2019 Entrance Ceremony Speech
~ The History and Future of Our Company~
Find what engrosses you
Congratulations to those who are joining our company. I hope you will find something that captures your imagination and you can be passionate about for the rest of your life whilst working here. Your life satisfaction will depend on whether you are passionate or reluctant about what you are doing. From the very beginning, please learn through your work and enjoy pushing yourself toward your own goals. The best way forward is to be naturally absorbed in what you are doing.
About our roots and vision
I would like to tell you about our roots and vision so you have a clearer picture of our company.
Why are we challenging social issues by connecting Japan and the world when we should be a business corporation that pursues maximum profits for its shareholders? Why am I president of a sales company when I am shy and a poor public speaker? Due to my shy personality, I have not been good at telling people around me what I am thinking and this has caused trouble for many people. Today is a good opportunity to talk, so I would like to tell you my story. It is about where we are coming from and where we are going. It’s pretty embarrassing, so this is the first time I have talked about it in public. It is also a little long, but please listen.
When I was an elementary school student, I was a member of the boy scouts. I think my parents hoped it would make me stronger, as I was shy and just read books all day. I used to go camping and participate in volunteer work on Sundays. For example, I remember standing in front of the station with a donation box and asking passers-by for money to help clean-up a nearby pond. Although the moment people put money in the box was pleasant, it was painful standing there for a long time. I remember thinking “It would be less boring if I worked a part time job and donated that money instead. Maybe I can even earn more.” It was this idea that lead to this current organization; one that aims to challenge social issues by using money earned in business. However, at that time, I just held a donation box all day long and thought of the idea just as a way to escape from the reality of people flowing past me in front of the station.
In my school days I was conscious of the expectation of my parents that I would be healthy and active, so I devoted myself to sports such as baseball and water polo. On the other hand, I dedicated my spare time to reading, as I loved books as much as ever. I encountered a biographical novel about Magozaburo Ohara, who worked for the Kuraray chemical company, called “I Can See Ten Years Ahead ~ The Life of Magozaburo Ohara”. It was written by Saburo Shiroyama, my favourite author at that time. The book said “By wearing a clog on one foot and a shoe on the other, a man can walk on two paths at the same time. The path of a manager expanding a local spinning company into one of the largest companies in the country and the path of belief that all the possessions he has obtained are to be returned to society.” It means a business corporation should be like an NPO, and an NPO like a business corporation. In the book, I found what I wanted to aim for and I read it over and over again. Since that day, I have developed a huge respect for Magozaburo Ohara and have visited the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki City many times.
After that, I studied abroad in Australia, which was a long held dream of mine, using the money I had saved from my part-time job when I was a university student. It was only one year, but I came across cultures and values very different from those in Japan and I was able to gain an objective view of both Japan and the Japanese. That had a great impact on my life. After returning to Japan, I worked in a small trading company in international trade. I chose a small company because I thought that I could work as a salesperson and connect Japan with the rest of the world without the threat of being transferred to another department.
The company I joined was a trading company that specialized in chemical export business, just as this company does now. It was a company that confronted the major trading companies and ran business with its own know how, taking pride in being a pioneer in the Japanese chemical export business of the early 1950s. It was a group of wild warriors and every trader was a true old-fashioned style professional. All of the traders were individualistic and each gave me a great deal of love and imparted their know-how on how to start a business from scratch to me, despite my naiveté. Looking at how the traders and managers were serious in their business everyday also changed my mindset. I am a shy person by nature, but, for me, the office became a stage and when I was there I switched to someone very different from myself. My personality changed so much that, once, when I told a new employee that I was actually kind of shy, they immediately said “No way!” I was still working at that company when it later closed, and I understood the difficulty of operating an organization without a concern for the public as part of its philosophy.
When my former company closed in 2004, I started a new company. Since then I have managed that company whilst being careful not to deviate from the user’s point of view, with the goal of connecting Japan and the world. We have been very lucky in that we have received continuous support from so many people, including our business partners in Japan and overseas. Last year we achieved record profits.
At present, our business performance has been steadily growing, but I believe the time will come when the traditional business models no longer work. The chemical industry, and other niche B2B businesses such as our own, have not changed their models for many years. I think this is due to the high barriers to entry created by high levels of expertise. However, technology has been advancing rapidly in recent years and it is certain that the next wave of innovation will eventually come to niche B2B businesses and their models will change. Needless to say, as long as human society continues, the role of people in trading will remain important. Until last year, we provided services to users and manufacturers by utilizing our craftsmanship skills, but from this year on we intend to create a model that provides services which are much more convenient than before by having machines help with the jobs they can do. This will systemize both our craftsmanship know-how and our mindset and help people focus on the interesting jobs that only humans can do. If we build a system that is highly convenient for both users and manufacturers and that runs at a much lower cost than that of today, we will be able to benefit our users 1,000 times more than we do currently and create new trends within the industry. Specifically, our company aims to accelerate the development of the chemical industry and achieve rapid growth by creating and popularizing a system that enables direct technical communication between users and manufacturers across the world and enables us to perform the functions of a trading company.
We have recorded a profit for 15 consecutive fiscal years up to now, but we have never distributed profits to our shareholders through dividends. This project is still in its infancy, so in order to increase the scale of the project a thousand fold, and make people happy in the long term, we need a lot of funds as well as many professional people who share our goals. Therefore, we have not paid any dividends to the shareholders who provided us with valuable funds at the time of our establishment and have retained all profits. As a result, our capital adequacy ratio is now at over 90%, ensuring we have achieved debt-free management. Financial preparations are gradually being made. We have tried to move forward without clarifying our goals until today, but found that we cannot achieve our targets unless we successfully align all our member’s vectors, as many problems can occur from having diverse dreams. I feel that my own skills are immature and I realize I can’t do everything by myself. If all our members do not have a shared goal, this project cannot move forward.
I wish to clarify who we are. We aim to be a business corporation who acts like an NPO, and an NPO who acts like a business corporation and challenges social issues by using the money earned in business. We aim to deepen the mutual understanding between Japan and the world and create a better world for everyone. We aim to pay for this mission whilst assuring all our members live comfortable and affluent lives and creating a positive atmosphere in the process of earning.
Why are we Hiring New Graduates?
Our company is now hiring new graduates. When it comes to hiring, it may be more common to hire experienced mid-career talents, thinking about our specialty and the balancing of our team as a medium sized business. This is unlike larger companies, who tend to focus on creating a balanced age structure within their organizations. So, why do we hire new graduates who are risky and time consuming? Whilst we headhunt excellent people who are experienced, work-ready and agree with our direction, we also want to recruit new graduates so as to fulfil our mission of fostering a deeper mutual understanding between Japan and the world. We hope that our unique mission and vision are therefore passed on to the next generation.
Who do you Work for?
Today we have a talented team of people with great skills and mindsets. Let’s find something that you can be engrossed in within this unique organization and work together as comrades to make a better world. Please always keep in mind: “What are you working for?”
I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all of you on joining us here. Thank you.
CEO, Daishin Co., Ltd./BuyChem Japan Co., Ltd.