In a Forbes article, SAP Japan President Fukuda Yuzuru and Stefan Steinle, Senior Vice President and Head of SAP Globalisation Services, shared their thoughts about reversing Japan’s globalisation slowdown.
Japan has established a reputation for manufacturing and exporting high-quality consumer products. The country has been one of the leaders of globalisation alongside being leaders of the electronics and hardware industry in the 70s and 80s.
Some of the top Japanese companies, such as Sony, considered hiring non-Japanese upper management leaders as a way to build trust and confidence and also branched out R&D centers around their global units.
Eventually, the rest of the world caught up. China and South Korea were able to penetrate the consumer electronics and hardware market. Whatever product Japan produced, China and South Korea would have something to compete against it.
The Economist published a report in 2011 that told the story of how Japanese companies struggled with expanding to a global market. Why? It is because they put too much of their focus onto the local customers, which delayed efforts to build their international reputation.
However, this doesn’t mean that all Japanese companies failed to “globalise.” Let’s go through some companies who found the right globalisation strategy and succeeded.
Leveraging the advantages of a non-Japanese leadership
The conservative mindset included avoiding foreign leadership into home-grown companies. However, Japanese companies hired foreigners for various reasons. These include the experience and stand-point of a non-Japanese leader when it comes to opening a new branch on foreign soil.
Additionally, some company leaders decided to adopt English as the official language in their office. One of the best examples for this is Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s founder. Rakuten’s venture to speak the global language of business made it to the list as a globalisation success story.
Meanwhile, top global brands such as OPPO, McDonald’s, and Nestle, have found ways to localise their products to adapt to the Japanese lifestyle.
SAP Japan makes VAT processing simple
In Japan, companies are required to calculate the deductible VAT purchase. There are country-specific rules that impact the calculation for taxable sales ratio, and many more.
These are tedious tasks related to taxes that require manual processing and data extraction, calculations, and other legal matters. SAP Japan provides solutions to help reduce the manual efforts for the process.
The era of glocalisation has come. The Japanese businesses are finally improving forward with a fresher mindset and SAP Japan is definitely one of those that will stand behind its progress.