Miriam Krule ’18
Chazen South Korea
SEOUL–I would apologize for that punny headline, but if you had the day we had, you’d have Lotte fever too. Lotte is the largest confectionery manufacturer in South Korea, but over the past 50 years has grown from a Japanese gum company to become one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, expanding into hospitality and chemicals. It’s impossible to walk around Seoul without seeing something Lotte on every corner.
We started the morning at one of Lotte’s distribution centers where we learned about the three different processes they use to pack deliveries using the “pick-by-light system.” For items that are purchased the least frequently, they use a “decanting” station to unpack from the bulk orders and then grey bins are sent over to operators who match the incoming grey bins to the outgoing red bins.
We then headed to Lotte World Tower, the fifth-largest building in the world, and, as you can see in the above image, designed to look like a calligraphy brush. Before hearing from Lotte’s CEO, Shin Dong-bin, Columbia Business School class of 1981, about the history of Lotte and its 2020 goals, we got a private tour of the still unopened observatory where we could look directly down all 123 floors.
We also saw the beautiful concert hall and enormous aquarium, both inside the tower. The only analogy we could think of for how comprehensive the tower is–it also has offices, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and every possible retail store you could ever want–is a modern-day palace. Within its gates it has everything you could ever need.
After lunch, we headed over to Lotte Accelerator, Lotte’s newest division. We heard presentations from some really fun-sounding startups, like Prinker, which allows you to sketch an image on your phone and then use a handheld inkjet printer to create a temporary tattoo. With something like this, there are a lot of opportunities for growth beyond just fun tattoos–hospitals can use it to track patients vitals for example. But we definitely had fun playing around with our personalized CBS/Lotte images.
On Wednesday we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace dressed up in traditional hanbok:
Some of us also ate LIVE octopus for dinner. Check out my next post for video evidence!