100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2012 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Xenlon International

CEO Masahiro Nakata

Message to young people
Business provides mental and spiritual sustenance that adds a sparkle to your enthusiastic life.
Being a corporate employee is not everything. Be entrepreneurial and creative! It's good for you to talk about dreams, but not good for you to comfort yourself with them.____
In spite of Japanese people's socioeconomic advantage over overseas competitors, I'm wondering why those non-Japanese who have come to Japan to learn the Japanese language and have acquired Japanese culture succeed in overseas businesses, but not the Japanese?

When I was a child, I used to be a docile, introspective and shy boy.

After I came of age and entered society, I was a salesman at an insurance company. I learned about the hardness and difficulties of society through the job when my proposals were not accepted or turned down. At that time, Japan was in its bubble economy and even an insurance company used to sell financial products. I was going from place to place to sell them, but a storm of complaints awaited me. I thought that it made no sense if I did as a company dictated. That is why I decided to change my job.

I entered Xenlon International, which my father used to run, while it was starting a new project. This made me feel that I should have been a leader. Later, I created a new style of Chinese food that goes well with wine because there was a thought to change the image of Chinese cuisine. At that time, the reaction of the market was divided.

Although it was incredibly painful to carry out my strong intentions against critical voices, some customers and peers supported me. I resolved to be independent to promote the internationalization of my company and to aim for further advancement. Whether the business develops or succeeds depends on the customers' acceptance. Small and medium-size enterprises depend on the success or failure of the president and the voices of customers deserve attention as if the voice of God. It is important that we develop our receptivity to collect any information and become sensitive to the trends and changes of the time. Also, it is important to enlighten ourselves, make persistent efforts and have the spirit that we will never give up. In order to overcome the upcoming, turbulent days, I thought that I had to become the head of the company.

At first, I could feel relatively at ease controlling our capital during good economic times. However, I fell into a severe condition for three years as I failed to form an organizational structure. I realized that it is very difficult to trust people and leave the job up to them. Still, we are halfway to our goal. I would like to make a company where we do not forget the spirit of striving to think always of how we can put the customers' demands into a concrete shape and share such motivations. It is, therefore, necessary to train self-driven people.

In the coming years, we will promote our operations overseas, in particular, to Asian nations, which is our strength. Mainly, we will develop our services, such as entertaining tourists from overseas and business clients in Japan, opening new branches in foreign countries, or transmitting Japanese style to the world through our consulting business.

Company Profile

Xenlon International
Shinjuku/ Tokyo
Operating restaurants, sale of food products, production and sale of tea, consulting