After retirement, it’s dream time

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After retirement, it’s dream time

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Kim Hyeong-geon, a retiree of Hyundai Card, opened his own restaurant in Seoul with the help of the start-up support program run by the company. [Provided by the company]

While other companies focus on boosting salaries or offering bonuses and benefits to compensate current employees, Hyundai Card is rolling out a new program to support its workers after they retire.

The new project, dubbed the “CEO plan,” is to offer packages to support employees who want to start their own business when they leave the company.

The company will select applicants according to standards like how strongly they want to create their own business.

Those chosen will first meet with start-up consultants who will propose business ideas they think are most suitable for the skills and interests of the retiree. They will then receive a tailor-made training program from the consultants for every step of the business development, from selecting a product and surveying the market to picking a location. Other Hyundai Card employees will help in other areas like marketing, branding and customer service.

Retirees interested in creating a restaurant will even receive help designing their menus.

Even after leaving Hyundai Card, the retirees will receive online support or partnership deals from the company.

So far, two have opened their own business, including Kim Hyeong-geon, who worked in Hyundai Card’s corporate business department. Six months after he applied for the program, he opened a traditional Italian restaurant named “Maialino,” in Seogyo-dong, western Seoul. One of its most popular items, particularly among couples and families, is the “I’m Chef” pizza that customers can design themselves.

The Hyundai Card will soon open its own start-up support center in Yeongdeungpo-dong, Seoul, dubbed the “CEO Lounge,” only available for the participants in the CEO Plan. The center offers both office space for participants and beds for anyone working late.

“Hyundai Card doesn’t agree on the common belief that the relationship between the company and employees ends right after they leave the work,” an employee at the company said. “By supporting employees who leave the company to pursue a new dream, the company believes it can maintain a relationship with them in a new way.

“If this new program succeeds, we believe this could be a new model for supporting retired people in the country.”

BY KIM HEE-JIN[kim.heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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