Send to CEO talks on entrepreneurship in uncertain times

April 4, 2024 - 17:13 By Shim Woo-hyun Chairman Lee Keum-ryong speaks during The Korea Herald’s Global Business Forum at the Floating Island Convention Center in Seoul on Wednesday. (The Korea Herald)

Business leaders in the era of growing economic uncertainty and rapid technological change must look for new opportunities and prospects for innovation, according to Lee Keum-ryong, chairman of, an online platform connecting US companies with their Korean partners.

“If you notice a change early enough, it can become an opportunity for your business. But if you see the change late, it may jeopardize your business as well,” Lee said at the fifth edition of The Korea Herald’s Global Business Forum, held at the Floating Island Convention Center in Seoul on Wednesday. Lee is also the former founder of Auction, one of the nation’s first online shopping platforms.

“An entrepreneur should have a keen eye for changes and an ability to adapt to these changes,” Lee said, adding that entrepreneurs should also spend enough time thinking about how a company will adapt to the overwhelmingly fast pace of technological change as there are tremendous opportunities for growth and innovation.

Lee also said an entrepreneur must be able to find employees that he or she can rely on.

“Lee Byung-chull, the late founder of Samsung Group, used to interview new recruits on his own to see if there were new talents who could become the group’s executives. He highly valued these interviews,” said Lee, who also served as a deputy director at the executive office of the late Samsung chairman.

Lee also noted that entrepreneurs should craft their visions in line with rapid technological change, marked by blockchain, metaverse and, most importantly, artificial intelligence.

“The advent of generative AI will dramatically increase the productivity of our businesses. Entrepreneurs must be able to cope with the massive change in the business environment and prepare for digital transformation,” he added.

New Zealand Ambassador to Korea Dawn Bennet speaks at The Korea Herald’s Global Business Forum at the Floating Island Convention Center in Seoul on Wednesday. (The Korea Herald)

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Ambassador to Korea Dawn Bennet also joined Wednesday's forum and shared her vision for the two countries’ future business cooperation and new opportunities for innovation.

“We concluded the Korea-New Zealand free trade agreement in 2015, and since then, our relationship has reached new heights, but there is room to do even more together,” Bennet said.

“Our countries are both creative, innovative and good at harnessing our strengths by continuing to exchange ideas, promote innovation, and facilitate trade and business links. We can unlock new opportunities and propel closer our economies to new heights and our businesses and our people will thrive,” she added.

The Korea Herald’s Global Business Forum is a weekly conference that serves as a gathering point for leaders in the business and finance sectors, academic experts, diplomats and top civil servants.

Its primary objective is to strengthen business networks based on shared interests and goals, as well as to delve into overseas business solutions and investment opportunities.