Japan strategy and growth


Top executive team of a leading multinational, globally No 1 in their sector: “What is holding us back in Japan?”

This global multi-national is No 1 in their industry sector, and No 1 in all major markets except in Japan, and their Japan-CEO engaged us on their journey to No 1 in Japan. In a multi-month project we analyzed the company’s situation in Japan, and their management structure for Japan, and the competitive landscape in Japan in relation to the company’s position.

We found a number of answers to their question “what is holding us back in Japan” – and created paths to growth in Japan.

In an interactive workshop of the top 35 global executives of the company (global CEO, CTO, CMO, CFO etc) we brought our results to the global executive team, created a number of surprises, and unblocked particular communication channels within the company which had contributed to “holding the company back in Japan”.

Silicon Valley SaaS business process company needed help with their “third restart” and turn-round in Japan

This Bay Area B2B SaaS company (NASDAQ listed, market cap around US$ 15 billion) asked us for help for the “third restart” in Japan. The company had started in Japan about 10 years earlier, was not growing as fast as hoped and asked us to create a new “go-to-market plan”, and strategy for their “third restart” in Japan.

We determined the company’s competitive positions, market shares, true market positioning, recommended focus on priority verticals, talked with Japanese customers to understand Japanese customer’s pain points with the company’s products, found several problems of the company’s products which needed fixing, recommended an acquisition to address missing functionality needed by Japanese customers. We created a go-to-market plan focussed on priority verticals, and addressed issues with the management structure for Japan, holding back growth in Japan.

Investment strategy into Japan’s start-up / venture ecosystem for the Japan fund of a major global investment bank

One of the Board Directors of the Japan fund of one of the largest global investment banks asked us to help preparations for investments into Japan’s growing venture ecosystem.

We prepared an overview of Japan’s venture investment landscape, and options for investing, including direct investments into Japanese start-ups/ventures, investing as Limited Partners in existing funds, outsourcing fund management to a Japanese VC fund, or creating a fund-of-funds, and other options.

We organized a workshop with the Board Directors and CEO of the Japan investment fund, including introducing representatives of several leading Japanese VC funds for discussions.

Japan strategy and growth for precision electronic components and devices.

For a number of European and US precision electronic component and device companies we worked in growth and strategy for Japan.

One particular midsized family owned European precision electronic device company asked us to help growth in Japan. The company had not yet established a subsidiary in Japan and was selling in Japan via three distributors, two very small, while one distributor was the leading company with about 20% share of Japan’s electronic parts market (Japan’s electronic parts market is approximately US$ 10 billion annually).

We determined the company’s position in Japan’s market, found out that the company had very problematic relationships with each of the three distributors, and the largest distributor had actually terminated the distribution relationship – the CEO of the European company, our client, did not even know about this termination.

We helped to reestablish this broken relationship and the helped to address the underlying reasons which had caused the Japanese distributor to terminate the relationship.

We found that in addition the company had reliability and trust issues regarding their business with Japanese customers, which led to company being placed on the “black list” of unreliable suppliers by large and important Japanese customers. We assisted to identify and address these issues.

We held a Japan workshop at the company’s European headquarters for CEO and key staff to create understanding of Japan’s market, as a basis for building the Japan business.

We discussed the options and helped create the platform for the company to establish their subsidiary and jump-start growth in Japan, including a number of necessary employee changes.