IESE COMPETITION & STRATEGY EXAM HBS 9-705-508(FEB 2009)
S A M S UN G E L E C TRO N ICS
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS And Response to Question 1
The most recent revision of the HBS Samsung Electronics case (hereafter simply referred to as „The Case’) is up to date except in regard to nanotechnology. 1 The case only briefly mentions new types of memory as essentially „being on the horizon.‟ Well, new technology is already here today. Just last December, Samsung announced shipping of a new class of NAND flash memory. In fact, the “worldwide market for NAND flash memory is estimated to be worth $13.8 billion this year, and Gartner Dataquest reckons it will reach $23.6 billion by 2012.” 2 This places the prospect of large-scale Chinese entry into its DRAM chip business less threatening. In 2010, according to Samsung Group website, the electronics company announced new and innovative products including 3D TVs, Galaxy Smartphone, and Galaxy tab. 3 These new products were made possible by the memory division. Embarking on the first of three questions of the exam, I briefly place into perspective, the history and background of an amazing company, Samsung Group. According to Babylon 8 translation software, the meaning of the word „Samsung‟ in Korean means “tristar” or three stars. Samsung Group is composed of numerous international businesses all under the recognizable brand name of Samsung. The three companies: Samsung Heavy Industries; Samsung Engineering and Construction; and Samsung Electronics form the core of the group (tristar). Samsung Group is the world‟s largest conglomerate technology company with 2004 total net sales of over $135 billion. Samsung Electronics is the global leader in semiconductor sales (Exhibit 1 of the case). The nearest competitor in the memory semiconductor business is the German company, Infineon, with sales of merely 13% to that of Samsung. Semiconductor Manufacturing
Electronics Breakthrough Could Revolutionize Memory Chips...