Grateful, Humble, pioneering, challenging spirit
Haiam Lee Jong Deok

Haiam Lee Jong Deok

  • First connection with iron

    Haiam had his first connection with iron with the establishment of Haedong Engineering Co.

    When Haiam was 21 years old, he started working for a Japanese company called Minado Safe Store, and he began his first connection to iron. While working at Minado Safe Store, he became interested in business, and when Korea was liberated from Japan’s colonial rule in 1945, Japanese people returned to Japan, and he and his brother established Haedong Engineering Co. in Eulji-ro, Seoul. It was Korea’s first company that imported iron from overseas. With the start of the Korean War in 1950, the company experienced difficulties, but never backed down. Haiam established Haiduk Steel Trading Company in 1954, and provided a firm foundation for today’s SeAH.

  • SeAH’s headstone

    For the revival of the industry, a cornerstone company was created by investing everything he had

    Haiam thought that the life of the Korean people would get richer through the industrialization of the nation in the era of absolute poverty, so he further expanded the business of Haedong Engineering Co., which imported and sold steel materials, to the steel pipe manufacturing business that was the blood line of Korea’s key industries at the time. This realized his long-held dream and is the background of the birth of Pusan Steel Pipe Industrial in October 1960, the predecessor of SeAH Steel. To realize his initial intention of creating a cornerstone company to foster national industry when he settled in Pusan, Haiam put the word Pusan right in the name of the company.

  • Walking the right path of management

    Concentrated on core capabilities, but avoided unreasonable management

    From his first footstep in the business, Haiam valued upright management. He avoided unreasonable, unfeasible management practices, and instead concentrated on developing the core capabilities of the company. He believed that only hard work could bring continuous growth and development, so he demonstrated what upright management was like, and contributed to building SeAH’s current competitiveness.

  • Intuition and insight

    Built up business with foresight and thorough preparedness.

    The strength of Haiam as a business person was his intuition of looking into the future. One example is his selection of the steel pipe production business as his proper business after predicting industrialization in the coming years. His insight in the future also can be seen from his decision to build a plant in Gocheok-dong in Seoul to become a national company, and his decision to issue an initial public offering in early 1969. In the process of developing various steel pipe products, he did so thorough much preparation. Haiam was able to establish a leading position in the steel pipe business by operating the Seoul plant, and sustained the company for an extensive period of time through transparent management by the initial public offering of the company.

  • Efficient onsite manager

    Effective onsite management helped the company acquire competitiveness

    The entire process of constructing the world’s best steel plants was Haiam’s idea. He even impressed experts when he performed very complicated calculations mentally and by hand. To reduce cost, he built the #1 Pohang Plant for steel pipes without wasting a thing, not even a brick or a nail. The know-how of building factories in the most effective way was accumulated as SeAH built factories, and this stems from Haiam’s onsite management abilities.

  • Reliable management

    A firm management policy was established to ensure transparent management

    Haiam did not like borrowing money from financial institutions. He refrained from unreasonable borrowing. He thought that depending on others’ money may hamper the company’s self-reliant capabilities. His strong conviction about conscientious tax payments and transparent management became concrete with the initial public offering of the company in 1969, which was 9 years after the founding of the company. His convictions about developing a strong company and having thankful and humble attitudes at all times, and contributing to the stability of employment and the society have made SeAH one of the most stable companies in Korea.