However, Doosan was faced with difficult challenges during the mid-90s due to market saturation and the emerging of cut-throat competition in the domestic market. During this time, Doosan realized that it needed a total makeover based on ‘selection and concentration’ and decided to sell its beer division, the OB (Oriental Brewery), and integrate its multiple subsidiaries under the Doosan Corporation. Such a pioneering move for the future enabled Doosan to solidify its position and become even stronger, preparing it to weather the storm of the financial crisis that hit Asia in 1997 and 1998.
At the dawn of the new millennium, Doosan embarked on a massive transformation to become a global company, developing new growth engines and overhauling its business portfolio altogether. Through a series of successful mergers and acquisitions, Doosan completely transformed itself from a consumer goods company to an ISB (Infrastructure Support Business) provider, specializing in power generation, seawater desalination, construction and engineering, heavy machinery and construction equipment, energy, national defense and production facilities.
In the 2000s, Doosan made momentous inroads into the world market by acquiring Babcock (U.K., 2006), in possession of coal-fired boiler technology, and Bobcat (U.S.A., 2007), a manufacturer of compact construction equipment. At that time, the Bobcat acquisition was the largest M&A deal made by a Korean company in history.
This significant achievement was largely due to Doosan’s insight in corporate values and growth potential of international companies. Doosan’s operational excellence post M&A, and its unique organizational skill of creating harmony between employees from various backgrounds and cultures, also played a great role.
As a result, Doosan is now ranked at the top in seawater desalination and power generation facilities in the world. Doosan has also developed 19 products that won the status of ‘World Class Korean Products’. It has secured global competitiveness in its major business areas.
Doosan has also proven its global leadership in organizational operations. It hired people based on merits irrespective of races and nationalities. It put foreign executives in the positions of top management. The proportion of foreign employees has reached 50%. In addition, Doosan has implemented up-to-date work procedures throughout its global network so that it can compete with any global business conglomerate.