Nikkol group NEWS LETTER


The Secrets to Doing Business Chinese-style!!

      The NIKKOL GROUP began developing business in China in the 1990s, and entered the Chinese market on a full scale in 2007, when it established Nikko Chemicals Shanghai Corporation.

      Thereafter, Nikko Chemicals Shanghai expanded its business as the Chinese market gathered momentum. It might be presumptuous of me to say it, but I feel that Nikko Chemicals Shanghai grew hand in hand with the Chinese market.

The secrets to doing business in China – “pengyou youxin” & “zhuoyan daju”
      In the days when there was not yet much interest in cosmetics in China as a whole, the NIKKOL GROUP ventured into the vast seas of the Chinese market. Ways of doing business differ from country to country. In a word, what is most important on the business scene in China is human network and personal connections. Of course, human relationships cannot be built overnight. How do people in China go about constructing their networks?
      In one way, the key point is to make a strong impression on the other person. To do this, you must rely on the power you have accumulated so far as a professional, and the magnetism of your personality. You interact with the other person not only in business, but also in matters that have nothing to do with making money. And you do your best to help him (or her) out with things that have no connection with business. The point is to deepen ties of friendship (“pengyou”) over a long time. This is what builds human networks in China.

      To say you must rely on your power and charisma makes doing business in China sound quite daunting. But in spite of how hard it sounds, isn’t there a somehow nostalgic ring to it? Just think about the shape of business in Japan before “restructuring,” “M&A,” “risk-hedging,” “decision-making,” “compliance,” and other imported English buzzwords came to be used in business and management. Back in those days, I believe person-to-person ties were more important than anything else in Japan, too. You took your time to get to know people and enter into their hearts. This process seems only natural, and yet is both very difficult and of vital importance. And it is still treasured in China.

      Another point is that Chinese businesspersons are very dynamic and tend to think and act big (“zhuoyan daju”). They like things that are new. They do not feel much resistance toward accepting “something new, something different.” They usually don’t think in terms of whether or not there is a precedent. On the contrary – customers in China like to give an idea a try if they find it interesting. They are real doers who are liable to say: “First of all, let’s just act on it! We can think about the details later, as we go along!” Recent years have seen a big inflow of things and information into China from other countries, all at once. People may have acquired a progressive outlook as a result. They want to get beyond all sorts of entrenched concepts and go with the things that match their tastes or are the best in their eyes. As I see it, this gung-ho attitude unbound by various concepts is the source of China’s vigor.
      “Cherish your ties with other people, build a human network, look at the big picture when viewing business, and get penetrating insights into the situation.” I would say these are the secret to doing business in China.

Participation in PCHi Shanghai 2016, China’s biggest cosmetics show
      The Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients (PCHi) trade show was held in Shanghai, China over the three-day period beginning on March 1, 2016. The NIKKOL GROUP also had a booth at this show.
      The booth had a Japanese coloring, and was run mainly by employees of Nikko Chemicals Shanghai and Nikko Chemicals Co., Ltd. Wearing “happi” coats, the employees fielded questions from visitors.
      Lately, Japanese-style “omotenashi” hospitality has been attracting a lot of attention. People think it’s wonderful and are praising it to the skies. But what we saw at PCHi Shanghai was an outpouring of a Chinese brand of hospitality that went further than the vaunted Japanese style. It reflected the build-up of heartfelt warmth toward and concern for the customer by the Chinese employees, in spite of their gung-ho stance.
      Nikko Chemicals Shanghai employs personnel assigned to sales, R&D, administrative work, and other tasks. At the PCHi Shanghai show, the staff of its booth was not confined to salespersons; people from all other departments also were on hand to deal with visitors. Some staff members explained products, others assisted them, and yet others brought in materials used for the booth, while still others took it upon themselves to make preparations for and clean up after the show. All of them were united by the deep desire to lead the booth activities to success. This shared desire was fulfilled; every day of the show, many visitors stopped by the NIKKOL GROUP booth and talked business with the staff.
      Nikko Chemicals Shanghai continues to expand its business. It is widening its sales network by concluding contracts with several agencies in China. Japanese firms are known for manufacturing product quality under the watchwords “security, safety, and stability.” We are determined to make further strides by combining this product quality with the brand of hospitality provided by Chinese firms, and offering products that match the wants and needs of China and other Asian countries.

Editor’s postscript
      To prepare this issue of the e-mail magazine, we went to PCHi Shanghai 2016. What we witnessed there was exactly the practice of “pengyou youxin” and “zhuoyan daju” by the Nikko Chemicals Shanghai employees. As I see it, they embodied the Chinese-style attitude of cherishing ties with other people, forming human networks, looking at the big picture in business, and getting keen insights into the realities.
      These days, we often hear on the news that economic growth among the BRICs is slower than was first anticipated. But on the streets of Shanghai, I keenly felt the same, unchanging energy and momentum unique to today’s China, though they are not conveyed on the news. I, for one, am convinced that China will definitely continue to advance.