Why did you choose to first focus on supporting the Die & Mold industry?
We were debating about what industry we would focus on before establishing this company, and various fields such as energy, environment etc. were under consideration. We decided that we would not looking for well-known down-stream industries such as automotive, energy, environment, retail industries, nor on the large-volumes upstream industry such as the material or energy industries . We would looking for a mid-stream industry which is not much noticed yet have a strong impact in the Japanese manufacturing world but slow to develop overseas business compared with the up-stream and down-stream industries. Additionally, we were also looking for an industry field with a very high potential and to which we could give our best contribution for a successful global development.
Analyzing this “mid-stream industry”, we found that the Die & Mold industry, within the parts manufacturing industry pyramid, concentrates a high density of knowhow and technology and as such had a strong potential competitivity on the global market.
Especially after further analysis we found that more than 90% of the companies in the ‘Die & Mold’ industry consist of less than 20 employees, so small and medium enterprises, which is exactly our target. Upon such analysis and what we ideally wanted to do, we finally decided to focus on supporting this industry.
How did you start tohe support thefor Die & Mold industry?
We literally started from zero, we went and talked to different people in the Die & Mold industry, we actively visited many factories and did information exchange to get the real ideas.
Based on my experiences working in trading and management consulting company, the Die & Mold industry is extremely domestic and since their clients, the big Japanese manufacturing companies are gradually shifting their business abroad, the small and medium companies who are only doing their business inside Japan will be left behind and will be fading. If no changes are made, in the global expansion point of view, despite of its position as a foundation of the manufacturing industry, the die & mold industry is in a critical situation and is expected to fade away. Therefore, we continuously talked to the industry players to convince them that reformation should be done, and as a result, we received approvals from corporate managers of this industry who are aiming for the global market and got a chance to take actions across the industry. This led to a project called ‘DIE & MOLD JAPAN BRAND’ which is becoming a pillar for numbers of small and medium die & mold manufacturers for their business expansion.
What is the key to growth for Business Innovation Partners?
As a venture, we have been able to grow because we have specialized in a work which no other company do. We have been intensively focusing on a field with niche and specific products with a high risk-low return in the short term, yet with big-returns in the long term. We did not choose an easy-to-earn-profit business field, we challenged ourselves to choose a difficult business field where we needed to start from scratch. For example, to have a full understanding about the current situation of the needs for global business expansion, we conducted hearing to around 50 die & mold companies during a half-year. While we were being questioned for doing things which were not giving us any profit, we gained a valuable thing which is trust from the key industry players.
We believe that to faithfully pursue our vision we must first put aside profits and losses, and as an organization that aims to achieve the globalization of the Japanese manufacturing industry, we consider as our own business chance the success of our customers to develop globally.
Please tell us your vision for the future.
As we are working inhave gained trust from the Die & Mold industry while gaining trust from the industry players as a foundation, we are recently also receiving requests from the wider industry, Machine Parts and Tooling industryother parts manufacturing industries. Furthermore, we do not limit to specific industries from which we receive consultations but also actively broaden our activity range by ourselveseven though we are acting based on the requests, we do not limit ourselves to specific industries but also actively expand the areas of our activities. Not only inside Japan, we are continuously expanding our network to industrial players (government officials, companies) in other countries such asin the ASEAN region, North and Central America, Europe (mainly Germany). Since our overseas partners such as government officials, organizations, and companies recognize our company as a representative of Japanese manufactures, we are actingwork and partner up with them not only as a private company but also as a type of infrastructure that represents Japan. For the future we want to continue to be such organization, pursuing its vision and capitalizing on the recognition we are earning as such., but we are taking actions while bringing the values of the recognition as a Japanese representative and are continuing to pursue our idealism to demonstrate our existence values.