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'No choice but to innovate': stories of companies that succeeded during Covid-19 Updated: 2021-08-03 08:44:22 KST

This machine can be found on escalators across the Seoul subway.
In less than a second, it can kill 90 percent of germs on the escalator's handrails.
The gadget was developed by a South Korean company called Clearwin Korea.

"Clearwin Korea specializes in hygiene. We export to 56 companies worldwide, and our products are installed in 312 places nationwide."

But before COVID-19, the company was on the brink of collapse.

"It was very difficult. We were roughly 3-and-a-half million U.S. dollars in debt. It was unimaginably tough. I even went to Han river several times thinking about ending things."

But even during the toughest of times, he had faith in his products.
So he persevered in his 30 square meter office with his one remaining employee, until demand started to soar in 2020, when people grew more worried about germs than ever.
Now, his company has three factories and 24 employees, with a new product on the market,.. a portable UV-C disinfectant that destroys 99.9 percent of germs within just three seconds.
Semopie is another Covid-19 success story.
As a party planning company, Semopie felt the full force of the Covid-19 social distancing measures.

"Our profits were zero during the first half of 2020. We thought the company would go under. But we wanted to at least try before we completely failed. So we developed online workshop events, which eventually became a big hit."

One of their biggest hits is a Zoom sports day where people participate in online triathlons or cart races.

"People actively participate in the activities. And when the event is over, they contact us directly saying that they've beaten the corona blues because of us, and that they never knew that online events could be so fun."

Semopie now has more than 100 clients and is exceeding its pre-pandemic profits.
That's after Covid-19 had left it no choice but to innovate in order to survive.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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