A Man of Vision
33 years has gone by since my father passed away.
It is a universal truth that we exist on this planet because of our parents. Likewise, a company needs a founder for its inception. In my case, my father is the origin for both, although I always tried not to think about him, until very recent times. I used to quote myself as “second-generation,” who wasn’t keen on understanding the founder’s decisions or directions.
It has been 33 years.
The truth is that, when I turned 56, the age he passed away, I started to strongly miss my father. Thereafter, I began to accept his death and no longer had a recurring nightmare in which I was told about the sudden loss, wished it had been a dream and then woke up. My three sons unfortunately never got the chance to know my father. His absence strangely made me miss their grandfather even more. All of this made me want to learn more about my father.
Last year, I became acquainted with my father’s friends, who are now in their 80s, through correspondence and social media. They regaled me with their cherished memories. They all related many anecdotes of my father in their own domains. I have come to truly appreciate them for sharing those memories with me.
My search goes on. In the beginning of this year, I was invited to make a presentation at the Kumamoto Prefecture Investment Promotion Seminar held in Tokyo. The organizers expected me to briefly describe the 30-year history of our Kumamoto office. What had made my father choose Kumamoto in the first place? I started pondering over the motivation behind it.
People who don’t know my father might assume he was born in Kumamoto, however his birthplace was Aoyama, Tokyo. Evidently, during the early years of KKE, he was involved in the restoration of Japanese castles in the Kyushu region (cities like Kokura, Hirado, Shimabara, and Karatsu), and visited there frequently. He especially spent time in Kumamoto, where his mentor, Prof. Taniguchi, offered him a post as assistant professor at Kumamoto University. Even though he declined the offer, I believe this could be one of the reasons for his obsession with Kumamoto.
Twenty-two years after the renovation of Kumamoto Castle in the 1960s, my father’s good friend, Mr. Morihiro Hosokawa was elected as Governor of Kumamoto. One of his primary ambitions was to build an Information Technology Park, an idea my father was extremely enthusiastic about. Nevertheless, he was not satisfied with the initial choice of location for the IT Park, which was very close to the airport. Instead, he chose a site in the Ozu hills, and that happened to be his last contribution to this project since he passed away shortly after, on January 29, 1983.
A few weeks ago, I visited the industrial area near the airport, and I realized why he was not interested in this location. As of today, expect for a few local companies, most IT companies have withdrawn from the area, and it has become a ghost town. Even the Techno Park, practically designed by Mr. Eichi Sugiura (who also designed our Chisuikan and belonged to Uchii Shozou Design firm at that time), appears to be deserted now.
Father, you have truly foreseen the future. Well done! I wish I could tell you this in person. Ultimately, the young staff members we hired in Kumamoto have come a long way and have competently taken charge of the business management today. Your wise decisions have reaped substantial benefits for our company.
1. The Future: See it Before Anyone Else
Our team has been working on marketing support through MAS (Multi-Agent Simulation). We would like to introduce one of our demand forecasts that was presented at the Asian Automobile Symposium 2015.
This is the forecast of automobile market demand. Car sales in China had been forecasted twice at previous symposiums, although both predictions deviated widely from the actual demand. The forecast made in 2005 for the year 2010 was 8-10 million vehicles. However, the actual sales exceeded 18 million. Looking back, the credibility of the forecast and the large subsidies provided by the Chinese government were cited as reasons for this discrepancy.
In a typical long-term demand forecast, a regression formula is used to project the sales using information from macro-indicators such as GDP growth rate. However, this prediction method takes into consideration only macro-economic changes associated with demography and economic growth. In reality, sales are the result of consumer purchasing behavior, wherein decisions are made under the influence of a variety of factors including the aforementioned government policies, available product lines, consumer preferences, etc.
Therefore, while specifying the profiles of agents in MAS, we focused on the relationship between new-model cars and their sales, leveraging the actual past data for pricing and numbers sold for each car model.
|Annual new car sales in China's auto market in 2020|
|Research Institute A||30.49 million|
|Research Institute B||25.25 million|
※National Information Center of China predicted sales of 60 million units in 2020 and the China Automobile Distribution Association predicted 25 million. The actual figure in 2014 was 23.49 million.
In this forecast, information from the manufacturer such as pricing and product specifications is factored in. The governing policies and economic growth scenario are also considered. The MAS technique is capable of evaluating these scenarios with high degrees of freedom, and hence can also be deployed outside the automobile industry. Any industry or company facing demand fluctuations that depend on multiple factors can highly benefit from this method of forecasting.
To sum up, if you are facing challenges with sales and demand forecasts, please contact us. Together we can take a virtual peep into future markets!
Marketing Strategy Section, Business Development Dept.
2. "Off-the-Grid" Communication App, Relay-by-Smartphone
Imagine if you’re out of network and can’t use your mobiles. Such circumstances did occur right after the Great East Japan Earthquake. If you are prepared, you don’t have to worry. Together with associate Prof. Hiroki Nishiyama from Graduate School of Information Sciences at Tohoku University, KKE is jointly developing a platform that establishes an off-the-grid communication line. Learn more from today’s publicity in the Japan Times.
|During the interview by the Japan Times on "Relay-by-Smartphone" (From left) Mr. Nishiura, Mr. Senoo and associate Prof. Nishiyama.|
Financial Results Issued for the First Half of the Year
KKE has announced its financial results for the first half-year on February 22, 2016.
Net sales and net income have declined due to seasonal factors, although the backlog of orders has shown an increase of 13.5% over last year’s record.
Moreover, the Company has issued interim dividends (15 yen per share) for the first time since it went public in 2000. Details are available in English here.
Our 3rd New Graduate Recruitment from Overseas
In 2014, KKE officially started its new graduate recruitment from overseas. Since then, 12 people from six countries—China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Singapore—have joined KKE. Here is a short movie that gives you a peek on what it’s like to work in KKE and Japan.
The main purpose for our action is to enhance the diversity of the organization. There are many customs that are common in Japan but not so in overseas. We believe that we can raise awareness once again by exposing members to different cultures and ways of thinking within the firm. We hope to remain a firm that respects various types of people, is open to different perspectives, and as result creates various ideas that lead us to better approaches and solutions.
Just last January, we flew to Singapore and Thailand for our third overseas recruitment. We visited four universities individually and also attended a career fair attended by students from 11 countries. Surprisingly, we met more than 240 students at our company introduction session. KKE will invite some of them to Japan soon for a company tour and final interviews. We truly look forward to meeting our future colleagues!
Human Resources Section
To New Beginnings!
Hello! I am Ashwini, one of the newest additions to the fabulous team here at KKE. One among the five chosen from 300 students from the Southeast Asia Region. Three months ago when I arrived in Tokyo, I was starry-eyed and full of wonder to explore everything. Now, I am beginning to understand this city beyond its shining lights and glittering sights.
The other day, I noticed someone across the road with a bleeding hand injury. Even before I could reach him to help, I saw two kind strangers offering tissues and another young lady rushed up with bandages and water. The wound might have healed by now, but the scar may leave a grateful smile on his face. I believe people here are constantly looking out for each other.
Of course before coming, I heard intimidating stories about the rigorous work culture in Japan. Coming from India, a land where everything is accepted and excused, I had my doubts about fitting in. However, my colleagues and friends at the company have completely broken down all those myths. They have helped and guided us since the very beginning, and we will be eternally grateful.
While learning the way things work here, I realized how our company is truly not just another traditional Japanese company. With a number of nationalities and beautiful diversity, it is a perfect blend of modern practices and conventional Japanese methods. Fitting in is not a problem, because we are here together to stand out in our own unique ways. The challenges I have faced and overcome in just three months continue to amaze me. And I am beyond excited to continue this journey, for I know there is a long and fascinating way to go.
Full of hope and excitement,
Ashwini Uthrapathi Shakila
More English content is available with videos, customer stories, publicity, etc. Why not click and have a look?
- ADAP- Production management system
- Customer Stories
- Publicities- Publicity articles in The Japan Times
GPS-GNSS Positioning Seminar
February 2, 2016; Tokyo
KKE hosted an interesting seminar on GPS-GNSS technology, with over 100 participants from various domains such as telecom, electronics, construction, and academia. The event was aimed at addressing the applications and developments in the burgeoning field of GPS/GNSS positioning. GNSS is a satellite navigation system that provides autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage.
Dr. Takuji Ebinuma from Chubu University launched the session by introducing the trends in GNSS sensing and satellite positioning. He explained the multi-path capability of GNSS technology and its benefits. Following the trends, KKE elaborated on the error analysis of GNSS using Software Defined Radio Satellite (SDR-SAT) Technology. The presentation included software demonstrations and interesting videos and kept the audience engaged throughout. Dr. Taro Suzuki from Waseda University discussed the generation of 3D models for satellite positioning. He vividly displayed the use of simulation techniques and their future applications as well.
Overall, the seminar was extremely captivating and concluded with an interactive Q&A session. We will be announcing another seminar on this promising technology in a few months. Please let us know if you would like to be a part of it.
Ashwini Uthrapathi Shakila
- SCEJ 81st Annual Meeting
Mar. 13-15, 2016 Kansai University
- IEICE General Conference
Mar. 15-18, 2016 Kyushu University
- Japan Drone 2016
Mar. 24-26, 2016 Makuhari Messe
- Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo NAGOYA
Apr. 19-21, 2016 Portmesse Nagoya
When issuing a newsletter, reading the articles from the writers, our engineers for the first time feel like I’m opening small gifts: the bit of excitement and that pleasant feeling. (Although it's no present for them: having another deadline while handling their usual work!)
Speaking of gifts, we have recently created a small KKE original gift just for our special partners. The cellphone stand is made of maple and walnut trees from the Kyushu region. We hope you enjoy the smooth touch of the wood.
Overseas Marketing Dept.,