HCS has its presence in 11 countries including Korea. As a global financial company with around 2,500 overseas employees, HCS is making all-out efforts to expand our business territories to the whole world. From this month, HCC/HCS Newsroom delivers stories of expats who are working hard at every corner of the world to introduce and expand HCS’s financial services. You can see vividly what is really happening in the global business of HCS aiming at Global One Company.
Jungsang Kim (middle) in front of 'COPA HB20,'
a racing event which BHCB is the main sponsor
Olá! Hello. I am Jungsang Kim of BHCB. I am the first guest for “Hear from Expats” series. There are two entities in Brazil; Banco Hyundai Capital Brasil(BHCB) that achieved a banking license in Brazil in March and started operation in May and Hyundai Capital Brazil(HCB) that has provided finance consulting services for dealers and partners since it was established in 2013. I am Chief Operation Officer(COO) of BHCB in charge of Sales and HR and CEO of HCB. Through this corner, I would like to share the stories behind HCS entering into the Brazilian market, what I saw and felt about Brazil and everyday lives with my Brazilian colleagues.
I went to Sao Paulo, Brazil as HCB expat in 2015. Back then, HCB was a start-up entity with a 2 year business history. Thanks to my predecessors who laid a good foundation, I was able to focus on seeking a stable operation of the entity and promoting HCS’s finance consulting services to the Brazilian market. I believe success or failure of global business depends on not only how fully we understand the local market but also how much we can optimize the whole business areas to the local market. This is the reason why we pursued a joint venture with Santander that has provided finance services in Brazil for 50 years. BHCB is the third joint venture with Santander following HCUK and HCBE. Due to a long history of cooperation, HCS and Stander had a good understanding about each other. However, as the Latin American market was new to us, aggressive communication was required more than ever. It was not easy but after having lots of meetings and discussions, we are now enjoying a strong and close relationship.
From the entity’s perspectives, we put the most efforts on Human Resources(HR). Some people say that personal management is at the center of everything. We thought those who know the Brazilian market best are Brazilians who were born and raised here. That is why we decided to increase local hiring up to 90%. Instead of being a Korean company’s branch located in Brazil, we tried to make the entity a competitive organization full of good local talents who know Brazil better than anyone else. All of my Brazilian colleagues who were selected are the best and brightest. They are passionate about both work and life. They have a strong drive and they are cheerful and optimistic which makes them more reliable. Having them around, I think, makes myself a more positive person too.
(From left) Orientation session for new hires in BHCB, Jungsang Kim (second from the right) poses with colleagues wearing the traditional hat worn during the Festa Junina festival in BrazilCombined Cultures of HCS and Brazil
The most important task for me in charge of HR at an overseas entity is to help smooth communication between Seoul and Sao Paulo. My role is to listen to voices of local employees and deliver them to HQ or deliver HQ’s opinions to local employees to help them find the middle ground. It is not easy to deliver HQ’s requests to Brazilian colleagues while respecting them who are not reluctant to speak up. After several trials and errors, I was able to develop my own way of mediation. I used it when a meeting gets longer due to differences between both sides. Firstly, I raise a thumb of one hand and then raise an index finger of the other hand. It is a sign meaning “I like your opinion and agree somewhat. But let’s hear other opinions too”. Then they smile and listen to my side of story. When you drive in Brazil, it is rare to hear the horn honking. Even in a heavy traffic, they wait without complaining perhaps due to their unique laid-back nature. While living in Brazil, I am learning how to be more laid back and relax while thinking. But I had concerns too. I thought it might be difficult for Brazilian colleagues who are accustomed to a laid-back culture to embrace Korea’s, to be more specific, HCS’s speedy work processing and culture to seek changes continuously. However, my Brazilian colleagues quickly adapted themselves to the new ways of work. Maybe, Brazilians’ passion and HCS’s corporate culture have something in common.
Whenever I frown due to concerns, my Brazilian colleagues come to me and cheer me up. If someone asks me, “What is the biggest strength of BHCB?”, I would say without hesitation “It is my Brazilian colleagues”. Even though there are difficulties coming from differences, finding values in the process is the biggest happiness that I have ever had. Please pay attention to how BHCB and HCB would overcome ‘difficulties coming from differences’ and ‘grow from various experiences’.
Group photo of employees from HCS HQ and BHCB after the Townhall Meeting