100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2017-2018 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Japan Growth Strategy Research Institute

President Hideaki Nakamaru

Message to young people
People should keep growing, as long as they have life. That is what I think. Life ends sometime. People are born crying, but I want to die with a smile, satisfied with my life. I believe that success in life is turning yourself into something you want to be. I think that growing yourself toward a goal day by day is the proof of your life. I believe that people are obligated to make full-fledged efforts to make the most out of every day.

I was told that my father came to Japan to work all alone from a foreign country when he was just 16. He sometimes suffered unfair treatment at work, but kept working hard to eventually become the head salesperson. I also had bad days as a salesperson with poor performance, but I didn’t run away from it and managed to embrace it to become better. I learned that from his hard work.

He lived until he was 93 and the only thing he regretted in life was that he didn’t go to school. Today, everyone goes to school to study, but you should not take it for granted. If you take something for granted, you will be arrogant. If you become arrogant, no one would follow you. I have seen many company presidents lose their positions because of arrogance. You should have feelings of gratitude for everything.

In college, I had to spend an extra year to graduate, as I was too distracted by working my part-time job. But, without that experience, I may not have been able to do what I am doing now. When I was working as a waiter in an Italian restaurant, I learned something about wine sales. I talked to the customers to recommend specific kinds of wine for specific kinds of foods and the customers sometimes bought expensive bottles of wine that were usually hard to sell. Then, I realized that selling a product depends on how you educate your customers about the product. This experience drove me to be interested in media and promotional work, and I landed a job at an advertising agency after graduating from college.

There was one time when I made a presentation on product promotion plans for a company president. The president asked me: “You proposed two plans, with one costing us \50 million and the other costing \100 million. One is twice as expensive as the other one, but how would product sales be different between the two?” I couldn’t answer that question and I was shocked to learn the viewpoint of a company president. After that, I read many books and became interested in business consulting. I was 30 years old when I jumped into the world of business consulting.

The principle of my business consulting is not to see whether a product will have good sales or not. It is to see whether promotion of a product will bring good sales or not. There are many products in this world that are qualified for much bigger sales figures. For such products, someone has to change the promotional messages for the products, so that more customers would choose the products. It is surprising that many companies don’t recognize the advantages and appeal of their products and services. One of our important roles is to offer them third-party points of view on their products and services in an objective manner to help them recognize these advantages and appeal.

Company Profile

Japan Growth Strategy Research Institute
Ginza 7-13-6, Sagami Bldg. 2F, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Business management consulting