Gun-Ho couldn't tell whether the involvement with Minister Jin-Woo Lee was a good idea for him, at least for now. But, the fact was that his company GH Mobile was growing rapidly just because he was cooperating on the activities designed to support Seukang Li's political activities. That was the apparent price of his involvement.
'Seukang Li attempted to use the drama production company Huanle Shiji in Shanghai in preparing the slush funds for his political purpose. The amount of 300,000 dollars were invested using Seukang Li's father's name even though that money wasn't from his father. This could give a headache.
However, the deal with A Electronics is different. The funds to acquire a 15% share of GH Mobile, were probably Minister Lee's father's money. He is wealthy enough to have that much. Moreover, GH Media had a substantial amount of debt which is assumed when it acquired Mulpasaneop, and we still have some left. If the 15% of share transfer raises any issues, I can simply explain the authority that GH Mobile needed more funds to pay for its debts at that time. It sounds perfectly reasonable.'
At the moment, Gun-Ho remembered what Chairman Lee from Cheongdam Town told him.
[A businessman should keep his proper distance from a politician. The proper distance is not short or long, but it has to be adequate. You can hold the hand extended first by a politician, but you shouldn't extend your hand for them first.]
Gun-Ho realized that it had been quite a while since he talked with Chairman Lee. He felt sorry that he had been ignorant. He made a call to Chairman Lee right away.
"Mr. Chairman Lee? How have you been, sir? This is Gun-Ho Goo."
"Oh, President Goo."
An old man's voice came from the phone.
"I'm sorry, sir. I should have given you a call more often. I've been extremely busy lately. I am doing some business in China too."
"What kind of business are you doing in China?"
"It's an intercity bus business, sir."
"An intercity bus business? You will need a license to run a business like that, issued by the Chinese government. And, I'm sure that they won't issue you a license for free. Did you bribe someone in the government?"
"I'm going to build a terminal for them."
"Of course. There has to be something. They must provide the land where the terminal will be built, and ask you to bring in money to construct the terminal, huh?"
"I'm supposed to come up with 25 million dollars."
"Where is the area?"
"It's Antang City, Guizhou Province. It's a small city deep in the west."
"They must have lenient rules pertaining to regulating real properties there."
"It seems like, sir."
"You probably want to make sure that the land that they are supposed to provide is registered with the joint venture's name, before you send your money for the terminal construction."
"I was actually planning to verify the real property registration before sending my next funds to them."
"By the way, it is unbelievable."
"What is it that is unbelievable, sir?"
"You. How did you get a business opportunity like that? You must have some connections in China."
"I know someone in Shanghai, who is a director of some bureau of Shanghai City."
"Hmm, that makes sense. How's GH Mobile doing?"
"It's doing fine. We will reach the annual sales revenue of 100 billion won by the end of this year."
"100 billion won That's incredible. Without help from some politicians, you have grown that far in a short period of time. It's indeed amazing."
"Thank you, sir."
Gun-Ho had no choice but to let him believe that he grew his company this large without any help related to politics.
'You are absolutely right, sir. I wouldn't have been able to grow this company this big without help from outside. I had a deal with someone who is helping a politician. However, I didn't forget what you told me 'A businessman should keep his proper distance from a politician.'''
After getting off the phone with Chairman Lee, Gun-Ho headed to Dyeon Korea.
When he arrived at the front entrance of Dyeon Korea's building, there were several cars parked there. There must be visitors at the company because the workers never parked their cars at the front entrance. Gun-Ho was the only one who parked there temporarily.
When Gun-Ho entered his office, Director Kim came to the office.
"Oh, Mr. Director Kim, you are here today. I thought you must be out to a client's site or somewhere."
"We have visitors today. The examiners to evaluate our company for the Inno-Biz certificate are here looking around our company right now."
"Oh, is that right?"
"We received a good score on the online self-diagnosis. The examiners are from Korea Technology Finance Corporation, and they pointed out that we are a newly established company for less than three years."
"A new company can't get the Inno-Biz certificate?"
"It seems that usually, the companies that are more than three years old apply for this certificate. I think we will have a lower score on that section."
"Well, be responsive to their request or question as much as you could. Don't try too hard to obtain the certificate right away. We can use this opportunity to develop a stable and efficient management system which we need anyway for this time. The time and effort that we are putting into right now for the Inno-Biz certificate are not without success even if we don't make it this time."
"I agree with you, sir. We are not just focusing on getting the Inno-Biz certificate right now, but we are building ISO (International Organization for Standardization) as well."
"Hmm, that's good."
"As GH Mobile is rapidly growing with the increase of their sales, we are also growing dramatically along with them. We are anticipating having more than 150 workers in Dyeon Korea by the end of this year. We do need to establish a good management system."
"I guess you need an additional person who can support you at the management level."
"No, sir. Manager Hee-Yeol Yoo and Assistant Manager Il-Gi Seong are of great help. I'm working in a comfortable environment. I'm good, sir."
"Good then. You can go back to your work, Director Kim. I guess the company needs your attention on the visitors right now."
Once Director Kim left the office, Gun-Ho asked for the internal auditor. The internal auditor was good with numbers, and he would probably be the best person to ask about the company's current financial situation.
"Our monthly sales are exceeding 100 tons including the overseas market, isn't it?"
"That's correct, sir."
"That will make our yearly sales revenue 50 billion won."
"We can safely assume that we will reach 50 billion won this year."
The internal auditor continued, "After getting some feedback from today's examination for the Inno-Biz certificate, I have something that I'd like to discuss with you, sir."
"Since our company is less than three years old, we might not receive a desirable score in our Inno-Biz certificate application."
"I was told about it as well. So, I said to Director Kim that maybe we should focus on building our system for now."
"I was thinking What if we apply to be recognized as a start-up company with technology?"
"A start-up company with technology?"
"Yes, sir. If we are officially recognized as a start-up company with technology, we don't have to wait for three years in order to apply for the registration with KOSDAQ."
"We haven't even received any investment funds given to a start-up company with technology. Do you think we can still apply to be one of them?"
"Receiving the investment funds aimed specifically to those companies is not an absolute requirement to be recognized as a start-up company with technology. Companies can still apply for it by showing that their technology has been officially evaluated and guaranteed, or that they are a company focusing on developing technologies. Since we now have a research center, maybe we can apply as a company dedicated to developing technologies."
"There has to be a requirement related to the funds that are supposed to be used solely for developing technologies."
"For a manufacturing company, they require to use 5% of its sales revenue on developing technologies."
"See? Our sales revenue will soon exceed 50 billion won, so 5% of 50 billion won is 2.5 billion won. We can't possibly use 2.5 billion won on the research center only."
"You are right, sir."
"Look. The compound room well it is the research center now has six workers. Even if we include the labor cost in the total research expenditures, we still can't make it 2.5 billion won. The labor cost for those 6 researchers would be a bit over 200 million won per year."
The internal auditor smiled and said, "We can make it work."
"Make it out? How?"