Toshiba to ap­ply ex­per­tise to med­i­cal equip­ment

The China Post - - BUSINESS - BY CHI­HIRO NAKA­JIMA

Toshiba Corp. was Ja­pan’s first com­pany to pro­duce color TVs 55 years ago. How­ever, the fierce price com­pe­ti­tion with over­seas man­u­fac­tur­ers in to­day’s home elec­tron­ics mar­ket makes it dif­fi­cult to turn a profit.

Toshiba sees the health care in­dus­try as a way to uti­lize the tech­no­log­i­cal strengths it cul­ti­vated in the elec­tron­ics busi­ness.

The Yomi­uri Shimbun spoke with Toshiba pres­i­dent Hisao Tanaka, 64, about his com­pany’s busi­ness strat­egy. The fol­low­ing are ex­cerpts from the in­ter­view.

“We de­cided to aban­don in­house pro­duc­tion of thin LCD tele­vi­sions for over­seas mar­kets. Fac­to­ries in the United States, Europe, China, and Ja­pan have been closed and sold off but even af­ter re­duc­ing fixed costs to this ex­tent, we don’t ex­pect to break a 5-per­cent profit mar­gin on sales.

“Over­seas, we will shift to the li­cens­ing busi­ness, al­low­ing over­seas com­pa­nies to use the Toshiba brand for their tele­vi­sions. Do­mes­ti­cally, high value- added prod­ucts — our forte — such as 4K tele­vi­sions have gar­nered praise, and we will con­tinue to pro­duce them.

“We’ve placed our hopes on the health care in­dus­try as a main­stay for new growth. Things like the com­bi­na­tion of the chron­i­cally low birthrate and our age­ing pop­u­la­tion, along with pop­u­la­tion growth in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, have be­come is­sues around the world.

“The im­age pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy we cul­ti­vated through de­vel­op­ing tele­vi­sions can also be ap­plied to med­i­cal mon­i­tors, so tele­vi­sion en­gi­neers are be­ing re­al­lo­cated to the health care di­vi­sion.

“Our strength is that we have deeper re­la­tion­ships with med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions than other com­pa­nies, and we un­der­stand things like the per­mis­sions and li­cens­ing sys­tems of coun­tries around the world.

“We have the fourth- high­est global mar­ket share for imag­ing di­ag­no­sis equip­ment such as CT and MRI scan­ners, and we ex­port to over 130 coun­tries.

“For the fis­cal year 2017, our goal is to have our cur­rent sales more than dou­ble to 1 tril­lion yen (US$8.41 bil­lion). To ac­quire tech­nolo­gies we do not pos­sess and achieve this goal, we will ac­tively pur­sue merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, as well as part­ner­ships with other busi­nesses.

“In the en­ergy field, one of the main­stays of our busi­ness, we will de­vote more ef­fort to hy­dro­gen­re­lated tech­nolo­gies. Although it is still ex­pen­sive, it is a ground­break­ing, clean en­ergy source.

“We have high ex­pec­ta­tions for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games as an op­por­tu­nity for our public re­la­tions.

“To take full ad­van­tage of the Olympics, we’ll need to have achieved a cer­tain level of in­stal­la­tions in com­mer­cial build­ings in 2018.

“Re­search on sup­ply­ing power for build­ings such as con­do­mini­ums is on­go­ing. We aim to es­tab­lish over­seas op­er­a­tions as well, and to ex­pand the scale of the busi­ness to more than 100 bil­lion yen as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“We don’t be­lieve that all of th­ese new busi­nesses will flour­ish, but we want to in­crease our em­ploy­ees’ mo­ti­va­tion to pro­duce new value.”

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