Aiming at New Business and Globalization of Operations
Taking Advantage of Changes in Business Environment and Times
Marujyu was established back in 1921 for the production and
sales of refractories for electric heating use. Since then, it has continuously taken up the
challenge of the creation of new businesses so as to meet with the changes in the business
environment and times. In the late 1970s, it began the production and sales of fine ceramics,
while in the early 1980s it established sole distributors in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and
Republic of Korea for the sales of refractories for firing use in Southeast Asia. In addition
to the sales of the company's products, it established a trading division in the mid 1990s to sell a broad range of products.
The current managing director, Mr. Takayasu Kato, took over the reins of the company
in 1997 as the third generation family operator. He immediately began pushing global operations
crossing national borders. For example, after the sharp appreciation of the yen value and the economic
crisis precipitated by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, he began import and sales of food products
and set up a food division. Further, he began sales of software for coding digital data, "Color
Contrast Code," utilizing the company's sales network in Southeast Asia. This software is being
employed for prevention of forgery of diplomas of universities in India.
The company has been working with JETRO since the 1980s in relation to its overseas
expansion and learned of the TTPP in the course of its dealings. In July 2010, it was consulted
about food procurement from a semiconductor company and registered a proposal at the TTPP. Soon
after registration, it received 30 to 40 inquiries. Even now it continues to receive contact mails.
At the present time, it only checks contact mails relating to its "Offer to Sell" proposals on a substantially daily basis.
TTPP is Useful for Finding Overseas Sources of Supply
Mr. Kato looks through contact mails received through the TTPP, exchanges
information by e-mail on product details and terms of business, obtains samples, then narrows down potential
suppliers and products. Further, after pinning down the details by e-mail, the company visits the site when deeming it necessary.
For obtaining food, the company has visited Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.
It imports carrots from Taiwan in container units for sales in Japan. For mushrooms,
it focused on farms in Malaysia and India as potential suppliers. The company inspected the local
production farms in Malaysia, but the quality of the samples was poor, so the company decided not to
do business with them. The farms in India have not yet sent samples, so the company cannot even
start considering doing business with it.
The company has turned its attention to the import of food from the Mediterranean countries so
as to take advantage of the recent high value of the yen. Through the TTPP, it has concluded contracts
with a Spanish business for direct import of new-to-Japan extra virgin olive oil, anchovies, and iberico
ham. It processes these imported materials in Japan and sells them as new products of its food division.
It has contracted with two well-established department store chains in central Tokyo for limited sales at specialty goods corners.
According to Mr. Kato, TTPP is effective in obtaining numerous contacts for "Offer to Buy" proposals
to study new business opportunities and find partners. However, there are very few contacts for "Offer
to Sell" proposals. Further, he cannot find what he wants by searches of proposals and has difficulty in
sifting through the "TTPP Fresh Proposals News" since they are not sorted in any particular way.