Nikkol group Nikkol Group News Letter


Global x Purchasing = Nikko Chemicals

"Overseas vacation" vs "International business trip"

   Could it be one of the effects of Abenomics? The number of Japanese who make trips overseas this summer is projected to reach a remarkable 2.55 million.
   Sprinkled into the airport crowds of people vacationing in other countries are the business persons who have no such summer vacations. Two examples are Ikko Tanaka and Shigeru Sasamura (Sasa) of Nikko Chemicals, a member of the Nikkol Group. Ikko is working in the Purchasing Division, and Sasa is the Vice-Director of the International Division. They spend between 50 and 100 days a year on business trips to other countries.
   We interviewed the two about their trip to the Amazon basin in Brazil for the purpose of developing new raw material sources, while tying in
the global business (International Division) and purchasing (Purchasing Division) angles.

Q. What was the objective of the trip to the Amazon basin, which we hear was quite a series of interesting episodes?
- Sasa: To reinforce our assortment of vegetable oils, we made a trip to the Brazilian state of Para. Situated near the mouth of the Amazon, its largest city, Belem,  has a population of about 1.5 million and plenty of high-rise buildings. But if you go across the river, you are in the jungle. The contrast between the urbanized areas and jungle was intriguing.
- Ikko: The flight from Japan took about 40 hours, and we had to be vaccinated against yellow fever before departure. In Para, we ate some of the river fish which the indigenous people absolutely love.
- Sasa: Yes, we had it deep-fried. It was delicious!
- Ikko: I thought it was, well… It smelled a little rank to me, perhaps because it was freshwater fish.
The contrast between Sasa and Ikko in their impressions of the Amazon dietary culture was also interesting!

The Purchasing Division & the International Division

   The Nikkol Group is comprised of companies engaged in the manufacturing, development and sales of materials for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food. In the Nikkol Group context, the Purchasing Division of Nikko Chemicals imports materials and the products of other companies. To discover raw materials and products that will be desired by our customers, supply them on a stable basis, and see that they can be used with peace of mind requires knowledge of the global regulations and trends, as well proper connections. Nikko Chemicals is capable of providing all of these things as a single integrated service, and we believe that is one of our key strengths.

   For its part, the International Division engages mainly in sales overseas. Its employees are of various nationalities. As a group, they speak over 12 languages and can cultivate markets where it would be hard to make inroads using English alone. They gather information on trends and needs in each country through their own networks, and deliver products that match the requirements of global customers.

Q. Where do you obtain information on products and trends?
- Ikko: Generally through the human network we've built up so far and word-of-mouth reports. We also look to industry shows, journals, and other such sources for information, but I feel the information from people in the industry with whom we have long had relationships is the freshest and most reliable.

Q. What is your outlook for the future course based on such information?
- Ikko: In procurement of materials, the key word is "sustainability." Sustainability is assuming increasing importance, and is also in accord with the perspectives of the Nikkol Group. For a both sustainable and steady supply of materials, we are determined to travel to various locations, deepen our understanding, and further strengthen our arrangements to assure the Triple S's (safety, security, and stable supply) , which constitute one of our watchwords.
- Sasa: In the International Division, we are paying attention to industries outside the personal care field, and making preparations for development of business in all sorts of industries in various countries. We are going to continue collecting information on products and trends. In addition, we are collaborating with the Purchasing Division in a search for new materials. The evaluation organization within the Nikkol Group (consisting of Nikoderm Research Inc. and Cosmos Technical Center Co., Ltd.) confirms the safety and efficacy of such materials. We want to put new products with high value-added levels into the hands of customers around the world.

Love of drink and family
   Lastly, we asked the two globe-trotters about the secret to getting through business trips. They both said it was good drink and, above all, the existence of family who support their work. Both expressed their gratitude to family members, insisting that they could not make trips overseas without the understanding of the family.

   The adventures of the two in all parts of the world continue, with the support of their families.