Today's Notables

9th Annual Beauty Business Fair in Shanghai

July 2005
Hisashi Furuichi
President and C.E.O.

The 9th Annual Beauty Business Fair in Shanghai was held at the New Shanghai International Exposition Center from May 11th to the 14th. Shanghai TK Primix exhibited at the event.

The Exposition Center is in the Pudong which is across the river from downtown and about 7 minutes on the Linear Motorcar from the Pudong International Airport. From the subway station, it is about a 600 meter walk.

The New Shanghai International Exposition Center was built through a consortium of four companies: Messe Dusseldorf, Deutsche Messe (Hanover), Messe Munich and Shanghai New International Expo Center that invested a total of 22.5 billion yen. It opened in 2001. There are currently 2 halls in the East building and 5 halls in the West building that are being used for a combined total area of 23,000 sq. meters. By 2006, the total floor area will be 103,500 sq. meters and 100,000 sq. meters including the grounds. It will be expanded again in 2010 to a total of 200,000 sq. meters inside and 130,000 sq. meters outside. TOKYO BIG SIGHT, that is widely used in Japan is, in contrast, 243,419.46 sq. meters for the actual site, 230,873.07 sq meters of floor space and 80,660 sq. meters of exhibition space. The Shanghai site will be about the same size as Big Site.

The Beauty Business Fair was held in 2 halls of the east wing and 2 halls in the west wing. Of those, 3 halls were devoted to cosmetics companies and beauty products while the last one housed packaging and manufacturing technological products in the cosmetics industry. Shanghai SHISEIDO under the OZ brand name and MENARD were among the Japanese transplant operations that were represented. Apparent, however, some companies decided to cancel their participation because of demonstrations resulting from the tensions between China and Japan. Speaking of which, 3 TK people have been commuting from within Shanghai but none of them had heard of the demonstrations largely because of the censorship the Chinese government still exerts over the content in the news media. Only those who actually witnessed the demonstrations, knew for a fact that it occurred.

The company is located in an industrial park in Shanghai and an official that oversees the affairs of the industrial park contacted us beforehand and reassured us that he was there on weekends and if there was ever a problem, to contact him immediately. Although it made me a little uneasy, the industrial park that TK is located in is fairly quiet with very few people around on the weekends so nothing happened. Back to the subject at hand, during our preparations for the exhibition, I noticed several differences between Japan and China. In Japan, of course it is almost taken for granted that computers are widely used for applying graphics to apply logos to cut sheeting. In China, however, because there is no machine for cutting, it is done by contractors and the logo is usually somewhat distorted and I think, unacceptable. Moreover, there were no hand lifts when I looked around at the material handling capability. Large equipment was moved using a forklift and people.

The exhibition was very crowded, especially in the cosmetic products hall. The aisles were very nicely done and clean but within 2 hours after it opened, it was completely littered with garbage. Although just as many flyers are passed out in exhibitions in Japan, people don't throw the stuff on the floor like they do in China. It wasn't long before the aisles were completely covered with garbage and wastepaper. About 160-180 people visited our booth each day, requested catalogs and discussed our products. The mixer we had on special display was the AGI HOMO MIXER 100L. The AGI HOMO MIXER is being manufactured in China. Since I wanted to add some features, I asked a friend who has a design studio to improve the design by making it more compact, easier to clean and more hygienic. The design is very innovative. The crucial parts such as the mixing units were produced in Japan but the rest is all Chinese made. Since things rarely happen as planned in China, I can readily tell that Mr. Nemura, who is in charge of accounting at Shanghai TK, must have had many challenges along the way. However, preparing for and executing this exhibition provided a kick-off to our production efforts in China.

The sponsors of the exhibition awarded outstanding products, packaging and equipment at the exhibition. Shanghai TK was honored to receive the gold award for its AGI HOMO MIXER 100L in the equipment category. This machine comes as a set with the dissolving tank and is standard equipment with no special orders. We are planning on selling it in Japan as well. Anyone interested may contact the sales department for more information.

Doing anything overseas presents new challenges that require significant energy to overcome. I am confident we can capitalize on the advantages of doing business in China, and improve customer satisfaction in the process.

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