Woongjin ThinkBig was established in 1980 as Woongjin Publications and focuses on educational materials for people of all ages, including study books, complete collections, single works, after-school learning materials, textbooks and online content. Divisions of Woongjin include Educational Culture Business, Future Education Business, School Culture Business, English Educational Business, Middle School Education Business, and Research & Development Division.
Wongjin Holdings recorded an average growth of 10% in the 31 years since its founding, and is the only Korean company created after 1970 to become a full-sized conglomerate.
Since 2006, the company has become involved in developing globalization centers within its English Education division, which operates 9 branches and 17 franchises, employing 250 native speakers alongside its 9,000 Korean teachers throughout the country.
In a relaunch of the company in 2014, Wongjing bundled most of its assets in the Wonjin Bookclub.
Woongjin Think Big includes many educational brands, including Woongjin Knowledge House, Leader’s Book, Woongjin Junior, Gallion, Start, Walking Tree, and Penguin Classics Korea.
Analysis & Key Developments
Wongjin ThinkBig is a leading publisher of various learning materials in Korea, though profits have plunged since 2009, according to the company’s report on fiscal year 2015.
During 2016 the company’s revenues slipped slightly to 627.1 billion KRW compared to 639.6 billion KRW in 2015. Operating profit experienced a massive slump from 22.2 billion KRW to 19.5 billion KRW.
62% of Wongjin’s revenue comes from their worksheet publications, 27% from book series, 6% from home school materials, and 2% from single volume publications.
With a turnaround started in 2014, Wongjin bundled its various content assets and focused on developing its worksheet business.
Digital subscriptions are complemented by door-to-door sales from the BookClub and tutoring services for the worksheets.
Improving digital services became the key target in the company’s recent reorientation, as the company now regards children as digital natives.
The BookClub, Woongjin’s membership-based reading platform, launched in August 2014 and provides various services and benefits to customers. At the end of 2016 the platform had 370,000 subscribers, up 30% against 2015. Content is aggregated from 130 domestic and overseas publishers and contains more than 7,000 titles, including home-study materials. Materials are organized in 20 libraries, each organized around a category, such as Encyclopedia, Young Adult, Significant Figures, and Science & Math.