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

Shinko Plastic Co., Ltd.

CEO Hiroshi Kodama

Message to young people
In the past, the leader of Asia was Japan, which had established superiority with its strong economic power, with Korea, China and the rest of Southeast Asia following behind. With China's GDP surpassing that of Japan's and the development of other neighboring countries, Japan is becoming just another Asian country. The strength of the younger generation will determine whether Japan will be able to create a new, strong position among those countries.

Shinko Plastic Co. sells plastic materials and is the market leader in acrylic sheets, the quality of which helped establish the company, in Japan. Sales were brisk domestically and overseas — in places such as China, South Korea and Taiwan — during the boom of digital appliances as the sheets were widely used in mobile phones.

Generally speaking, I think the industry is in a recession. Domestically, demand for resin materials has been on a downtrend for several years. However, while the business environment has been bad, we focused on gaining customers’ trust rather than insisting on achieving hard financial targets. So, even though the outlook is bad, I believe we will be able to enjoy stable business if you look at the long term over five, 10 or 15 years.

One important measure is to expand overseas, instead of only responding to domestic demand. To provide highly functional plastic products faster than everybody else, we always want to work with various resin makers to exchange information and develop new products.

With oil and other materials upstream in the supply chain, companies are able to make the same products anywhere in the world as long as they have the facilities. But processing materials downstream in the supply chain allows companies to obtain know-how over the long-term and make higher-quality products. Japanese technology on downstream products far outpaces the rest of the world. If the rest of the world were to catch up with Japan, the country can respond by developing even more advanced products. We will work with other domestic makers to develop products to satisfy demand overseas, rather than just needs in the Japanese market.

While our success in materials for digital electronics such as mobile phones made us strong, we are actually suffering now. Although we developed window materials before our rivals and enjoyed solid sales overseas, glass remains the main material for windows. The times are constantly changing and we must always be trying something new. The promising area is products in connection with next-generation vehicles.

Tokyo is set to host the Olympics, leading to changes in urban planning and giving the capital a better and more usable infrastructure. In terms of lighting, LEDs and OLEDs have only recently begun gaining popularity and we believe some plastics that are not currently being used extensively may find a use we have not even thought of yet.

I used to think it was faster to do everything myself. Now, my employees are very competent and reliable and my job has changed to creating a comfortable atmosphere for them. Currently, our salesmen work autonomously, visiting potential customers of their choosing and working to gain customer trust. To maintain such working a environment, I think my job is to solve financial problems and other issues quickly, so employees feel comfortable taking on new challenges. However, I may make a mistake unless I know what is going on in the daily work of my employees. Therefore, I will continue listening to what my employees have to say.

Company Profile

Shinko Plastics Co., Ltd.
December, 1950
Distribution of plastic sheets, films, raw materials, other related materials and plastic molding materials