SEOUL, Jul. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — News that noodle maker Ottogi has been listed as one of the fifteen companies included in President Moon’s powwow with major business leaders on July 27 has caught many by surprise.
The list contains industry heavyweights such as Hyundai and Samsung, which makes the inclusion of a middle-sized company like Ottogi something of an anomaly.
A look at the books shows that Ottogi’s total assets come to 1.5 trillion won, which means that it does not even rank in the top 50 of the largest companies in Korea.
However, what the company lacks in extra zeros, it makes up for with a reputation of strong standing. Consumers view the company so positively that it has been affectionately dubbed “Godttogi” on a number of social media platforms.
Among the reasons for the positivity is that Ottogi is one of the firms with the highest proportion of full-time employees in relation to total employment. According to the company’s own internal report at the end of the first quarter of last year, the company employed 3,099 total workers, of which a mere 36 had temporary employment status.
The company is also highly regarded for maintaining prices when consumers are increasingly faced with the prospect of paying more for the same goods. It further gained the public’s approval for its decision to pay out 150 billion won in inheritance tax over a period of five years when previous chairman Ham Tae Ho’s son Ham Young Jun took over.
The public’s goodwill has shone on Ottogi for its role in championing charitable causes. President Ham Young Jun is renowned for his “noblesse oblige”, which has been borne out by his assistance to the disabled and youth over many years.
In 2015, Ham donated 30 billion won of his personal stock to Miral Welfare Foundation.
Going back further, in 1992 he joined hands with the Korea Heart Foundation and has played a supporting role in saving thousands of children’s lives.
A spokesperson for the Blue House revealed the shortlist of companies on July 23 and explained the reasoning for Ottogi’s inclusion: “Instead of having the talks with the president revolve solely around conglomerates, there was a general desire for a change.” He also added, “There was a desire to officially recognize Ottogi for being a model company through its job creation and various ‘win-win’ business strategies with consumers.”