Ex­pats help pro­mote Wuhan to wel­come Ja­panese busi­nesses

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By YANG ZIMAN yangz­i­man@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ok­itsu Kazuo, a Ja­panese ex­pa­tri­ate in Wuhan, hopes more Ja­panese busi­nesses come to the city that is lit­tle known among his com­pa­tri­ots, to tap the many op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fast-de­vel­op­ing in­land city in China.

“Wuhan is lit­tle known to Ja­panese peo­ple,” he said. “But it has in­ex­pen­sive but highly qual­i­fied tal­ents. The costs here are much lower than coastal ar­eas in China.”

Kazuo used to travel be­tween Wuhan and Osaka do­ing tech­no­log­i­cal out­sourc­ing busi­ness. Ja­panese BPO, the com­pany he worked for was for­merly based in Shang­hai, where they trained lo­cal com­puter tal­ents and de­ployed them to Ja­pan.

How­ever, the com­pany needed to cut costs in the af­ter­math of the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Then it moved its Chi­nese base to Wuhan.

“Wuhan is in the cen­ter of China, where it is con­ve­nient to go to a lot of places through­out the coun­try,” Kazuo said. “The city is also rich in tal­ent, who are not as ex­pen­sive as pro­fes­sion­als in Shang­hai.”

The Wuhan gov­ern­ment has ap­pointed Kazuo as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the city’s in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion bureau. He trav­els to Ja­pan from time to time with a gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion to pro­mote Wuhan’s busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Kazuo has now founded his own com­pany — Syspro — to of­fer ser­vices to Ja­panese ex­pa­tri­ates in Wuhan, such as of­fice leas­ing and ren­o­va­tion, visas, tal­ent scout­ing, train­ing and trans­la­tion. Of the more than 80 peo­ple he em­ploys, most are young Chi­nese.

“I’m im­pressed by the young peo­ple here who are very smart, clear-minded and straight­for­ward,” Kazuo said.

Mori Mo­too, an­other Ja­panese ex­pa­tri­ate who has a busi­ness in Wuhan, has wit­nessed the rapid changes tak­ing place in the city and the Op­tics Val­ley.

“When I first came to the city in 2003, it was like a ru­ral area. The view out­side the win­dow was com­pletely noth­ing,” said Mo­too. “Now it is filled with high-rises and busy streets.”

Mo­too worked in the au­to­mo­bile parts in­dus­try for 36 years. Af­ter re­tir­ing, he founded Wuhan Grow Woods Con­sul­ta­tion to pro­vide con­sul­tancy ser­vices to the Chi­nese auto in­dus­try.

“The most im­por­tant thing in man­u­fac­tur­ing is to stay long enough in one po­si­tion and gather as much ex­pe­ri­ence as pos­si­ble,” Mo­too said. “Such wis­dom is cap­tured in the Chi­nese char­ac­ter of en­ter­prise, which is com­posed of two parts: the up­per part means ‘hu­man,’ and the lower part means ‘stay.’ It means that to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful en­ter­prise, em­ploy­ees need to stay in a place long enough to mas­ter the tech­nique to the fullest.”

Mo­too said that in Ja­pan, peo­ple who have re­tired at the age of 65 are still will­ing to work and pass on their ex­pe­ri­ence.

“En­ter­prises in Wuhan need so­phis­ti­cated man­age­ment meth­ods to help them catch up in the fast devel­op­ment of the city, which is where the Ja­panese man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ences fall in place.”

Ok­itsu Kazuo, pres­i­dent of Syspro

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