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Some thoughts inspired by the book Diamond Dilemma by Tariq Hussain

Posted: November 7th, 2007, by Yunho Chung

Yesterday I have been writing about “Digital Korea“ and today I thought I might recommend you another book which I have read recently, “Diamond Dilemma” by Tariq Hussain. Whereas “Digital Korea” is focusing on the TMT sector “Diamond Dilemma” takes a more global perspective and discusses the challenges and opportunities for Korean society, economy and politics to make Korea ready for the 21st century and in order to keep up the tremendous development, which Korea has undergone in the last 30 years.

Tariq Husain has been working for a major consulting company serving clients in Korea since 1997 this enables him to give the reader a fresh outside in but also insightful perspective on Korea. (I am also glad that he and I have attended the same school)

I do not want to give a summary of this book because it can be found here, but I can recommend it to everybody who would like to get a better understanding of the Korean economy in general. For me as a Korean native, it has been a pleasant free time reading which gave me a fresh view on certain aspects of Korean economy.

Finding and shaping the Korean TMT diamond

One of the things which struck me is, that Hussain, as a non Korean, points out the opportunities in Korea in great detail and a strong rationale behind it. Also from the perspective of non Korean there are a lot of opportunities in Korea.

In my point of view the TMT(Telecom, Media, Technology) sector is a very good example for that, however these opportunities, just like diamonds, have to be found and grinded in order to exploit their full potential. The more you know about Korea the more opportunities you will discover.

This is in line with my experiences here at VEYOND PARTNERS. Currently we have a Polish intern who has been living in Germany. He has stayed in Seoul a year ago as an exchange student in Seoul and has been fascinated by the Korean TMT sector. His endeavors to get to know the Korean market in more detail have led him to us and he is currently working in our office. During our discussions he has underlined several times that he sees more and more opportunities in the Korean TMT as he gets to know it better.

In this context I consider VEYOND PARTNERS as the intermediating agent which facilitates interested persons and businesses to investigate and explore the Korean market and its opportunities. However in order to find the diamonds in the Korean TMT sector, i.e. exploit the existing business opportunities, you have to get heavily involved and keep in touch with it very closely.

Korean students need to be prepared for working in the global business

Another fact which is less charming for Korea and a field in which politics should intervene is that Korean high potentials are not competitive in the global environment. This is not because of missing professional knowledge but rather because the education system does not equip them with the necessary skills as well as global attitude and perspective to perform in a global setting. This shows e.g. in underdeveloped oral language abilities as English education is focused on writing instead of speaking, but also in the fact that Koreans are bad at selling themselves and their abilities.

So in my point of view already high school but especially university education should equip students with skills necessary to perform in a global business setting. This goes beyond oral English skills but should also aim at enhancing their team working skills, assertiveness and self confidence.

We at VEYOND PARTNERS follow this philosophy by offering internship for international as well as in Korean students in which they learn to work and interact with each other, giving both valuable experiences for their future career.

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