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

S.T. Corp.

CEO   Takashi Suzuki

Message to young people
Work will not endanger one's life, so don't hesitate and go for it.

About my childhood, I don't have much to say as times were dark after World War II. I hated going to school and was bullied at the school where I was moved to because of the war. Even so, I was a friendly person. My father worked for a cash-and-carry wholesaler of daily products. I used to help him collect glass and other products. I think these experiences were the roots of my being a businessman. What I learned in my childhood is that I can eat anywhere, which means that I cannot be upset because I know the lowest of lows. So, I always say to the employees that work is not something given to you, it is something you have to constantly strive for, even in vexing situations.

The first company I worked for was Nippon Life, as my father told me that a company whose name contained the word "Nippon" (Japan) would not go bankrupt. From my various experiences at Nippon Life, I developed a corporate eye.

In 1985, when I was 50, I was sent on loan to S.T. Chemical Co. In the very next year, I was transferred and became a director of planning. In 1991, S.T. Chemical got its desired listing in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. However, the bubble economy burst and resulted in an immediate drop in the stock price, which put the company's life in danger. In order to help the company overcome this crisis, I assumed the position of CEO.

When I took over as CEO, the slogan I set at the very beginning was: "A compact, muscular company." Before building the company into something bigger, I aimed to strengthen its condition. When I visited the logistics center, I shouted out, "Throw away all of those things." Of course, there were some who were against my policies, but I ordered again and again to throw away useless items. Also, we used to create 50 new products a year. However, I ordered the company to focus only on Shoshu-Pot (called Air Wash-Gel overseas) and announced the extraordinary sales target of 10 million Shoshu-Pots a year. We managed to achieve the target by focusing all of our efforts from advertising and promotion on Shoshu-Pot. Although I retired once to become the chairman in 2007, I returned to the post of CEO in 2009 and have been working on new reforms in sales and design.

Our slogan is "Refreshing the Air." For this slogan, we thought that we would like to refresh not only the air in homes and shops but also the air in society. As the CEO of this company, I think I have a responsibility and a duty to make it fun inside the company. Of course, it is important to increase our market share, profit, sales and stock price, but that is not enough. Without our staff, our customers and our beloved baby chick logo – although it may be naive – I think we cannot permanently develop our company.

Company Profile

S.T. Corp.
Production and sales of air fresheners, insect deterrents, dehumidifiers