When Ryu Junghoon was tapped as chief executive of Doosan Robotics Inc. two years ago, he vowed to turn the young robot-making company into an industry leader. At his inaugural speech, he said he was excited to adopt more agile practices to better serve its customers in the market facing “breakneck speed of change.” While Doosan may not be a global leader in the robotics industry, arguably it is among the world’s top four collaborative robot makers alongside US-Danish firm Universal Robots, Japan’s Fanuc and Taiwan’s Techman Robot. “We don’t make the very humanoid robots that you see in films. We make collaborative robots that perform dangerous, dirty and repetitive tasks for humans,” the CEO said in a recent interview with The Korea Economic Daily. “Our technological capabilities such as our gravity compensation mechanism and unique robot design are our greatest competitive edge, which will work as entry barriers to latecomers.” The chief executive, known in the Western world by his English name William Ryu, said he will actively pursue mergers and acquisitions with the funds to be raised via an initial public offering slated for this Thursday. “In addition to building new factories and developing new technology, we’ll also actively seek acquisitions of robot-related hardware and software companies,” he said. Doosan Robotics, which is set to go public on Korea’s main Kospi market on Thursday, is already a sensation in the IPO market. Last month, the Doosan Group affiliate ($24.8 billion) from individual investors during the two-day public subscription – the highest amount since battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd. went public in January 2022. About 1.5 million people have bid for 4.86 million Doosan Robotics shares allotted for retail investors. The average competition ratio for the public subscription was 524 to 1. Doosan will issue 16.2 million shares through the IPO. The company expects to raise 421 billion won with its market capitalization estimated at 1.69 trillion won based on the IPO price. On Oct. 5, the first day of trading, the stock is allowed to move in a price range of 15,600 won-104,000 won. Following the IPO, conglomerate Doosan Corp.’s stake in the robotics firm will shrink to 68.2% from 91%. Funds raised from the offering will be used to expand production facilities and its product portfolio, the company said. Collaborative robots make it possible for a human worker and robot to perform tasks side by side and free up the worker to perform more important tasks, avoiding the boredom and possible injuries of repetitive tasks. Ryu said his company is ahead of its competitors, particularly in high payload technology, which can move objects weighing more than 20 kg. “We pioneered the high payload market. We now control 72% of the market,” he said. Earlier this year, Doosan Robotics exported luggage-moving robots to the operator of Amsterdam airport. Doosan Robotics currently has an annual production capacity of 3,200 robots. Industry data showed the global collaborative robot market is expected to grow by 35% annually until 2030. Doosan, which posted an operating loss of 13.2 billion won last year, expects to swing to profit by 2024. It aims to post an annual operating profit of 213.3 billion won on sales of 766.3 billion won by 2030. Before assuming the top post at Doosan Robotics, Ryu was vice president at Doosan Group’s corporate strategy office. Prior to joining Doosan Robotics, Ryu built up a successful groupwide track record of 20-plus years in key businesses including finance, strategy, marketing and new business development. Beginning as an in-house business consultant at Doosan Group in 2007, he took part in various M&A projects. He was heavily involved in the post-merger integration process of what was later known as Doosan Bobcat Inc. Ryu graduated from Sogang University in Seoul with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and completed his MBA at the University of Michigan. Sang-Hoon Sung at

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