Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. It is the increasing globalisation of our businesses. Today, 67 per cent of our $4 billion sales revenue is generated outside Japan. So, our company is more dependent on overseas markets. Also, we have more than 22,000 employees globally and only 5,000 in Japan. It means we have to get together more cohesively to build our businesses for the future.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. We call it gemba. In Japanese, gemba means an actual site. In business, the term refers to those who offer hands-on services. Our best teachers are the people who carry out onsite operations and have onsite interactions with customers. We look at their thoughts and ideas to meet our customer demands.
Q. One management lesson for young people
A. I always tell our young associates, experience is very important. When you experience something, you have to learn something. Regardless of the outcome and the challenges, it always gives us an opportunity to learn something.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. Integrity is crucial, and I consider it to be the most important quality that we need to retain in our personal and corporate relationships. The other quality is persistence - persistent efforts. You should never give up.