to develop electronic lecture boards, which allows you to draw on a computer screen for lecturing, Modnnet was in a stable market position. It quickly stretched its business to creating educational content and producing medical equipment.
The most popular products include a multimedia lecture system, virtual studio, LCD pen board and Internet-based learning programs. It does not sell the products directly, but uses Internet shopping malls, such as Gmarket and Auction, as platforms.
In 2001, the company established six sales headquarters across the nation to provide its products with elementary, middle and high schools, colleges, public offices and companies. The next year, Modnnet reformed its regional distribution networks and opened its Seoul office to strengthen its sales.
In 2006, it signed a solution partner contract with Samsung Electronics’ information and technology division.
CEO Shin points out that the business would not have made progress without being open to feedback from users and experts. The simplified designs and reduction in production costs are all the product of feedback they have received over the years.
Shin Soon-hee with products Modnnet manufactures. (Modnnet)
With only 45 workers in the company, the total assets amount to 5.5 billion won (about $4.8 million) and total sales top around 5.6 billion won based on its data from March 2011.
Modnnet has recently started to expand its business to the medical equipment industry, which has been one of the business areas Shin has paid attention to.
The new business on medical equipment, which began in 2009, is near its last step and it is currently undergoing clinical trials. Including a potable electronic curer for excessive sweating and a skin desquamation device, Modnnet is waiting to see its next products on the market in a short period.
Shin said her company has devised such medical equipment devices after collecting ideas and suggestions from medical doctors and experts.
Despite the noticeable success, Shin refuses to settle. With the software and hardware basis it has built over a decade, the next destination is the global market.
“Like the word ‘Modn,’ meaning ‘everything’ in Korean, I’m most certainly positive that every application, software and hardware product in Korea and abroad will be using the technology from Modnnet in the future,” Shin said.
For this, the company has poured more than 50 percent of its human resources into planning and research fields. It believes that securing high-caliber human resources and focusing on technology development are key to growing into a global company.
A graduate of Pusan National University in Busan, Shin, 50, received her degree from Keimyung University Graduate School of Business in Daegu. After working as a researcher at Daejeon Systems Engineering Research Center for about a year, she began her career with her own business.
Among many awards she received, the latest is a presidential citation award for enhancing women’s social position, awarded by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in 2009.
By Monica Suk (email@example.com