Mr. Matsumoto: The second major wave that came after the Baht crisis, is the Thai entry rush by Japanese companies in the early 2000s. Around that time, the phenomenon that a group of companies that makes up the supply chain, mainly the automobile industry, landed in Thailand from Japan all occurred one after another. It is the beginning of the great competition era that competes for a limited slice of the market pie. Just eat or be eaten. It went into a fierce era.
Under such circumstances, a small business cannot be just average to compete with the supply chain of large companies equally. The conclusion that we got after thinking things through was "to go straight." "Let's do what you have been doing properly." It was only to comply with our business face-to-face frankly.
Mr. Matsumoto: Although we managed to overcome the rush of Japanese rival companies in some way, the severe trials were not finished yet. It was the Lehman shock in 2008 that we faced. The financial crisis that originated from the subprime loans in the US quickly attacked Japanese companies, causing a fund shortage due to foreign exchange losses, etc. It was a situation similar to the 1997 Baht crisis.
However, it was a change in the industrial structure that was greatly different here. At that time, IT (Information Technology) related industries began to get excited and the performance of computer-related companies was good. Although we have customers in a wide range of industries, the fact that we had a deal with IT companies in that business also worked for us in a good direction, and we overcame the crisis. We were able to achieve a V-shaped recovery. I experienced myself that "a pinch is a chance".
Mr. Matsumoto: The last thing to mention is the unprecedented flood that struck Central Thailand from the middle of 2011 to the end of the year, three years after the Lehman shock. Due to this disaster, our company suffered great damage and lost many customers. There was no previous experience of natural disasters that caused damage to the manufacturing industry so far, and there were even observations that a considerable number of companies would withdraw from Thailand in the beginning.
However, the result was different. Each company's response was quick and full of enthusiasm for recovery. It was not to be at a loss, "what should I do", but is uniformly "do it again". Although being affected so much, we thought only "do it again". It is important. I felt it was just a reconstruction.
The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11 of the same year. Many parts of Japan suffered great damage, mainly in the Tohoku region. At that time, one country among many countries which sent the hand of assistance was Thailand. At the end of the same year, Japan repaid Thailand for their kindness. Japanese companies that are going to rebuild should have had the same thoughts. Even as Japanese companies in Thailand, we are a Thai company established in Thailand and working with Thai employees.
Mr. Matsumoto: In August 2014, our Company built a long-planned building in Bangkok. It was the first time doing business from an independent location that was not a rented house. There were many things that I remembered at the opening ceremony. Many hardships and encounters with a new pinch at the time when I thought we overcame the pinch. Although we suffered each time, we managed to overcome them somehow.
The number of employees was only seven at the beginning, but now we have close to 40 people, and we have opened our branches in Chiang Mai and Sriracha. Many excellent Thai staff have also grown with our company. For the more than 20 years since our establishment in Thailand, we have always been planning to pursue initiatives targeting new local markets.
Bangkok Head Office
Chiang Mai Branch