|By Hyungkeun Lee, Digital Times
April 15, 2008
"Navigation is evolving from a product that just gives route guidance to a product that represents our culture. In the light of this we are planning to get involved in various interesting businesses relating to location information. You can count on us", stated Mr. Lee Joon-Pyo, CEO of Citus, a powerhouse in the field of navigation software, from his headquarters located in the Gasan Digital Complex in Seoul. As different contents are added to navigation, such as information on restaurants, sightseeing and entertainment, he said, navigation finds itself ever more closely involved in people’s lives.
Mr Lee, who founded Citus in February 2000, released the ‘PocketNavi’ navigation software in July 2002, and has since acquired some related technology, developing into a navigation software specialist. Sales in the first year after its foundation were KRW2 billion, and these were increased to KRW8 billion last year. He is aiming for KRW20 billion this year, with overseas business cranking up in good earnest.
"As our brand awareness is still low as far as the average customer is concerned, we are planning to publicize the brand along with the 3D map soon to be released," said Mr. Lee. "On top of that, we are going to provide a variety of differentiated services."
Unlike other companies, Citus is not involved in the navigation or map business, but concentrates only on the development of software for navigation.
Being the first in the industry to launch a multi-language version, it is possible to use the system in foreign countries without any modification. Currently it supports Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese, and there are plans to support Spanish and Portuguese by the end of this year.
The CEO cited Citus’ possession of distribution channels in overseas markets and solutions as its greatest asset. "We are expanding our presence in overseas markets through UNIDEN for Australia and MIO." said Mr. Lee. "We have an affiliate in China, and a development team consisting of 15 local staff in Vietnam."
Mr. Lee Joon-Pyo is planning to make 50% of his company’s sales in overseas markets this year, and increase this proportion in the future. As he was targeting overseas markets in the early years after the foundation of Citus, he chose the company name with great care. Citus means ‘faster’ in Greek, and ‘location’ in Latin.
Citus is concentrating on overseas markets because the prosperous domestic navigation market is expected to be saturated in 3~4 years. "15 million navigation devices can be sold in Korea in a year, while the overseas navigation market is still in its infancy," said Mr. Lee. "As the North American market is now the center of focus, an