Gulliver International Co.

Chairman Kenichi Hatori

1940
Birthplace
Fukushima/Japan
Message to young people
Be ambitious. Keep up your hard work. Success may follow your efforts.

In my childhood I was greatly influenced by my parents, who ran a barbershop that was started in the Edo Period. My father had also been doing various kinds of businesses and taught me how to run a business while my mother taught me kindness. My father told me to be No. 1 at anything I decided to do, so I was serious about everything from my elementary school days. I happened to sell fermented soybeans when I was still a schoolboy and found it interesting to work for money.

I entered a tire recycling company operated by my father, where I took the initiative to start new services, such as retrieving wrecked vehicles directly from the scene of an accident. The success of this led me to establish Hatori Sogyo Co., my first company.

But Hatori Sogyo suffered from bill fraud and went bankrupt with debts amounting to 300 million yen. I had to work very hard to repay the debts, selling used cars, about 50 units a month on average. I finished repaying the debts after three years and continued to work in the used-car business.

I established Gulliver in hopes of getting rid of the shady image of used-car sales, due in part to a lack of clear-cut foundations in pricing. To reassure customers, I made sales practices transparent and honest.

When I started the company, I set the goal of opening 500 shops in five years and used a franchise system to increase the number of shops at a rapid pace. In order to improve the perceptions of used cars, I only talked with people unrelated to the used-car business, as I thought outsiders were preferable to those already in the industry. Many people in the industry said negative things like “what can laymen do in this industry?” but I kept my aim high and never gave up. I think that was the key to me achieving my goal of 500 shops in five years.

Though Gulliver started as a business that specialized in buying used cars, I don’t intend to limit our business to one area. Now we have firm foundation in buying cars, so we are now starting to focus on developing our car-selling business as well. Recently cars are said to be less popular because of high oil prices and other reasons, but I think cars are really wonderful products. What we should do is to convey the charm of cars, and provide useful services and suggestions so that customers can buy and drive cars without worrying.

The automobile industry is undergoing a huge change with major automakers making progress in new technologies. There are many things that Gulliver can do and I am excited when I think of the next step.

Company Profile

Name
Gulliver International Co.
Headquarters
Tokyo/Japan
1994
employees
2420
business
Used car distribution business
url
http://www.glv.co.jp/