2022 Welcoming Statement for New Employees – President’s Address
Apr. 1, 2022
Congratulations, everyone. My name is Masayoshi Fujimoto, and I am President & CEO of Sojitz Corporation.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I imagine you have faced difficulties with the job-hunting process and during your time as a new recruit, but I am pleased that we are able to hold this in-person entrance ceremony today.
On behalf of all Sojitz Group members, I want to extend a warm welcome to all 88 of the new employees joining us.
＜Sojitz Corporation Today＞
Today marks the start of your career at Sojitz, and I would first like to share my thoughts on the current state of our company.
The previous FY2021 marked the first year of Sojitz’s Medium-term Management Plan 2023, and we expect to see a record high consolidated net profit of JPY 80 billion. The fact Sojitz has achieved these results despite the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is an indication that our daily efforts are beginning to bear fruit and we are increasing our earnings capacity.
The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected not only our business in Russia, but also exerted impacts on global supply chains. Sojitz is currently taking prompt measures to address these environmental changes. We do not expect to see large-scale impacts, which is evidence of our company’s high level of risk tolerance.
In terms of new investments and loans, Sojitz has concentrated its attention over the past two years on M&A projects in Japan, primarily acquiring retail functions. While I personally have not been able to travel overseas for business since February 2020, travel restrictions are now being relaxed. Moving forward, Sojitz plans to pursue global expansion of the functions we have acquired through these M&A projects.
Additionally, Sojitz’s Integrated Report 2021 has won the grand prize at the 1st NIKKEI Integrated Report Award program, which demonstrates Sojitz’s growing presence through disclosure of both financial and non-financial information. We have established a beneficial cycle in which the company can create forward-looking businesses, and Sojitz has entered the next stage of growth.
＜Our Core Human Resource Principles＞
More than half of the 88 new employees gathered here today are women. As recently announced in a press release, Sojitz has been selected as a “Nadeshiko Brand” for the sixth consecutive year, which recognizes Sojitz for the steps the company has taken to promote women in the workplace.
Sojitz values diversity as a competitive advantage, and we have instituted a broad range of human resource programs not only to fulfill our social responsibility as a company, but also based on our belief that diversity is a source for innovation. In our businesses, there are no absolutes or factors that remain constant, so we are continually required to change. From a management perspective, it is essential to establish an environment that encourages all employees—regardless of gender or nationality—to their share diverse and innovative opinions that reflect their varied backgrounds and passion.
At Sojitz, we have a unique initiative called the Hassojitz Project that includes an opportunity for new recruits to participate in the process of realizing ideas as new business. We even had two teams of new recruits take part in our final company-wide final presentations.
We at Sojitz pride ourselves on having a corporate culture that encourages skilled and ambitious employees to take on new challenges regardless of age. For example, in the FY2020 Hassojitz Project competition, we had a team propose an e-sports business plan that led to the establishment of a new company called “GRITz.” The presenter of the e-sports business proposal was a fourth-year employee at the time, but today serves as the president of GRITz and is working towards realizing this new business.
I would like you to pursue your interests and take on challenges in these fields. Forge connections both at Sojitz and outside the company. Gaining the understanding of those around you will eventually provide the driving force to propel you forward. Even if you experience failure, these experiences can provide growth opportunities that lead to future successes.
Our people are our greatest business assets, and we have established a number of human resource systems based on this principle. Finally, there are two points I would like to make on your first day as new members of Sojitz.
First, I ask that you take responsibility of your life.
In other words, take responsibility for building a life based on your own decisions. I believe that decisions are also importantly about eliminating certain possibilities. In order to live without regrets, take a look at the big picture, macro view of your life to determine the best action to take today.
I would also like you to become employees with the capability and grit to start your own entrepreneurial businesses as opposed to clinging to the company. At Sojitz, we have established a new job-based company available to employees over the age of 35, which allows them to build start-ups or take on side businesses after transferring to this company. It is my hope that each of you acquire the fundamentals as professionals working at a general trading company and the ABCs of business.
Second, I ask that you value the connections with your fellow recruits.
This is an unforgettable day on which you will meet valuable new colleagues and gain lifelong friends in those joining the company alongside you. Value these connections and motivate each other to reach new heights.
To conclude: I am pleased to welcome all of you to the company today. Let us look forward together and build an exciting future for the world as members of Sojitz Group.
Once again, I would like to congratulate and welcome you to Sojitz.