You have to do well in Korea to be a secretary… A college student who went to the US with money for a coma

Michelle Kang, Chairman of Cognosant
I didn’t have enough money, so I worked in a restaurant, finished my studies, and then started a business.
“After the United States, we will acquire Korean and European professional women’s soccer teams”

A self-made female entrepreneur from Korea who moved to the United States alone as a college student revealed her ambition to become the owner of a world-class professional women’s soccer team. Michelle Kang (Korean name: Yong-mi Kang), who became the owner of a medium-sized company with the help of the coma money received from her parents in advance, is the main character of the Chairman of Cognosant (pictured).

Chairman Kang left Sogang University in 1981 saying, “I want to live a different life.” “If you live like this, no matter how good you are, it will be difficult to become more than a secretary.”

He recklessly persuaded his parents to “get a coma fund,” so he started college again in the United States and entered the economics department at the University of Chicago. At the time, I didn’t have enough money, so I worked in a restaurant to cover my living expenses, and I graduated early from college to save on tuition. After that, he joined EY, a global consulting firm, and worked as a consultant before moving to defense company Northrop Grumman as an executive.

Then, in 2008, at the age of 48, he founded Cognosant, a healthcare information technology (IT) company in Washington, USA. By winning orders from the US federal government and public institutions, Cognosant has grown into a medium-sized company with annual sales of 400 million won (550 billion won) and 2,000 employees for the first time in 10 years.

Chairman Kang said in an interview on the 20th (local time), “It is often difficult for a company founded by a woman in the United States to sell more than $1 million. . “Therefore, in order to increase the power of the organization, until even when the company’s sales were $20 million, we hired employees on the condition that we wouldn’t be able to be behind a $1 billion company,” he explained.

Chairman Kang started a new challenge based on the success of corporate management. In February, he bought the Washington Spirits, the winning team of the previous year’s women’s professional soccer league in the United States. After being named co-owner of the Washington Spirit in December 2020, he became sole owner for the first time in two years. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton, and Gina Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W.

Chairman Kang emphasized, “I have taken over the management of the football team in order to solve the situation where players are having great difficulties due to the violence of the former coach.”

He pointed out, “In the United States, male soccer players earn over $400,000, but the average salary of female players is only $40,000, so most female players quit soccer after college,” he said. He added, “It’s not just female athletes who win gold medals at the Olympics, but also athletes from the Ivy League.

Chairman Kang believes that the sports data industry can solve this problem. “The number of spectators who watch American women’s football matches is approaching 500,000 per game,” he said.

Chairman Kang is convinced that women’s football can grow into a bigger industry as much as men’s football by using data related to women’s football to develop other spin-off industries such as sports lottery.

He said, “Within three years, we will develop the Washington Spirits to be the best women’s soccer team in the world in all aspects, including player salaries and team management,” he said.

Washington = Correspondent Jeong In-seol surisuri@hankyung.com

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