KABC Ltd was founded in 1989 with the merger of the private consulting activities of Tony Michell and the energy and know-how of a group of young Koreans, some of whom had worked with Tony at Tetra Pak Korea.
KABC Ltd defines itself as a business consultancy as opposed to a management consultancy or a market research company.
The essence of business consulting is that it produces action, and not just reports, and provides affordable hand holding and on-going consulting long after the original report has been completed.
We also offer the potential to provide one stop service for newcomers and companies in transition or involved on either the buy or sell side of M&A. Almost every year we provide temporary management services or temporary teams to handle special or unusual circumstances.
KABC Ltd offers three types of basic service:
- Consulting services and market research for companies and organizations operating in Korea, analyzing and proposing action to deal with the many difficulties which companies face during their operations in Korea, from market entry, including M&A to market exit.
- Information services including macro forecasting for Korea and micro economic forecasting and market sizing of products markets, and the coordination of monthly seminars (the Korea Business Forum) workshops and conferences.
- Projects which require resources and know-how to develop services or assistance for specific projects including new developments, marketing to Korean organisations.
The company is a subsidiary of Euro-Asian Business Consultancy, a British consulting company which provides services to foreign companies across Asia, either through its own resources in Northeast Asia, or in conjunction with its network of associates throughout Asia, including IMA Ltd. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, governments, not for profits and smaller specialist companies.
Most companies in Korea have consulting needs but lack a consulting budget. The consulting industry has tried to make consulting a big-ticket item, but KABC’s philosophy is that it should cost as little as possible unless we are talking about a major change management program that may last for more than a year. We would rather train staff in the company to do part of the work than bringing in expensive senior people to do a job that more junior people could perform.
KABC is often asked which industries it specialises in. The answer is that in over 20 years, the company has consulted to companies in most areas of business from finance to component manufacturing. Industries include:
- Lubricants Industry
- Most Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industries
- Pharmaceutical Industry
- Professional Cosmetic Industry
- Insurance Industry
- Commercial Truck Industry
- Automobile and Components Industry
- Defence Industry
- Fine Chemicals and Petrochemical Industries
- Industrial Machinery
- Construction Equipment
- Scientific Precision Instruments
- English Education
Most of our consulting which has not been related to market entry, exit or M&A can be broadly classified as change management. In Korea’s race to modernity, it is easy for any operation in Korea to fall behind and this is particularly true of foreign-invested companies, where the kind of evolutionary change which can occur on an almost monthly basis in a Korean company is held back by a formal structure driven from a global headquarters and where the foreign manager may not be fully aware of the continuous change “which is in the water” of Korean society and which drives the small adjustments that Korean companies make instinctively.
MERGER AND ACQUISITION
In the 1990s we used to say that a third of our business was helping companies into JVs and one-third was helping them leave! JVs are less common today but we still help in both directions
Tony Michell was part of a team that made the first equity acquisition of a Korean entity in 1986 for ICI (normally acquisitions were asset acquisitions), and has a good track record for playing a role in subsequent M&A activities. KABC ltd undertakes M&A searches, establishes long term relationships with M&A prospects, undertakes commercial due diligence and government relations, and has a strong practice in post-merger integration.
Companies we have assisted during our existence include:
- Rockwell Automation
- Volvo Construction Equipment
- Allied Domecq
MARKET SIZING AND FORECASTING
A strong practice built up over the years is market sizing and forecasting, either as part of a larger project or a standalone project.
We regard ourselves as masters of Korean statistics which comes from macroeconomic as well as microeconomic work. Our economic forecasts are used by a number of companies and supplied to our KBF members.
KABC believes in bespoke research and not in fitting your problem to our model. We have a wide range of methodologies available based on 22 years of researching and consulting in Korea and Northeast Asia’s rapidly changing conditions. Where the research focuses around a particular issue, we particularly recommend considering our forensic research method, as opposed to the commonly used methodology which is extrapolated from consumer research.
We have sized the market for elevators, plasterboard, cosmetics, imported cars, construction equipment, specialist products from pet food to dermatological skincare, from whisky through milk to wine. We have also studied air travelers to specific markets, numbers of tourists, purchasers of life insurance, nonlife insurance, and specialist products. A simpler statement is that if something can be sold, we have studied it and produced estimates of the market size.
For most clients, we have produced forecasts for these markets, and for a select number we have developed forecasting models with a quarterly or monthly deliverable.
KABC publish the newsletter named “Korea Brief:” that introduces of Korea’s political, economic issues with the outlook of the Korean peninsula.
You can be understanding the various outlooks of Korea by Month in Review, and related statistics.
Also, KABC supply the “Asia Pacific Executive Brief” published by IMA Asia that contained the outlook of Asia countries.
KABC is known above all for its forums in which a real interface dialogue is developed through the moderating skills of managing director of KABC.
The monthly KBF has about 70 members from foreign, and Korean companies as well as embassies.
The “Second Chance Breakfast” is particularly valued by those who missed the main event or want a small group discussion on the topic of the month.
KABC also holds ad-hoc forums and conferences on change management, the current economic outlook and briefings on Korea.
KOREA BUSINESS FORUM
There is a place where CEO’s, top and middle managers, diplomats and businesspeople gather to discuss, understand and implement knowledge for doing business in Korea in the 21st century.
Top of its kind, the Korea Business Forum is managed by KABC. A key contributor to the largest network for market expertise conferences in Asia, this forum is held in Seoul, with counterparts taking place regularly in Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Australia. As one of our members, you can participate in any one of these conferences at any time.
Large, medium and small-sized local and foreign companies, diplomatic missions and non-profit organizations all converge at the Grand Hyatt Seoul every third Thursday of the month, for a breakfast rich in expert research knowledge sharing, dynamic discussions of current market issues in Korea, business trends and strategic advise. Although conference is held only in English, participants from many different countries.
Members of the Korea Business Forum enjoy the advantage of networking with other like-minded active business people and nesting opportunities from within attendants. Newcomers and old hands gather to understand what Korea has to offer to those who lead its business reality.
PROGRAMME in 2021
21 January 2021 The Covid Economy in Korea, and the Post Covid Economy
18 February 2021 The Biden presidency and Korea’s 2021-2022 trajectory
18 March 2021 Why are we here? Foreign companies in Korea in 2021
15 April 2021 How are Korean companies changing through digitalisation? A dialogue
20 May 2021 The export rebound and the domestic slowdown
17 June 2021 Chaebol Covid Transformations
15 July 2021 The Housing market in Korea, trends, policies, prospects and regional issues | provisional
19 August 2021 Budget Meeting: Prospects for 2022-2023
16 September 2021 Managing a Foreign Company in Korea in Q3 2021
14 October 2021 Economic Impact of Korea’s demographic development | provisional
18 November 2021 Korea’s Off-shore World – the Changing Structure of Production | provisional
16 December 2021 Cop 26 and Korea’s Green Deal reconsidered
For more details about Korea Business Forum, please visit to KBF website at www.koreabusinessforum.com