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10 minutes with… Yujiro Ichihara

10 minutes with… Yujiro Ichihara

Thanks for taking 10 minutes with gasworld. Nippon Sanso Holdings Corporation became a holding company on 1st October, for industrial gas and thermos businesses in four regions around the world (Japan, US, Europe, Asia/Oceania). What was the purpose of introducing a holding company?

Our first step toward overseas development was in 1980, when the former Nippon Sanso opened an office in Singapore. In the 40 years since, we have expanded to 29 countries and regions. Overseas business accounted for 55% of our sales revenue of ¥850bn and two-thirds of our operating income of ¥93.9bn in the term ending March 2020. Issues discussed at management meetings are mostly related to overseas business, but the organisational system still mainly consists of Japanese.

Our industrial gas businesses are located in consumer areas. Although we provide the same products and technology around the world, the culture, language, and business practices are different. Local staff, rather than Japanese staff, can better manage local business. Since last year, the CEOs of Matheson (US) and Nippon Gases in Europe have joined the board to discuss the major policies of our group.

The biggest objective of this transition is to transfer authority to the American, European, and Japanese leaders so that they can be responsible for business results and accelerate the decision-making processes.

What are Nippon Sanso Holdings’ aspirations as a holding company?

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