New Business Launched Opening Up Satellite Communications Market
After working for an American-run computer company for over 20 years, Mr. Mitsubayashi was given the opportunity to provide systems support for a satellite mobile phone service of a mountaineering company. Foreseeing the marketability of satellite phones as means for emergency communications, he decided to set up his own business with the establishment of Technology Three in September 2002. The first problem he ran up against was the lack of suppliers of satellite communication systems or sources of procurement of satellite phones in Japan, so he started looking over the Internet. After numerous inquiries and discussions, he contracted with three overseas firms. His satellite communications network now covers the entire world.
Technology Three's main line of business is the rental of satellite phones. Its customers are employees of trading companies, engineers, and members of government agencies or the media working in locations such as oil plants or mountains where there are either no or limited means of communications. Most of the rentals are for use overseas, but the firm is also offering rentals in Japan for as tools for urgent communications enabling companies to deal with emergency situations in crisis management.
Mr. Mitsubayashi proposes a Japanese version of a disaster recovery system based on the American thinking regarding crisis management of "how best to gather and share information" in the event an emergency such as an earthquake. Further, he is working to spread the idea in disaster training or crisis management seminars sponsored by government agencies or
New Business Requires Concrete Proposals and Home Page
Mitsubayashi uses the JETRO library to obtain information on overseas firms. He learned of TTPP there as well. Deciding that he wanted to work as an agent for overseas manufacturers of satellite phones, he immediately registered at TTPP. However, perhaps because he described his general line of business in the proposal, he found himself receiving unwanted inquiries about sales or purchases of mobile phones and provision of communications services.
Whenever receiving an inquiry by e-mail, the first thing Mitsubayashi did was to look at the firm and its line of business at its home page. One of the e-mails offered to sell a unique communications software from Taiwan. Mitsubayashi checked the business and capabilities of the company at its home page, negotiated several times with its engineers regarding the specifications and price, and then decided to make a purchase. The product delivered however differed from what was specified. Using his record of e-mails as evidence, he sought to return or exchange the product and obtained due action. At that time, he notes he drafted up his complaint based on the sample "complaint letters" introduced at JETRO's home page.
While relating all of this, Mitsubayashi reflected on his past experiences and underlined two points he found important: 1) in registered proposals, one has to specify concretely the goods and services one wants to do business in overseas rather than describe one's general line of business and 2) one has to make an English version of one's home page in order to get oneself understood overseas (his own home page is still only in Japanese). He concluded that he was soon going to revise his TTPP registered information to make more effective use of TTPP.