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

Naomi

CEO Yukie Komai

1958
Birthplace
Hyogo
Message to young people
It is important to fulfill your potential. Then you will see what you had been unable to see and everybody will support you. Don’t give up and try your best. There will always be people who notice your effort.

As a child, I liked to draw, and in the future, I wanted to have a job that involved painting. I took an entrance exam for art universities, but I did not pass. For a combination of reasons, including family issues, I took on jobs that had nothing to do with painting.

My father, the previous president of my company, had a typical one-man business style, managing under a profit-first principle. Observing the way he went about his business, I thought that we could not become a great company without treating our employees right. One day, I had an argument about that with my father and he paid tit for tat by saying, “You run this company!” That’s how I became the president. That drove me on and I was determined to make the company better and make our employees proud of the company.

There are few female presidents in the manufacturing field. My customers often appreciate me for being gentle and easy to talk to that I feel I can smoothly communicate with my customers. They tell me I don’t have a businesslike atmosphere, which they typically find in men. I have had the feeling that I could easily get customers to open up to me since the time I was a saleswoman.

Because of my father’s management style, I decided to give high priority to communicating with the employees. Specifically, I have interviews with the staff at least once a month. Time passes quickly and situations change all the time as a company is like a living creature. There are many things I will not be able to find out unless I hear directly from my employees. Sometimes you can make a mistake if you don’t listen to the small details. Naomi (our company) values teamwork more than anything else. Every detail counts for us and I make sure we communicate thoroughly so that we can avoid a situation in which a lack of communication causes some sort of trouble.

Seeing even a single employee develop into a top performer makes me proud of being a president. That’s an exciting feeling, like blood boiling within me. In terms of employee education, I focus on respecting the differences in the rate of development for each employee. I learned that from my personal experience when my two children refused to go to school. I learned that people have different views on what is a comfortable environment for them. As for my employees, I don’t look for quick answers. If you are hasty, you may overlook something important.

I am thinking for the future we would like to offer a consulting service as well as the traditional manufacturing of filling machines. It would be best if the company grows famous enough for everyone to know Naomi in this business field, but our company size has to be small and employees have to be competent. I assume that we should become no bigger than about one class in a school with each staff expected to be a high performer. We are receiving inquiries from overseas, but do not have the capacity to deal with them. Within the next five years, we would like to become ready to deal with foreign customers. We aim to do business with companies in countries where the economy has matured to a level similar to Japan’s. That is because we offer products that work effectively in such a developed environment.

Also, I think the excellent point of Japan is hospitality. The quality of services is superior to any other country. We could offer prominent services that other countries can never imitate. While there are few manufacturers with such mind–sets, businesses that take advantage of such strengths would save Japan, while there are few manufacturers with such mind-sets. In the machinery-making industry, it is assumed that there needs to be only high technology, but I think hospitality should be an important element for success in business. If the same machines are brought to customers, they will choose the one built and sold with all one’s heart. That is why Naomi gives careful advice to customers when and after they purchase. Sometimes, we even tell our customers, “You do not need to purchase a machine.”

Personally, I would like to create a system in which the young or their parents can learn how they live through their jobs, by making use of my personal and valuable experience of having children who refused to go to school. Also, I would like all who learned in the system to teach the next generation about a way of living. This is what I would like to accomplish through the rest of my life to make Japan better.

Company

Name
Naomi
Headquarters
Osaka
1972
employees
18
business
Production and sales of pumps and filling machines
url
http://www.naomi.co.jp/