The Samsung Group is South Korea's largest conglomerate (chaebol) and one of the largest multinational corporation in the world leading several major industries. It is composed of numerous big businesses, including Samsung Electronics, the world's largest electronics company, Samsung Heavy Industries, one of the world's biggest shipbuilders and Samsung Engineering & Construction, a major global construction company. These three businesses form the core of Samsung Group and reflect its name — the meaning of the Korean word samsung is "tristar" or "three stars". Samsung Group is also the leader in several other industries domestically, such as the Financial, Chemical, Retail and Entertainment industries.
The Samsung brand is the best known Korean brand in the world and in 2005, Samsung overtook Sony as the world's No.1 consumer electronics brand and became part of the Top 20 global brands overall. Samsung Group is South Korea's largest company and exporter and the 5th largest transnational corporation in the world. It has been run by generations of one of South Korea's most loyal and wealthiest families, currently helmed by chairman Lee Kun-Hee, the third son of the founder, Lee Byung-Chul.
Samsung Group accounts for more than 20% of South Korea's total exports. In many domestic industries, Samsung Group is the sole monopoly dominating a single market, its size so large as some developing countries' total GDP. The company has a powerful influence on the country's economic development, politics, media and culture. Many Koreans take Samsung Group as a symbol of national pride and businesses use its international success as a model, with the company being known as "Another Family" in South Korea.