When Hwansoo Chung joined C&C Lightway – a studio lighting company his father had founded in 1994 – he knew nothing about lighting.
“I was an accounting major who studied in the States and learned English, but all I knew was numbers – not electricity or lighting fixtures,” laughs Hwansoo. He entered “at the lowest level” of the company and worked ten years to prove his worth enough to be named company president.
Color, culture, and competition
By then “C&C” had ceased to mean Chung and Colortran, re-branding as “Color and Culture.” In the 25 years since its founding, the company has grown from four employees who sold only theatrical products to be a dominant player in the Asian market and beyond, with a staff of 45. In a recent statement CEO Homok Chung said, “We are focusing on overseas architectural lighting design and exports to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE with overwhelming success.”
C&C has become one of ETC’s strongest Asian dealers, despite being located in an extremely competitive environment. Hwansoo confirms that having a superior product does not guarantee success in a tricky local market. “We are constantly educating our customers and pointing them to the path of quality over price – we are extremely close to the Chinese border and the flood of low-cost alternatives is always there,” says Hwansoo.
Knowledge = Growth
Even the recent explosion of interest in K-Pop did not result in dramatic sales growth. Hwansoo hopes to service that price-sensitive market with the latest High End Systems fixtures, noting that C&C were one of Asia’s earliest High End dealers and have a long history with the product.
Along with the rest of Asia, C&C saw a drawback in sales in the mid ‘90s. Now the company’s focus is on education at all levels with regular in-house training sessions for local designers and consultants. C&C has become a pioneer in Korean sub-titled YouTube videos showing console operation. Recent visits by Mike Wood, who delivered a keynote speech on LED technology, and Jake Dunnum were greatly appreciated by the Sales team, helping them keep their knowledge base – and sales – up.
For more info on C&C, visit www.cclightway.com