Issue/WT Notices2012.06.07 11:56


[Social Enterprises of Korea]


1. Delight, a Company Making Affordable Hearing Aids, Helps Low-Income Families as a Young Social Enterprise


The Korea Economic Daily 2011.09.27

http://www.hankyung.com/news/app/newsview.php?aid=2011092608671


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Delight, a professional hearing aid enterprise, is a start-up established in 2010. Jeong-Hyun KIM, CEO of Delight, has led the company as a Seoul social enterprise for the hard-of-hearing with a low income.


He carefully kept an eye on hearing aids when he was an undergraduate volunteer. The only reason was a strong belief that hearing aids were the perfect item for his goal of creating a ‘social enterprise.’


Delight provides a hearing aid that is 50 percent cheaper than other similar products. If you doubt that the quality would be competitive, you are wrong. Delight has imported components of hearing aids only from Germany, known for high quality and skill in terms of hearing aid technology.


For the elimination of unnecessary costs, both research and development have been focused on reducing production costs. Pre-order system production and the provision of hearing aids has been done through joint purchases, collecting all of the orders from customers before production. Therefore, a customer is provided the device with a reasonable price while unnecessary production costs including maintenance and stocking fees are minimized. Moreover, use of an online store helps save distribution costs. In this way, the hard of hearing and their families have been offered a higher-quality hearing aid.


Delight's products include a specialized in-the-ear aid for people having more serious difficulty in hearing. The device is designed for flexible use regardless of the shape and size of the auditory canal, and with fast output and mass production the cost of this device is remarkably low, with no loss of quality.


Delight won top prizes from the Small & Medium Business Administration, as well as from the Ministry of Employment and Labor for core technology and commodity value in the Core Technology sector and Korea Social Venture Competition respectively. Last June, the establishment of an institute affiliated with this enterprise was approved by the Korea Industrial Technology Association, which would be the first institute attached to a social enterprise.


Delight has been growing fast, with financial backing from Daewon Pharm from earlier this year, and has been able to sell its products all across the country owing to the extension of manufacturing plants. Branches in other regions have also spread continually.


Meanwhile, Delight is seeking to develop into a representative social enterprise in Korea offering low-priced devices in research cooperation with the KAIST Institute. It also hopes to launch new products not only in Korea, but in the U.S, Japan, South America, and Southeast Asia.


The company has persisted in its goal of making fine and diverse products with cheaper prices. The future plans of Delight include an extension of business into the prosthetic sector, expanding into the role of a social enterprise by offering benefits to people with low incomes.


By Jae-Seop SHIN Reporter shin@hankyung.com


Translated: by Erika Jeong-Hyun Ryu

Edited: by Patrick Ferraro

 

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