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A sense of contributing to societies in the global market strengthens motivations

Takumi Sato

Oil & Petrochemical Business Dept.

Supplying the cracking coil that are indispensable to ethylene production in global market

I conducted research on Kuwait's constitutional movement in graduate school. While visiting the Middle East as part of my research, I felt the precious value of human life anew. The Middle East has been politically unstable for nearly a century, and conflict in the region has cost many lives. Having studied these realities, I wanted to engage myself in a job that would allow me to support human life. I decided to join Kubota because I felt that the theme of “food, water and environment” advocated by the company would provide me of opportunities to pursue my goal.

As a sales representative, I am currently responsible for an industrial product called a “cracking coil,” which is used in petrochemical plants. The plastics, vinyl, PVC and chemical fibers found everywhere in our daily lives are produced from a chemical product called ethylene. The cracking coil is essential for producing ethylene. Only five manufacturers in the world are capable of manufacturing cracking coil, and Kubota's cracking coil account for roughly 50% of the global market share. Therefore, if Kubota ceases manufacturing the cracking coil, it would greatly affect our daily lives and the operation of various industries. It is not an exaggeration to say that Kubota's cracking coil involves at one production stage of about half of the plastic products around us in our daily life. Thus, the cracking coil can be considered to have a high degree of social contribution.

  • At a Hindu temple in Mumbai. The red mark is called Tika. It is a symbol of celebration and welcome.

Gaining the top share in India — Creating a story on my own

My customers are petrochemical companies that manufacture ethylene. Currently, I am responsible for the eastern Japan area domestically and Taiwan, Australia and India in the overseas market. Sales activity covers a broad scope of work– market research, product promotion, specification proposals, the preparation of quotations, price negotiations, finalization of specifications, manufacturing orders, delivery/payment management, etc. are all carried out by sales representatives. Although my responsibility is heavy and the pressure is high, it is fulfilling and helps me to build my career as a sales person. One of my recent assignments was a cracking heater replacement project in India, on which I worked for a year and a half. I flew to the site three times for negotiations. The key points in this project were whether the project was profitable in the first place, whether we could meet the required specifications requested by the customer, and knowing competitors' activities. The process of reviewing and setting the price while securing a marginal profit through negotiations was an intense experience for me. In addition to pricing, I also worked energetically on specification proposals. I emphasized the advantage of Kubota products and finally succeeded in getting the order.

The important thing is to carefully examine the entire flow of work and “create a story on your own”: in other words, think and judge with your own head. My current goal is to gain the ability to think and judge more precisely. Today, Kubota's cracking coil has a top share in India and Taiwan. To maintain that position and further expand it, I believe that it is essential to have highly accurate thinking and judging ability. The markets that I would like to tackle in the future are the Middle East and Africa. I hope to make use of my fluency in the Arabic I studied at the university and my local knowledge of those regions to contribute to the expansion of sales not only of cracking coil, but various Kubota products that support human life.