Chapter 10 - All for 40,000 Won
He could, of course, become the final winner. However, he would need to rely on luck. In addition, he would have to pour great effort into obtaining good results while showing off something unique to both parents and the board of directors regularly. This was on top of the handicap of having a late start compared to his brothers and sister who already started to stack up achievements.
Heerak thought hard.
Just as he could become the ultimate winner, it was equally likely that he could become the ultimate loser. He would have to live a suffocating life, ruin his relationship with his older siblings, and if his luck did not permit, he could end up being labeled a failure and forced to make do with subsidiary companies. That could be his future.
He did not want that.
No matter how he thought about it, that kind of lifestyle was just no fun.
Wasn’t it fine to leave out at least one child and not make him a pawn in the grand scheme of things? He tried to persuade his father with sugar-coated sincerity, but his father wasn’t convinced easily. Heerak changed tactics. The only person who had his father in the palm of his hands was his male-omega, superdominant mother.
It was a wise decision to win over his mother. His mother was supportive and all Heerak could ask for. His father could control his children, but he was a devoted husband who lost to his wife. Heerak did not know how his father was coaxed into it, but he was eventually allowed to break away.
His siblings wanted their youngest, who successfully broke away, to be on their side. He and his elder sister, who he got along with best, had a meal with each other at least once a week. He maintained his relationship with his older brothers by going golfing and accompanying them to other events. Everything was going according to Heerak’s blueprint.
Being born with a silver spoon in his mouth let him live comfortably.
And now, he got to live a life that others could only envy.
As if to tell him that life wouldn’t be fun if everything went smoothly, there were times where his plans came to a halt. The café franchise that he started with his mother’s help ended in great failure. It wasn’t that he wasn’t making any profits. But Heerak considered this venture to be a failure. No matter what he did, he could not overcome the number-one brand, the one which made people line up from the early morning just to grab a limited-edition tumbler. No matter how aggressive the marketing was and how hard he grilled the PR team, he could not get first place. If he could not get first place, walking away from the succession battle was meaningless. Heerak quickly sold his shares and turned his sights on his next-best plan.
He set his eyes on the food industry. Heerak launched “Sartago,” a family restaurant with a salad bar as its main feature. His parents and siblings were doubtful of its success and called it a red ocean1A business term referring to the “known market space,” where companies are highly competitive. Opposite of “blue ocean,” both coined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in their book Blue Ocean Strategy., but Heerak pushed through with it. Once a month, he would choose one place in the world and have a special salad bar with that region’s specialty foods. If one month was Busan’s milmyeon2Thin, wheat flour based noodles, similar to naengmyun. It is eaten in a cold broth with vegetable and egg toppings. It’s a signature dish from Busan, Korea., the next month could be Chicago and feature Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. He also determined that the decline in family diners was due to the high price, so he drastically lowered the cost.
It was a wild success. He got to taste the victory that he had been waiting for all this time.
He struck while the iron was hot and expanded his restaurant extensively. Now, he could see the signboard for this restaurant in every corner of Korea. His siblings, who invested with no real expectation, could all smile proudly and say that they knew he could do it. Now that Sartago was always at the top of all the articles about family restaurants, Heerak could finally smile in satisfaction.