Remarks at Start of Work Ceremony for 2015 (Précis)
January 13, 2015
My aspiration for this year is to stride firmly towards growth with globalization and R&D as our driving engines, standing up to the headwinds we face, to bring about the Kaneka Group that makes your dreams happen.
Last year saw a decline in the market in reaction to the increase of the consumption tax to 8%, the recovery of the US, the rapid rise in electricity costs in Japan, the further weakening of the yen towards the end of the year, the shale gas revolution, and the crash in crude oil prices. However, while the world may be increasingly uncertain, there has been definite progress made in science and technology. The start of clinical use of iPS cells in aging-related macular degeneration has shown that the tissue regeneration and cell therapy our company has been involved with is finally reaching maturity. The decision to permit the effects of functional foods to be displayed has meant that the supplement industry has reached a major turning-point.
An era of change is a major chance for Kaneka. We shall be able to reap the harvest of major growth if we can bring together the full strength of Kaneka.
We are working on strengthening the company in the following specific ways:
1) In terms of production technology, we are aiming to be the LCP, or Lowest Cost Producer, so are setting specific numerical targets for costs and productivity. In addition to the obvious process reforms, we shall pursue LCP at each stage, from the purchasing of raw materials to delivery.
2) To bring about results from R&D, we are continuing to create new products and new businesses in our business fields and corporate R&D. In future, we shall focus our resources on themes that should be emphasized and work to increase the speed of our portfolio reforms and achievement of results.
3) We shall put even more effort into establishing the Kaneka brand, and into “trust in people and technology ,” especially the “people” part: that is to say, gaining trust in Kaneka itself.
4) To create new businesses, we shall clarify value chains and become an insider who is an integral part of them. To achieve this, we are actively studying M&A that allows us to wield the synergy of Kaneka’s technology and people.
5) Aiming for globalization, we shall construct a multinational management system that will drive our global businesses, with an emphasis on life sciences, electronics, and new businesses.
What is important in this world of rapid change is not to lose sight of our goals, and to create a plan by working back from these goals to clarify to ourselves just what schedule and resources investment we need to arrive there. We shall reconfirm the vision of our reforms, basing them on the long-term vision of the Declaration of KANEKA UNITED we established five years ago.
There is no growth without reform. Stagnation is decay. And this chaotic world will no doubt continue into 2015.
However, we shall do what we ourselves have determined, without being swayed by external forces. Instead of waiting for reforms to happen, we shall be the side that makes these reforms.
January 5, 2015