Nikkol group Nikkol Group News Letter


Kwang's eyes:
NIKKOL GROUP seen by the eyes of a Thai employee

“Samurai working on computers?”
     On the summer day three years ago, Kwang boarded a plane departing from Bangkok and bound for Tokyo. She took the flight because she was going to be working for a Japanese company named “Nikko Chemicals.” In contrast to the other passengers, who began to order beverages and watch movies once the plane had leveled out after take-off, she was looking at Bangkok streets getting smaller and smaller down below, lost in her own thoughts. “How will Japan greet me? Will I be able to get used to working in the Japanese company? What shall I do if the Japanese employees all work from morning until night just glued to their desks, without talking or joking?”

      The global spread of internet and manga culture have finally erased mistaken conceptions that Japan is a country where samurai and geisha still walk the streets. Nevertheless, the stereotype that Japanese corporate employees are stern-faced samurai vested in black suits, who speak no more than necessary, and always keep their eyes attached to the computer screen, has apparently not yet been eliminated. Kwang was one of those who had this impression of Japan.

      About a week after she began commuting to the head office of Nikko Chemicals in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, Kwang finally settled down and found the time to take a good look around the office. “Come to think of it, in this company the workstyle is very different from what I had imagined. Employees take coffee breaks in the lounge, eat lunch in the cafeteria together, and seem to be enjoying themselves a lot. Some of the employees are also foreign nationals like myself. There are many female employees, too. And the company is actively working in international markets for more than 30 years. Maybe I, too, can do something challenging!” Her initial uneasiness had already vanished.

      Three years have gone by since then. Today, Kwang is one of the core members on the international sales team. She is responsible for business in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Singapore, which are important areas of growth for Nikko Chemicals. She is quite busy, and makes trips to one or more of these markets almost every month.

NIKKOL GROUP = the human body
      I once asked Kwang to describe NIKKOL GROUP to me. After thinking for a minute, her chin resting on her hands, she gave me the following metaphorical description.
“I think NIKKOL GROUP is like a single body. Nihon Surfactant Kogyo, our major manufacturing company, is the heart. It plays the role of pumping the blood, meaning products, throughout the body. I’d say Nikko Chemicals is like a brain, which controls overall business and guides other companies in the group. Cosmos Technical Center is like an enzyme activating the body cells. Each company plays an important role of its own, but at the same time there is no distance between the group companies or organizational units, such that no one says “This is NOT my job!” For this reason, the body is a very healthy one.” She painted this portrait with a beaming smile on her face.

      Kwang feels that global customers have high expectations of NIKKOL GROUP as an enterprise that constantly offers something new. She will continue to fly around the world to present new products and technologies that reflect NIKKOL GROUP’s buzzwords “innovation, trendy, quality & premium”. And as she boards the plane for her next regular trip, perhaps she will smile recalling how she first came to Japan three years ago.