Today's Notables

Visit by U.K. Cranfield University MBA Students

November 2006
Hisashi Furuichi
President and C.E.O.

The Kansai Productivity Center contacted Primix and requested that we let a group of 10 MBA students from the UK visit our company. At first, I declined saying that Primix is really just a regular factory but the Center wanted to demonstrate to the students that Japan's real industrial strength lie in the small to mid-size businesses and they wanted to show the students a small company. Whether or not we consider ourselves the driving force of Japan's economy aside, I accepted because we indeed fit into the category of a small operation.

Ten MBA students, a professor and assistant professor from the UK Cranfield University visited Primix along with 5 Japanese people--2 instructors and 3 student-from Kobe University MBA course who received the group from the UK. Because they were students, I thought most would still be in their twenties but actually they were closer to early thirties.
At first, I thought it would be best to tell the group about our history, products, uses of our products and management philosophy, but on second thought, since I would have to explain everything in English, it would take all day so instead, I had the students take turns reading the presentation I prepared. Maybe because it was fast-paced Queen's English (actually it was the probably regular speed) I could hardly follow along because there's a significant difference from the American English I am used to. Thanks to this bit of quick thinking, they each took turns reading and this part of the visit went smoothly.

After the presentation, I took them on a tour of the plant and then we returned to the conference room for questions and answers. They must have been very interested because the discussion lasted an hour and 15 minutes. Before coming to Primix, they had been to major Japanese companies like Sharp, Rengo, Patlite, etc. They mentioned that compared to the other companies, there was a more intimate atmosphere between executive management and employees that they did not sense at the other corporations and were interested in how we developed that type of environment. They also asked about cultivating new customer relationships, preventing our core technological expertise from being taken, and the reasoning behind changing our name and how we promoted that change.

It was my impression based on their questions that the MBA program is very much oriented to practical application which is also true of similar programs in the US. It was a tremendous opportunity to share my opinions and see their level of motivation.

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