Starting up New Business through English Language
Ability and Practical Trade Experience
Mr. Katoh worked for about 20
years in a manufacturer-based trading company. In 2003, he
set up his own firm after his company stopped engaging in
direct trade. He decided to put his English language ability
and practical trade experience to use to create an agile
trading company. Imports require capital, so he began with
exports of Japanese products. He worked to uncover products
in Japan, become distributor, and promote sales in Japan and
overseas. At the same time, he began accepting requests from
domestic manufacturers to find sources of inexpensive
Mr. Katoh learned about the
TTPP when viewing several trade related sites and finding JETRO's
homepage. In April 2004, he registered himself as a user at the TTPP.
At that time, JETRO Bangkok was hosting a representative office of
Aichi prefecture's commercial, industry, and labor department. Mr.
Katoh used to use product information supplied from there to import
rubber packing from a local Japanese venture and export Japanese
sake to Thailand. However, this type of overseas information is no
longer available. Right now, the TTPP is becoming the main source of
a president of a manufacturer in the U.S
and his wife in a hotel in hot spring resort in Japan
TTPP Used to Expand Domestic and International Business Network
Explaining several examples of business using the
TTPP, in 2004, Mr. Katoh found a domestic manufacturer of
emergency toilet facilities, obtained rights as a distributor,
sold the facilities to emergency management authorities in the
various prefectural governments, and established a national sales
network. After that, he was asked by that emergency toilet
manufacturer to procure inexpensive individual tents for toilets
and imported a 1,000 or so from China.
In 2006, Mr. Katoh received a phone call from a Chinese (Shanghainese)
who had studied in Japan (Nagoya) and worked in a company there
and became interested in Mr. Katoh after learning of his location
(Seto city) through the TTPP. Since then, Mr. Katoh has gotten
help from him in obtaining products in China. For example, Mr.
Katoh had him find a Chinese supplier for carrying cases for
burglary prevention sprayers and imported 1,000 of them.
In addition, he received an inquiry from Canada over the sale of
Japanese diningware. He did two deals worth about 200,000 yen. He
also received an inquiry from a Brazilian beauty salon about
selling foot baths which subsequently led to a deal for another
product. Further, he receives inquiries about unique products both
from overseas and domestic businesses and works to expand sales
channels for them. Through these small deals, Mr. Katoh has been
building up a domestic and overseas network. He has also become
able to easily handle various requests from his customers.
At the present time, Mr. Katoh has a total of about
20 business partners in South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand,
Singapore, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the U.S., and Brazil. Of these,
half were through contacts through the TTPP. All of these are
individuals or small groups like Mr. Kato who can be trusted to do
good work, as they believe good work leads to profits. Mr. Katoh
believes that the TTPP will remain an indispensable business tool
in the future as well.
Up to now, Mr. Katoh has received about 10 fraudulent e-mails
which he has duly notified to the TTPP. He begins to be suspicious
when there is inquiry about a product from a country where it
should not be required. His suspicions are heightened when his
initial price proposals are accepted without serious negotiations
and the other party starts saying it wants to visit the factory.
After that, he terminates further communications.
With a Korean client
company's young employee in a Korean restaurant