President’s New Year’s Address for 2021
Jan. 4, 2021
Happy New Year to all.
I hope you were all able to rest your minds and bodies over this holiday to begin the year with renewed energy. While we have all had to adapt to a new lifestyle, this experience has served to reaffirm the importance of personal connections, and I am grateful to have spent the New Year with my family.
Today marks the start of 2021.
This year, we will begin the first fiscal year of the next medium-term management plan.
In preparation for the next plan, we announced the new organizations and the executives who will lead them beginning in April. We made this announcement at the end of last November, much earlier than in previous years, as part of management’s desire to have these leaders take the reins in creating the numerical targets and strategies for the next medium-term management plan starting in April.
These new organizations reflect our areas of focus as a company moving forward. If you look at the changes on the departmental level, it will further clarify the intent behind these organizational reforms. We saw that certain organizations channeled all of their energy into old businesses inherited from the past, yet were unable to create new business and experienced a deterioration in their business functions and earnings. These organizations will forfeit their former names under the title of a new organization, or alternatively, be merged with another organization.
As you are all aware, society’s commonly-held beliefs, practices, and needs have drastically changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, we see accelerated change in the business environment. It will be difficult to achieve our target of JPY 100 billion in profit for the period by continuing to do business as we did in the past to accumulate earnings. In this sense, it is imperative that we continue to evolve as a company. Division COOs and general managers must not simply solve the issues in front of them, but lead their organizations to create change for a new tomorrow. As for individual employees, you should not repeat the same work day in and day out. There is no place at Sojitz for those who do not continuously strive to elevate their work to a level commensurate with their salary. I ask that you perceive stasis as a warning bell and boldly take on new challenges.
Looking ahead, Sojitz will pursue business creation that is not only profitable, but also on a larger scale. We will make drastic revisions to low-profit projects as well as to small-scale businesses that lack efficiency and instead concentrate our resources in fields that are expected to demonstrate growth. At the same time, it is essential that we increase our success rate in these businesses. In order to do so, it’s important that each individual expand their skills and act with speed. Heighten your awareness of new business as you review your work practices and raise organizational speed.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a need for change. However, despite continuous changes to the market environment there is one thing that remains constant: our mission. We aim to provide the necessary goods and services directly to places where there is a need.
Our task is to provide solutions to social issues and to continue to create value as a company. We will achieve these tasks by responding to society’s needs and by bringing greater awareness to the world by challenging the premise of ideas previously taken for granted. Business originates from society’s needs and issues, and I believe our engagement in market-oriented businesses will be recognized for the value they provide. This approach will lead to both sustainable growth and profit.
I hope all of you will take this opportunity to return to the basics, reexamining the way in which the businesses and projects you oversee provide social value. For those on assignment overseas: Do not follow the previous way of thinking by operating from a Japan-centric perspective or by using products as a starting point, rather understand the local needs and issues of the community and be vocal in channeling your communications outward.
At this point, we have three months remaining under Medium-term Management Plan 2020. While there is no clear end in sight for COVID-19 and it will not be easy to reach our target, let us start by coming together to deliver on the JPY 30 billion we have pledged.
To conclude, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a serious health threat, I ask that everyone avoid infection by continuing to utilize the telework system to work from home and to employ the flextime system to stagger your commute times to steer clear of peak hours. Please pay greater attention to daily health management as you go about your work. Additionally, I encourage everyone to take the designated 12 days of paid leave and 5 days of summer vacation to rest and address any health needs to maintain good health and prevent infection.
Finally, I would like to pray for the good health of all Sojitz Group members and the families that support them, in Japan and around the world.