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


CEO Yasuaki Suzuki

Message to young people
I would like you to develop your personality to suit the times. I think the times will be rapidly changing in the future. Thus, you should think it normal that a traditional method would not be suitable for the future and listen to the advice from your boss as just a guide, and eventually you should become a person who can gauge what you need for the time. To do this, your efforts and experiences while young are important. I think you will experience many difficulties when you work in young age, but the cultivated efforts and experiences would be surely useful in 10 years.

My family is running a veteran aluminum maker established 120 years ago. I grew up surrounded by my relatives, who are the management of the company. Thus the family time and the family function in Obon or New Year’s holidays looked more like a staff meeting, which was an extraordinary environment for a child to grow up. During elementary school, I was so naughty and always scolded by teachers. There was another naughty boy in the school and we were disgracefully named as “the naughty combination in the elementary school.” Even when I became a junior high and high school student, I did not grow up personally that much and was an outstanding person for doing crazy things. I have no memory of doing things to be proud of. The only thing I can be proud of is that I received great grades in the subjects of art and math. During university life, I did nothing but part-time jobs and joined societies (which are just for fun) and eventually repeated a grade for 1½years, which led me to go to the university for the last half-year to earn credits in just one subject while working. So, I was a bad student.

I have had many arguments with my father, which was the reason to leave the company and start my own business. I had a choice to become a businessman, but I was determined to found a company in my youth as a 37-year-old man. The reason I chose this business field was because I thought I would make use of the knowledge and experiences I cultivated, and I liked producing and designing. However, I was not confident at all in managing a company and I founded it without thinking seriously, to be honest. The lack of confidence is even now continuing and I am steadily striving to gather the reasons to have confidence.

At the very beginning of our founding, we did not specialize in the simple style like we now do and we managed the same style of sales as others had. Thus, we could not produce the expected profit and the performance did not increase, which was a sequence of struggles. There were quite a few of others in the same business in the sales area and we were forced to be in a grueling match in a competitive zone. We spent an empty life of doing our business just to earn funds. When we continued such an uncreative management for two years, I realized that “able to do anything is the same as unable to do anything,” and changed our stance to “We proudly offer the simple design” since then. From that time, the number of customers increased and also the closing rate became high. It required much courage to change our business policy, otherwise our company would not be around now.

I would like to carry on the business and keep my company alive. The continuity of the company will create a history built by the trust of customers and promote the company to be further developed. Although it is not so special to target a succession, I think a company will grow step by step and be branded, which will eventually be taken over by the next generation. Another thing is that I would like to take a role in achieving social cognition. In order to do so, after all, a succession and an ambitious spirit are needed. I would like to always keep it in my mind.


Design and construction of gardens and exteriors