April 24, 2006 was my Swedish Day: for breakfast I was invited to IKEA’s opening party for their new store in Funabashi (I met even with the global Chairman of IKEA – that he attended the opening in Funabashi shows how seriously IKEA is taken the market entry to Japan) – we had done some IT work for IKEA.
Lunch and afternoon I spent with about 30 Swedish CFO’s / controllers of some of the largest Swedish corporations, who had come to Japan on a study tour. These CFO’s/Controllers were all working at companies in Investor AB’s portfolio, and the program was organized by Investor AB’s Corporate Academy Novare.
The Swedish controllers had asked for a briefing on Japan’s telecom industry. Some of their companies are considering to start, re-start, or grow faster in Japan, so there were many detailed questions about business in Japan, what can go wrong, personell issues, experience of other multinationals, and of course a lot of questions about IKEA and Vodafone.
My presentation was similar to the presentation I had given on March 23, 2006 to the Technology Attaches of the Embassies of the 25 European Union countries, which lead the European Union to award our company a project contract about EU vs Japan benchmarking issues in telecoms and key technology areas.
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