Our company manufactures and sells electric wire and cables used in settings such as houses, buildings, and factories. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
I assumed the office of president in June 2013. Since joining Sumitomo Electric Industries in 1981, I have worked in various departments, conducted business with an assortment of related companies, and associated with different clients, and I believe that what is most important for a company is whether it has a wealth of superior human resources and the manner in which the company fosters them.
Since joining the company, I have gained experience working in most areas from manufacturing to sales, including electric wire manufacturing, design/development and planning, factory management, equipment investment, and technical support for clients. Throughout, I encountered a variety of people in various departments and was aided by many individuals in different circumstances. At times, I overcame problems and challenges while receiving both stern guidance from superiors and clients, and encouragement from others around me. Though at the time I did not realize it, looking back, I was nurtured by the human connections I had made. For that, I am grateful.
I have worked at an affiliated company in Japan and lived overseas. I was transferred to the affiliated company and worked side-by-side with the employees there. I found there are significant differences between people’s abilities, even among people the same age or those who have worked the same number of years, and I learned that the training (systems, content) received after joining a company has a great impact. At a small company, depending on its business performance, new hiring may have to be abandoned, operations have to be carried out by a small staff, or training cannot be sufficiently received, and the manufacturing base weakens. As a result, the overall capabilities of the company cannot be demonstrated, and the basic elements of safety and quality are affected.
OJT is important, but I think that a foundation must first exist before a person’s skills can be drawn out. I first experienced living overseas in my 40s , when I was posted there to strengthen the manufacturing base in Southeast Asia. In a foreign country, the living environment is made up of elements including language, customs, foods, and religion that are very different, and communicating with the local people is difficult. To the locals, a Japanese person is a teacher who won’t be accepted if his or her teaching methods are half-hearted or off the mark. I felt anew the difficulty of teaching and saw for myself the desire of the locals to learn. It brought back my years of inexperience that I had almost forgotten. Overseas, there are many opportunities to participate broadly in company operations, and as a manager I learned how to best approach different situations to make the best decisions and judgments. Because of these experiences, I believe that gaining experience overseas at a young age is important to character building for a businessperson, and since then I have tried to actively send young employees overseas.
A company must go on for the benefit of its employees and their families, the shareholders, associated companies and society. To do so, a company must continually move forward, and I believe that human resources are the driving force behind that advancement. Furthermore, top executives at a company are said to need balanced judgment, the ability to make quick decisions, boldness and attentiveness, and vision, but these qualities are dependent upon how much experience the executives have behind them. When it comes down to it, people make a company. I think that the question of how to foster a wealth of capable human resources is crucial for a company and society.