Message from the President March.2019

Message from the President March.2019

Tackling the next stage of growth

It is said that the world will face major trends in the future that will pose diverse challenges. One such trend is changes in population structure. A major challenge in many developed countries, including Japan, is a sudden decrease in population and an aging society, which will place pressure on the working-age population bracket and reduce the size of the economy, leading to a fall in the wealth of citizens. On the other hand, it is predicted that some emerging countries will experience explosive population growth, which will result in unprecedentedly huge labor and consumer markets.

Another such trend is that of technological advances. Currently, the fusion of “data” and “things” (IoT) is generating a steady stream of innovative products and services. In the “super smart society” of the future in which every “thing,” such as mobility and infrastructure, is interconnected, many companies around the world will compete ruthlessly to become the sole platform provider. And continued advancements in technology will create new added value.

In this way, major global trends will not allow companies to continue with the status quo. Rather, unless they are constantly moving forward, they will be swallowed up in the waves of decline. However, if they can take timely action taking advantage of structural change, there will be great opportunities to be seized. Over the past year, I have said that I would like you to continue to undertake self-improvement, remaining sharply attuned to these trends. However, I believe this applies not only at the level of the company but on an individual level too. Therefore, when determining those trends I would like you to focus not only on Japan but on the wider world. We can no longer separate our work or our private lives from global events or the impact of changes that occur.

A further trend may be the fact that it is difficult to continue to win in the world market simply by relying on the traditional value of “good things will always sell,” which underpins the manufacturing ethos of Japanese companies. We need to change our thinking from the idea of ”good things sell” to “good things are the things that the user really wants.” In short, we must now think not in terms of a product-out type approach, but in terms of a market-in type approach.

In one month’s time, the current Medium-Term Management Plan will enter its final fiscal year. I hope that each and every one of you will remain sharply attuned as you take action to tackle the next stage of growth, enabling us to provide our Japanese client manufacturing companies and end users with “things of value that they really want.”

March, 2019