The oldest companies in the world still operating
More than 1400 years of uninterrupted operation
Hey! Hope you enjoy the reading. This is the very first Before90s article.
I was browsing a Wikipedia article about the oldest companies in the world that still operate. The oldest one dates back to 578 AD!
List of top ten companies below and also 2 charts showing the top ten industries and number of oldest companies by country:
| Year | Company | Country | Industry |
| 578 | Kongō Gumi | Japan | Construction |
| 705 | Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan | Japan | Hotel |
| 717 | Koman | Japan | Hotel |
| 718 | Hōshi Ryokan | Japan | Hotel |
| 771 | Genda Shigyō | Japan | Ceremonial paper goods |
| 803 | St. Peter Stiftskulinarium | Austria | Restaurant |
| 862 | Staffelter Hof | Germany | Wine |
| 864 | Monnaie de Paris | France | Mint |
| 885 | Tanaka-Iga | Japan | Religious goods |
| 900 | Sean's Bar | Ireland | Pub |
Short timeline about the once family-owned construction company Kongō Gumi
578 AD - Korean immigrant Shigemitsu Kongō was invited to Japan by the Royal Family to build a Buddhist temple and decided to create his own company
1583 - Osaka castle is built
2005 - 100 employees and $70MM annual revenue
*2006 - 50th generation of Kongō leads the company
2006 - Liquidation and sold to Takamatsu Construction Company
Key takeaways for me, also from this article:
Buddhism was on the rise, but Japan didn't have knowledge to build Buddhist temple, therefore looked outside for help
Shigemitsu Kongō was in the right place, at the right moment and had the right knowledge
Familiar companies can last for 50th generations! Not following traditional familiar business model, the successors were chosen based on skills and competencies, rather than heirship
The company still specialises in construction and maintenance of Buddhist temples. They went "niche", dominated the market and lasted 1400 years! 80% of its revenue came from construction and maintenance of Buddhist temples
Temple business is a large and stable industry in Japan
Accomplished. That’s my feeling after finishing this first article! Hope you liked!
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