I was honored to speak to a group of young businesspeople on behalf of sponsor Tokyo Small and Medium Business Investment ＆ Consultation Co., Ltd.
This was my first live event since the COVID-19 outbreak. The room was well ventilated and carefully prepared to prevent the spread of the virus, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak with a limited group of people for two hours!
I had been thinking about modifying the way I give lectures since the COVID outbreak, so I decided to get rid of the lecture slides. Instead, I asked the attendees to read my book, “Ready for the Paradigm Shift?”, in advance and prepare questions to discuss at the lecture.
I used those questions as jumping-off points to provide various insights and opinions, and we were able to have an invigorating discussion with a high level of audience participation. According to the event staff, attendees had very positive feedback about the lecture, so I’m very glad.
We started with the topic of “former jobs that have disappeared.” It seemed like many people had a vague feeling of uneasiness that could be summarized as the following: “We do not want that to happen to us, but how can we bring about a paradigm shift?”
The participating companies came from a wide range of industries, but many of them were second-generation business owners and longstanding businesses, and there were a particularly large number of parts manufacturers and others from the manufacturing industry.
I believe that Japan’s future industry is well branded “parts (components) industry”.
Japanese’ finished products market is weak, but Japanese parts manufacturers are still going strong!
Apple devices utilize image sensors and microdisplays from Sony. Nidec, TDK, Shimadzu, Omron, and Murata Manufacturing are just a few of the many Japanese companies that are among the largest market shares in the world. Japan is in the process of rebranding itself as a nation that excels in flawlessly producing delicate components.
That is why corporate strategies that thoroughly utilize concepts such as digital transformation (DX) and AI analysis are essential. This is even true for small local parts manufacturers. Actually, smaller companies are often able to transform even faster and monetize more easily.
Teruyoshi Uchiyama, president of the cast metal subcontracting manufacturer Sanjo Special Cast Co., Ltd., took a proactive approach to deal with the COVID crisis. He used crowdfunding to produce the world’s lightest enamel-coated iron frying pan, “UNILLOY.” It was a huge hit, and stories like this can be thought of as a mark of pride for parts manufacturers.
If we are able to deftly bring about paradigm shifts like this, then Japanese manufacturing will have a very bright future.
Japanese manufacturing leading the market in the world
Book title: “Ready for the Paradigm Shift?: Creative Minds Post Corona” (by Atsushi Fukuda)