100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Temp Holdings Co., Ltd.

Chairman

Yoshiko Shinohara

1934
Birthplace
Kanagawa/Japan
Message to young people
Try hard without fear of failure. You can learn a lot from a failure. And persevere and keep doing what you set out to do for at least three years. Then you’ll start to see many things and eventually find something of interest.

I was my parents' second daughter, and I have two brothers and two sisters. My father died of an illness in 1943 after serving as the principal of a national school. Since then, my mother, a licensed midwife, raised us. I was strongly influenced by my mother, a wonderful woman, beautiful and modest, who worked hard as a professional. I liked English and belonged to an English club as an extracurricular activity when I was a high school student.

After graduating from high school, I got a job with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which was rare among my classmates. I did general clerical work until I left the company when I was about to get married. In the end I didn’t get married then, but later on, I married another man but got divorced. Although I had continued to work, but not as a professional like my mother, I felt impatient. So I went to Switzerland to learn English and trained as a secretary. I then landed a job with a marketing company in Australia. In that company, women were working as actively as men, at a time when only men were the main workforce in Japan.

After returning to Japan, instead of becoming an interpreter or translator, or working for a company, I decided to launch a temporary staffing service agency like one I had observed in Australia as the working environment in Japan was not comfortable for women in those days. I gathered seven investors, including my mother and relatives, to found the company, which I named Tempstaff. We had a small office in the Roppongi area of Tokyo as we targeted foreign companies, which know the temporary staffing system. In those days, we were not able to officially use the term “temporary staffing,” so we advertised our business as “office functions contracting.” I wanted to promote an efficient staffing system that did not exist in Japan.

Initially, my niece was the only staff in the office answering the phone while I visited companies every day, sometimes as many as 20 a day, to explain and promote the service. Although there was little business for the first three months after the company was established, it gradually improved as my social network grew. Three years after the company’s founding, I was warned by the government many times that my business may be against the law. At that time, private companies were not allowed to receive money for sending temporary workers to companies. This depressed me, but I was encouraged by companies and temporary staffers to continue the service.

In order to enhance the workforce in an aging society with fewer children, it is necessary to provide support for the care of senior citizens and infants. I would like to introduce jobs that would meet the demand of every generation.

Company Profile

Name
Temp Holdings Co., Ltd.
Headquarters
Tokyo/Japan
1973
employees
10,629
business
Contingent hire, job placement and childcare services
url
http://www.tempstaff.co.jp