2017.1.4New Year's MessageHappy New Year, everyone! We are counting on your support again this year.
Below is the text of the New Year’s address. by Hiroshi Shimizu, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Hiroshi Shimizu, President and CEO
Happy New Year!
Last year saw major events including the change of administration in Taiwan, the US presidential election, the resignation of the prime minister in Italy, and the UK’s exit from the European Union. The world seems to have entered an “age of surprise” characterized by political and economic changes that are both large in scale and run counter to expectations.
I began by remarking how last year was one of great change that shook the world. We must likewise be aware of the great changes among our customers themselves, who are also the sources of our corporate value. In Japan and other developed countries, it is said that customers do not know what they want in the current age. Therefore, it is important to find the very problems that customers should resolve. The Japan of the past had clear needs (wants), a continually growing population, and continually expanding markets. In this situation, businesses could operate by making and selling things that matched this environment, and it was efficient to concentrate on technology management. But today, after the postwar phase of rapid economic growth and the ensuing economic crisis, inflation and bursting of the bubble factor, and lost 25 years, people are no longer satisfied with “things” alone. Right from the start, Fuji Oil has sold products endowed with added value, but the nature of this added value is similarly changing with the times. People are motivated to make purchases not merely by the products themselves but by the time and space providing the products. What is the value that resolves customer problems? We must depart from reliance on the business models and cases of success in the past. Last year, we experienced a case of reverse innovation when a product developed for other countries won great popularity in them and was introduced into Japan. Similarly, the parties showing an interest in plant ingredients that are alterative to meat ones are mainly businesses in Silicon Valley in the United States rather than the food industry. As these examples indicate, paradigms are changing dramatically.
Moreover, 2017 is anticipated to bring further changes in the business environment. I would like to ask all members of the Fuji Oil Group to join in a concerted effort to move forward together with a sense of history.