Chairman Kim Hong-guk, who received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree from Jeonbuk National University. An outstanding entrepreneur who raised 10 chicks as a gift from his grandmother at the age of 11 into a global comprehensive food with an asset of 16 trillion won.

Heung-guk Kim, Honorary Doctor (Photo courtesy of Jeonbuk National University)
Heung-guk Kim, Honorary Doctor (Photo courtesy of Jeonbuk National University)

Chairman Kim Hong-guk received an honorary doctorate in business administration from Jeonbuk National University. He is an excellent entrepreneur who raised 10 chicks presented by his maternal grandmother at the age of 11 as a global comprehensive food with assets of 16 trillion won. The modifier "Food & Agribiz pioneer" will be given to him, who did not inherit the business base from his predecessor, but started his own business with only his own thoughts and power and grew Harim as the 27th-largest company in the business world. While expanding the size and scope of the business, Chairman Kim focused and specialized in the sale of food and did not deviate from the big framework of integrated management of all businesses. As a result, Harim Group secured the nation's No. 1 leadership in livestock breeding, mixed feed, and protein food made from livestock meat such as chickens, ducks, pigs, and Korean beef, and newly developed various HMR products such as instant rice to enter the comprehensive food market.

Such business success is not all that Jeonbuk National University awarded Chairman Kim an honorary doctorate in business administration. It is the only conglomerate headquartered in a local small city called Iksan and is highly regarded as an example of corporate management that practices balanced regional development.

With a comprehensive food production base in Iksan, it has invested 500 billion won since 2018 to complete a high-tech food processing plant and invested 200 billion won more in a national food cluster.

He didn't only have a winning streak. It has faced several crises that threaten its existence, including livestock fluctuations, the IMF's foreign exchange crisis, large fires and avian influenza. He believed in the power of positivity instead of giving up, and when he endured the crisis, people became solid and the company matured, and he said that there are still huge opportunities in the world.

Chairman Kim, who had chosen Iri Agricultural High School, a vocational high school for his dreams during his school days, was recognized for his leadership, such as receiving a ministerial commendation by participating in the agricultural student association from adolescence. Afterwards, he was selected as a new Korean (1993) and a new intellectual (1999), and was evaluated as a person who opens a future society with new ideas and challenging spirit. In 2006, he was awarded the Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit for the first time as a farmer in recognition of his contribution to the development of the agricultural industry. In addition, he served as a member of the Presidential Personnel Advisory Board, a policy member of the North-South Agricultural Cooperation Promotion Council, and a member of the National Competitiveness Reinforcement Committee, contributing to the development of the country and society through his experiences in the company.

The business community also highly appreciated Chairman Kim’s entrepreneurial spirit and management ability, and in 2016, he received the EY Entrepreneur Award Master Award, which is called the “Oscar of an Entrepreneur”. He has received awards such as the One Human Evergreen Award (2017) and the Honam People Award (2018), which was established by the Honam Future Forum.

He is also active in returning profits to society. Since 2006, he has served as the chairman of the Harim Foundation, providing hundreds of millions of won annually for agricultural food promotion, scholarships for excellent talent, and support for disadvantaged farmers. In addition to supporting people, it is taking the lead in various support projects for the development of the local community while expanding the network of residents from the metropolitan area.

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