Some incidents leave you with profound, unforgettable experiences. I had one such in the spring of 2008. I was 35 years old and was on a trip around the world with backpackers after quitting my job. Short but sweet, the episode left me enlightened with what Japan means to the world.
Before I started Japan Consulting Inc., I asked myself why and what. Why should I start a business? What was my purpose? People in different parts of the world have distinctive expectations. More than anything else, I wanted to add value and happiness to people's life.
To understand people, I went backpacking around the world. Backpacking, because it allows you to glimpse the world from the bottom up to the top. The tour opened my eyes and expanded my horizons. One particular incident stands carved in my memory.
It was a Friday and I was in Amman, Jordan. Fridays are public holidays in the Islamic world. Most shops were closed and I had to go to a bar to drink beer. Japanese, Chinese, Koreans and the like are immediately recognizable and I was greeted with the usual sharp glazes.
Then someone from a group of three inquired, 'Where do you come from? Are you Japanese or Chinese?' I told them I was from Japan and their expressions turned cheerful. 'I have a great Toyota Car with a superb Sony Stereo', said one with a large smile.
I was invited and we had a great time over food, drinks, and talks. When I was about to leave, I asked for the bill. Here, I was pleasantly surprised. The Bar Manager informed me that the 'boss' had paid my bill because I was a guest in their country.
The message sank in quickly inside my mind. To the world, Japan means quality, utility, functionality, and, of course, durability. If I had to start a new business, it had to do with taking the best of Japan to the world. It was as if my mission lay illuminated before me.
For us, 'Made in Japan' is a commitment to values and excellence. It is our mission to bring the best of Japan to the global stage. We are duty bound in this endeavor. With us, 'service' is redefined.
President, Japan Consulting Inc.