Japan's Top Business Interviews is the premier business interview podcast for people who want to know more about business in japan. The guests cover a range of industries and organisation sizes, to present a thorough overview of issues with leading in Japan. If you are a leader, especialy someone leading in Japan, then this is the podcast for you.
142 Takeo Obayashi, Chairman Obayashi Corporation
42:15Established in 1892, Obayashi Corporation a $5 billion listed enterprise, is one of the top 5 construction companies in Japan. Obayashi has 86 subsidiaries and 26 affiliated companies in Japan, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and North America.
141 Satoru Hiraga, Director and Chairman of Marsh Broker, Japan
57:57Mr. Hiraga initially worked in banking in Japan for ten years, in what has now become Mizuho, before he went to the US to study for his MBA. He then joined Marsh Broker and from 1991 worked in Germany. From there he covered a large number of European countries targeting Japanese companies active there. Five years later he was sent to the Headquarters in New York to cover Japanese companies active in the US, for another five years, before finally returning to Japan. From 2017, he became the Director and Chairman of Marsh Broker, Japan. He completed his undergraduate degree in Arts, Economics and Finance at Keio University and earned his MBA at the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird).
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140 Tae Ho Kim, President, en world Japan
1:11:30Tae Ho Kim was previously President of Nihon Inter Electronics Corporation from May 2013 -2017, before becoming President of ARRK Corporation in 2017. He joined en world Japan as President in 2022. He graduated from Pomona College in Economics.
139 Yuko Furuichi President and CEO of Comexposium Japan
57:37Yuko Furuichi is the President and CEO of Comexposium Japan. In 2007 she was a media personality and talent for BonaPro Agency and in 2009 became the Emcee for Pokemon Programming. She joined CyberAgent in 2011 as an Account Leader. She joined Comexposium as an Event Manager in 2013 working her way up to the Presidency in 2019. She has a BA Law degree from Keio University.
138 Marco Breitfeld, Representative Director and Head of Shared Services Draeger Japan
55:45Marco Breitfeld, Representative Director and Head of Shared Services Draeger Japan, started working in Japan in 2007 for NEC/Schott Components Corporation. He moved to Plansee Japan in 2010 as the CFO and in 2016, he joined Storopack Japan as CFO. In 2017 he joined Pitney Bowes as Senior Manager Business Operations before becoming Finance Director and Representative Director for Pieroth Japan. He took over as head of Draeger Japan in 2022. He has a Bachelor Degree in International Management from HSB Hochschule Bremen City University of Applied Sciences
137 Joachim Rohe, Country Director, CPKelco Japan Aps
53:36In 1995 Joachim was working as a Manager in Tokyo for BASF, eventually becoming the President and Representative director of BASF Agro Japan KK in 2005. Thereafter he became President and Representative Director for Catalent Japan KK in 2010 and then in April 2015 the Country Director Japan for CPKelco. He has a degree in Chemistry from the University of York.
136 William Boesen, President of the East Asiatic Company Japan.
54:14William Boesen is the President of the East Asiatic Company Japan. Originally from Denmark and like me, martial arts drew him to Japan to further his training and to advance his career. In 2001, with ISS he became General Manager in Japan reorganising the company here with their partner the famous Mitsui Trading company. In 2004 he became the President of Carl Hansen & son In Japan. In 2013 he became the President of the East Asiatic Company Japan. From 2006-2008 he was the Chairman of the Danish Chamber of Commerce in Japan. He has an Executive MBA from the Henley Business School and a BA from De Montfort University
Best of the Best Encore #39: Andrew Hankinson, President, Zwilling J.A. Henckels Japan
1:11:43Best of the Best Encore #39: Andrew Hankinson, President, Zwilling J.A. Henckels Japan Originally released Feb 27, 2021 Andrew Hankinson is the President of Zwilling J.A. Henckels Japan and host of the podcast Now and Zen. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Mr. Hankinson’s passion for Japan grew at a young age, having been exposed to Japanese culture by family members living in the country, leading him to learn the language from high school. After briefly teaching English in Osaka, Mr. Hankinson returned to Japan with a degree in international business and Japanese language from the US. He shortly began working at a Japanese department store as a menswear buyer which he describes as an “eye-opening” experience and a “great foundation to be living and working in Japan.” Mr. Hankinson’s next move was in the travel industry, where he worked for a travel publishing company as a salesperson. He explains the company to be “very flexible and very open” as they originally hired Mr. Hankinson in hopes of increasing innovation. Mr. Hankinson was quickly able to gain the trust of the organization due to achieving success early on where his suggestions led to better results for the organization. Mr. Hankinson’s first official leadership role was working as country manager for a European-based office product company where he managed seven employees. He describes his work there as hands-on, especially with client facing aspects of the organization. Currently, as head of a much larger organization, Mr. Hankinson leads about 250 employees. Mr. Hankinson says jumping into an organization that he had no previous knowledge of required lots of catching up, and building trust with the people had its challenges. To overcome this, Mr. Hankinson interviewed his staff in the Tokyo office to build rapport and connect with them at a more individual basis. In order to lead a much larger team, Mr. Hankinson is mindful of the Japanese way of thinking through group consensus. He explains: “if we do it all together…[and] if it fails, nobody’s responsible.” He is also conscious of fostering empowerment amongst his employees to give them a safe space to express their thoughts and encourage innovation. Mr. Hankinson also leads through other managers by delegating to ensure everybody is providing input to determine the direction of the organization. The Japanese office of the global kitchenware manufacturing company have introduced many innovative products such as Japanese kitchen knives and pots that have become popular on a global scale. Mr. Hankinson sums up his ideals of leadership as being able to “deliver results, have good people skills, being engaged and having market intelligence,” To newcomers leading in Japan, Mr. Hankinson advises to enjoy travelling and exploring the culture and sharing that with one’s team, which is a wonderful way to connect with others on a human level. Secondly, Mr. Hankinson advises to earn some “quick wins” as a fast-track way to earn credibility and trust amongst Japanese staff when trying to implement change. Thirdly, he recommends finding the perfect balance between adapting to local culture and retaining your personal management style in order to find the best of both worlds.
135 Tom Reich President and Executive Manager BAE Systems Japan
59:07Tom Reich has been working in various roles for BAE systems in America and recently in Japan. Originally he worked in the US State Department including a stint as American Consul-General in Okinawa as well as working in the US Department of Trade. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from Georgetown University.