Dozen Tech (www.dozentech.com) is a very small company with a total of six employees. It produces electrically conductive materials.
Surprisingly enough, it has obtained the certificate of ISO 9001 and has been designated as a promising exporter. Here is a small company's success story. Let's take a look at how the founder has organized his venture business.
Dozen Tech was been founded six year ago in July 2001. It started as a conductive material maker and is known as a conductive ink maker. At that time, however, there was no demand for conductive ink.
Because of this, it produced insulating ink, i.e. PCB ink. But fortunately, thanks to the SMBA's (Small and Medium Business Administration) financial support for technology business incubators, it has been able to produce conductive ink.
The materials industry of Korea is considerably weak in comparison with developed countries. For instance, in the case of conductive materials, no local company has tried to develop and produce them until three years ago, although the market is quite bright due to new technology markets such as conductive film heaters, biosensors, and RFID. Unlike other companies however, Dozen has tried to develop electrically conductive materials.
The conductive film heater is a very popular heating product. Compared with existing heaters it has brought much efficiency for heating thus saving energy. Also it emits little electric waves, reducing the worries about health. Dozen Tech is producing carbon paste and silver paste, which are being used as key materials for the conductive film-based heater. The name of this company's president is Lee Chang-nyeong, and the director of its research center is Mun Junggeun. Both men have worked together in precision chemistry for quite a long time.
Also, recognizing the importance of conductive materials, the two have made up their mind to produce them and continued to make studies.
One day, the moment they saw a conductive film-based heater imported from the US, a good idea struck them. They decided to organize a venture business. As they believed that they have a considerable degree of knowledge and experiences in conductive materials, they made such a decision. But the process of organizing a venture business was not easy. It had not only a high risk of failure, but also demanded painstaking efforts. Differently from the development of ordinary products, that of chemical materials required a considerable amount of time and energy.
"Making a similar products relative to the imported item was not so difficult. But a lot of variables have occurred in the development process. Regarding the coating process of carbon paste and silver paste, finding out the efficient method of conducting and coating has really been time-consuming. It has taken a full year," President Lee said. "We have made a lot of research and performed numerous tests at the business incubation center in Incheon City College, and the SMBA's industryuniversity cooperation project has given us a lot of help. Also Korea Institute of Industrial Technology has helped us in testing our trial products and in analyzing our products."
At last the company has succeeded in developing new materials and in localizing them, so that there is no need to import them from foreign countries. From the first half of 2005, it has started to produce on a full-scale basis. Last year, the sales stood at 900 million Korean won (US$982,000).
President Lee said proudly: "Our sales are still small, and our staff totals only six, but we have succeeded in localizing our products, consequently replacing the rival products imported from overseas markets.
Because of strong market demand for new products, we have a bright future." In addition to the above-mentioned electrically conductive materials, Dozen Tech has already started the development of nano coating materials for a new printing method. Entering this year, it has obtained the ISO 9001 certificate and has been appointed as a promising small business.
Last August it established a research institute to step up the research of nano coating. Following Singapore, this company has made a technical alliance with its partner company in India. Also, it is making concrete consultations with a Chinese company to set up a joint venture.