Investing in Japan
Success Stories PVMSys Infra Solutions Inc.
iASYS Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a measurement system provider using advanced IT technology for engineers engaged in automotive development, established the Japanese subsidiary PVMSys Infra Solutions in Tokyo in October 2014. Having moved its base to Tsukuba, Ibaraki, a focal point for companies and institutions conducting cutting-edge research and development in Japan, PVMSys Infra Solutions is now engaged in sales and technical support for Japanese automotive companies.
With the spread of the Internet, the amount of information available has dramatically increased, and terms such as “big data,” “IoT” and “AI” are heard frequently these days. While this trend allows us to obtain an enormous amount of information easily, many companies struggle to manage and analyze this data and make full use of it to expand their business and reduce costs, and the automotive industry is no exception. In the experimental and validation works that are the most important steps in the product development process, engineers need to manage a large amount of data obtained from experimental results. However, as they handle various measurement devices and complex data, there is the on-site issue that processing of incompatible data formats is very difficult and takes time.
Advanced IT Technology Solves Incompatibility Issues of Measured Data
iASYS Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (“iASYS”) was founded in Pune, India in 1999. The company provides a large number of engineers tackling issues related to handling complicated and enormous data with Orbit-X, an automation system for exhaust gas measurement using IT technology in order to make business more efficient. The system integrates various measurement devices of third vendors used during exhaust gas measurement of automobiles, and facilitates measurement experiments. The company develops its products in the headquarters in India and has its customers include Tata Motors Limited and most of India’s leading OEM manufacturers. The company also conducts sales activities to automotive-related companies in Germany, Japan and the UK, in addition to the US where test marketing is conducted. Today, the company has 130 employees worldwide.
Data Management System Supports the Development by Researchers and Engineers
Having started its business with Japanese automotive companies in 2011, iASYS established its Japanese subsidiary PVMSys Infra Solutions (“PVMSys”) in Tokyo in 2014. Currently, PVMSys has two Japanese employees, who work on sales and technical support in the domestic market.
In Japan, PVMSys handles not only Orbit-X, the automation system for exhaust gas measurement, which is mainly handled by the headquarters iASYS, but also the Brix Series, a cutting-edge measurement database. Brix is a database which accumulates data from experiments and focuses on the data reuse in product development. The database is based on the concept of “product validation management,” or PVM, after which the company has been named. The concept is to enable online sharing of accumulated data with other group members and analysis systems, facilitate the reuse of the data and support new product development. The company’s vision is to use this efficient data management system to energize researchers and engineers engaged in development.
Product concept suitable for the Japanese thought process
iASYS had previously attempted to introduce the Brix Series into the US and European markets. However, according to Puran Parekh, CEO of iASYS, the company decided to launch the series in Japan on a full scale. This is because, he explains, “This product needs to be introduced one-by-one according to each process. There are many Japanese that adhere to a ‘structural way of thinking’ that requires exact conformity to the process, and this mindset matches the product concept. For this reason, introduction of the product has been easier in Japan, and customers more readily accept the product than in other countries. Our success story in Japan will become good branding for our company in our future global development.” PVMSys’ major customers in Japan include the research and development institutions of leading automakers, such as Honda R&D Co., Ltd., as well as measurement equipment manufacturers. Mr. Puran says that opening a base in Japan has reduced the distance between the company and its Japanese customers, thus facilitating smoother communication between them.
Tackling the image of Indian companies
In the four years between when iASYS began doing business with Japanese companies and the opening of its base in Japan, the company had difficulty in establishing its own brand image. Mr. Kuwata, Managing Director of PVMSys, recalls: “Whenever we visited potential customers, they saw us as a subcontractor, just because we were an Indian company. However, we were not a subcontractor, but actually developing our own products. It took time to obtain the understanding of the customers. We fully realized the necessity of brand power through the experience, which also matters in securing human resources.” While facing the issue of branding, PVMSys always made sure to provide an easy-to-understand explanation of its complex systems by adjusting the method of its explanation to suit the customers’ apprehension levels. That is why, Mr. Kuwata says, “More and more companies have learned to understand our product concept and quality, and they now highly value our systems.”
Tsukuba Center, Inc., where PVMSys has its base.
Brand-building strategy at Tsukuba, a focal point for cutting-edge R&D institutions
iASYS opened its base in Tokyo in 2014, but then moved to Tsukuba Center, Inc. in Tsukuba, Ibaraki in 2015. Since then, the company has been promoting sales toward Japanese companies from the city while also holding lectures at the University of Tsukuba. Located about 60 kilometers northeast of central Tokyo, Tsukuba is known as a “hub city of science and technology” which Japan has been proud to present to the world. The city has been striving to build a new cooperative system comprised of the public, private and academic sectors, and to set up a supportive environment, with the aim of using science and technology to solve issues directly affecting Japan, including energy problems as well as those related to its aging population and declining birthrate. Currently, over 300 research institutions and companies have gathered in Tsukuba, and about 20,000 researchers are working on world-leading innovative research in the city which is equipped with the most state-of-the-art facilities in the world. While many foreign-affiliated companies centralize their bases in Tokyo, PVMSys is fully satisfied with the location and environment of Tsukuba in terms of both business and brand building.
“Since our business is based on engineering, we wanted to establish our base in a place where a great deal of research is conducted. We see the Japanese market not only as a place for sales but also as a strategic base to develop new products that may be extended to other countries’ markets. In this sense, Tsukuba is an ideal place for us because it has a large number of research institutions in addition to universities.”PVMSys is enthusiastic about growing its business by building a network of various companies, universities and research institutions while using Tsukuba as its base.
Future business development and support from JETRO
Mr. Puran is keen on future business development, saying “Our next target is Nagoya. Entering the Nagoya market means that our service-cover ratio will reach roughly 50% of the Japanese market.” The company intends to work its way into the areas around Nagoya and Hamamatsu where a large number of automotive-related companies are concentrated.
The JETRO Invest Japan Business Support Center (IBSC) offers temporary offices in Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe and Fukuoka as well as Tokyo, which can be used free of charge. Companies can use any of these offices without for up to 50 business days, in principle, while preparing to be incorporated. iASYS used the office in Tokyo. Mr. Kuwata said, “When launching PVMSys in Tokyo, we used the office and found the service very helpful. JETRO has also referred us to a certified consultant specializing in administrative documents, who is now carrying out procedures for visa issuance for our company. When expanding our business into regional areas in the future, we would like to use JETRO’s service again.”
Mr. Puran Parekh, CEO and Managing Director of iASYS (right); Mr. Kuwata, Managing Director of PVMSys (center); and Mr. Takahashi, Customer Support of PVMSys (left)
(Interviewed in September 2017)
|August 1999||Establishment of iASYS Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in Pune, India|
|October 2014||Establishment of Japanese subsidiary PVMSys Infra Solutions in Tokyo|
|October 2015||Relocation to Tsukuba Center, Inc. in Ibaraki|
PVMSys Infra Solutions
|Established in||October 2014|
|Business Overview||Engineering solutions for the automotive industry, and validation and verification management of automotive products|
|Parent company||iASYS Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd.|
|Address||Tsukuba Center, Inc., 2-1-6, Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0047|
iASYS Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. http://www.iasys.co.in/
PVMSys Infra Solutions http://pvmsys.jp/
- Provision of an IBSC office
- Provision of professional consultation