C.J. Kim, Founder and Director of the DaeJeon Wellness Hospital, Paves his way to leadership in medical industry with insight from CKGSB’s Korean EMBA

October 20, 2017

C.J. Kim, founder and director of the specialized rehabilitation center DaeJeon Wellness Hospital, shared the insight he gained from CKGSB’s Korean EMBA program and how it helped him understand the business environment in China. He highlighted the benefits of CKGSB, such as establishing network with other students whom he is now setting a new business together. Based on the insight he gained from CKGSB, he plans to make the DaeJeon Wellness Hospital grow in to a prominent healthcare corporation in Asia.

What would be a prerequisite for providing high-quality service for improving patients’ quality of life? Among numerous choices, C.J. Kim, one of the students of CKGSB’s Korean EMBA (CKGSB EMBA on China Business: A program for Korean Leaders) and the founder and director of the DaeJeon Wellness Hospital – the certified specialized rehabilitation center for central nervous system disorders by Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare – indicates the need to play the roles of both ‘doctor’ and ‘business manager’. An excellent manager supports high-quality medical service while a doctor can continually improve problems rising on-site by diagnosing patients in person.

C.J. Kim is one of the frontiers in providing a high-quality rehabilitation service to enhance the quality of life for patients. In honor of his dedication to the development of medical service, he was awarded by the Minister of Health and Welfare during the fifth Korea Healthcare Congress in 2014. He is also actively contributing to the medical industry as a leader as a medical angel investor and a mentor in an entrepreneurship forum.  

As his major in clinics was specialist in rehabilitation medicine, he received his training in Asan Medical Center. Rehabilitation medicine refers to field of studies that helps patients return back to their life through various rehabilitation treatments, when they are affected by disabilities or incomplete function recovery even when the illness itself is healed.

Patients who have been affected by cancer are prone to many restrictions in everyday life in long-run; the possibility of recurrence is always existent, and one must always consider the possibilities of complications or side-affects for at least ten years – all of which are factors in deteriorating patients’ quality of life. This is where the cancer rehabilitation treatment steps in to provide programs that treat complications and various pains, and prevent recurrence. When he had established a specialized medical center for rehabilitation medicine, Kim aimed to enhance the quality of life for patients.  

Not only is he focused in providing high-quality service at home, he is also turning to global businesses as well; Kim has been overseeing the establishment of a clinic in Johor Bahru, Malaysia for many years. He also made a MOU with the nation’s KPJ Group in September 2016.

For Chinese market, Kim formed a partnership with a medicine and medical device company in Shandong. The business plan for consignment operating a rehabilitation hospital is being formed, and it would be started in 2018.

“I believe that a localization strategy plays a significant role for success of global business – our hospital has formed a global business team of more than 15 members and focused on enacting on the strategy. We invited local employees to experience the service in the Korean center, and we are fully ready to educate manners and attitudes towards patients, as well as medical treatment. With Malaysia as the hub of ASEAN countries and Shandong as the hub in China, I plan to create an example of success in medical business’ global expansion.”

The following contains edited excerpts of the interview:

Q. When you compare business environment in Korea and China in terms of medical industry, what would you say as the most notable difference? Could you explain the instance you felt differences when joining Chinese market, and also about the progress of medical development in China? 

Kim: First, Korea recognizes medical service industry as ‘welfare’, rather than as one of ‘industries’, which makes it hard to industrialize medical service for quality improvement. However, China sees it as a proper service industry. One would find two kinds of hospitals in China – state-owned and private hospitals. Private medical field is improving at an amazing speed. Because China accepts the service as one of the industries, the nation is enthusiastic and open towards accepting technologies and investing. I believe that within five years Chinese cities could surpass the Korea’s level. Hospitals, services, and facilities in China are showing innovative improvements by nearly every six months. China is fast progressing in diverse aspects.

Q. Is your choice of CKGSB related to active overseas business exchanges? Please share with us the reason for choosing CKGSB among other prominent EMBA programs that are available in Korea and in other countries.

Kim: My personal goal in joining a business school in China was establishing an excellent network, learning and experiencing the true character of the nation. Also, the fact that I could take lectures from both Korea and China through China’s EMBA program was indeed an attractive advantage since I operate a medical center.

I gained insight on understanding today’s China through its perspective from my time in CKGSB. For instance, media or experts from other countries take instances of Western world as their standards and define China’s crisis and problems – when China differentiates in solving problems from Western world’s examples, they show doubts and concerns. However, CKGSB professors recognize China’s current problems as a growing pain that it must overcome but would be able to solve ultimately. Furthermore, the professors proposed solutions based on China’s point-of-view, emphasizing that the nation will overcome concerns from neighboring countries. With such a balanced perspective, I believe I would be able to judge the environment more objectively when I’m stepping in to Chinese market.

Q. How did CKGSB’s Korean EMBA contribute to your career? Also, how do you plan to set your career path with the insight from CKGSB?

Kim: Often times CKGSB alumni conduct business together. I, too, am in the process of developing few businesses and pursuing them with my colleagues. Also I plan to actively participate in each regional alumni meeting in China and meeting by business sections in long-term.

My long-term ‘master plan’ on medical business starts from healthcare-related one. From there I would create distribution pipelines that supply necessary products for medical treatment. Then I plan to develop and distribute the products and services based on the ideas I have searched. I will develop such ideas continually and strive for commercialization.

Many enterprises indicate several external factors, such as Quanxi, as their reasons for failing to establish business relationships. I think the way to overcome such restriction is positioning as a ‘partner that can lend a helping hand’ sustainably. Korean corporations’ advantage and differentiation come from creative, new ideas based on long-time experiences.

I always considered such ideas when I was with my patients as a doctor, and was able to make them concrete through discussions with excellent professors of CKGSB and my colleagues who are CEOs. Based on the insight I have gained, I hope to make the DaeJeon Wellness Hospital grow in to a prominent healthcare corporation in Asia.

Q. This year is the 15th anniversary of CKGSB. Would you share a message for the school?

Kim: My wish is that CKGSB would become more global with the 15th anniversary as a turning point. I wish the school would analyze and discuss on China’s economy, politics, and culture via China’s perspective, and yet the same time grow to be a leader of global standard. I would also like the business sections of the classes, which could deliver CKGSB’s insights, to become more specified. Along with macroscopic management, I wish the school would give business insights in specified areas such as bio health care – in which the demand is increasing these days – and technologies related to the fourth industrial revolution. As for myself, I hope to become a ‘solution provider from the future’ who proposes an exemplary guide on China’s aging problem and supply of rehabilitation medicine service.

To read the full interview with C.J. Kim, founder and director of the Daejeon Wellness Hospital, please click here.

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