Many years of working in a corporate environment did not blunt Rana Kim’s entrepreneurial spirit, but she learned lessons she has taken with her into her new venture.
What’s your story?
Hi I’m Rana, Jeongeun Kim, CEO of Kreaon Co., Ltd, which is a global content marketing company. I majored in computer engineering and worked as a System Engineer in the IT Field for over 13 years, at global companies such as Goldman Sachs and Samsung Electronics. While I was working at major corporations, I always thought about how to improve and innovate new work processes. With this thought, I’ve accepted an offer in the global digital marketing industry from Treasure Hunter, which is a global MCN company, to explore a new industry which will lead me to start Kreaon.
What excites you most about your industry?
While I was working in the Global Influencer industry for over 7 years, I’ve faced a few problems, such as the price bubble in Marketing fee, limited tools to prove marketing effectiveness. To resolve this, our company studied quite a volume of data over several years. Finally we decided to develop our own Social Network Platform called ‘atripin’. With that, the platform provides new ways of traveling. The travel industry was most affected during COVID-19 and it has changed considerably, from an off-line base to an hybrid industry. As we are all aware, the new generation is very proactively responding to trends.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
When I was 23 years old I went to Australia on a working holiday. I lived alone, couldn’t speak English, and worked in a broccoli farm. I knew it would be difficult at first, but I couldn’t give up, So I moved to a small town where there were no Koreans. I happened to meet locals and get a job, and I taught myself English. Living alone for a year, I had various experiences such as failure, loneliness, and joy, and it was an opportunity to know that life will change according to how I act and what I do.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Working for leading global companies for 15 years is a big asset for me. Not only did I grow into a technical specialist within the organizations, but I also developed as a generalist in various fields such as people management, communication, build processes, etc. This experience not only serves as a guide to communicate with employees and business planning as a manager, but also helps to build a start-up and start off with a professional organisational culture.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
After I left Samsung Electronics I dived into an industry which was so new to me and the company is called Treasure Hunter. I still remember my senior from Treasure Hunter telling me “If you have been living in a henhouse (referring to the fact that I had a stable job at Samsung), now become an eagle that flies high into the wild and hunts for food.”
Who inspires you?
Michelle Obama – There are many philosophers or famous people with great values, but Michelle Obama’s autobiography, “Becoming” left me in awe. Michelle’s life as a first lady in the U.S How she dealt with problems, her independence, firm in her decisions but with a warm heart, it brings lots of thoughts to me in business as a woman.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
The ‘atripin’ platform, which recently launched, won the grand prize at the ‘Smartapp Award 2022’ at the Korea Internet Professional Association (KIPFA). Even though I was worried at first but because our team worked so hard together toward the same goal it was possible. For an organization like a startup that can be swayed by small waves, the ability and effort of each member rowing together are important as well as a clear direction of the representative when moving toward the goal, but we learned that good results can be achieved when we have faith in each other.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I thought I was ready and set to start a business. However, I realized that there is never enough kniwledge to be ready to run a business. I’m still learning how to find a better way every moment, supplement myself even if I fail, and move forward. If given the chance again, instead of waiting for a perfect time, I would try to start a business earlier to learn to fail and overcome quickly.
How do you unwind?
I really like to chat over a beer with people who have a similar philosophy to me. When you lead a new field in your place and chat with people who continue to develop themselves, you can share similar concerns; and when you chat, you can be comforted, gain confidence, or get new inspiration.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
Starting work from 09:00AM to 18:00PM was a must. After COVID-19, we quickly adapted to a self-commuting system and implemented a flexible working environment. We wondered if it could play a role in fast decision-making and building processes. At first, employees had difficulty adjusting in many ways, but as they constantly supplemented their shortcomings and communicated in various ways using digital platforms, they had no hesitation in presenting their opinions in a free environment. We’re learning that this breaks the traditional framework, respecting each other’s thoughts, and offering a variety of approaches to communicate with our customers, in the MZ generation.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Value Proposition-Design by Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur,Greg Bernarda and Alan Smith.
The book really gives you a perspective on customers and employees and allows you to create your business from scratch. After reading this book you will be able to completely understand how you want your business to grow.
Shameless plug for your business:
If you enjoy watching TikTok, Reels or enjoy any kind of Social Media you should download ‘atripin’ now! Available on AppStore & Playstore.
How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/rana-kim-38b38a46/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/rana.jekim/
Social Media Links?
Personal Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/rana.jekim/
Kreaon Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/kreaon.official/
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.