Continue the challenge - a new horizon will open up before you
Materials Sales Dept.
Supplying products for thermal treatment equipment in the steel industry
When I was at the university, I participated in a month-long agricultural training program in Ghana, Africa. This experience decided the course of my life. The farm village I visited was impoverished, and I felt that promoting agriculture was essential to helping these people escape from their poverty. Thinking that the mechanization of agriculture was necessary for that purpose, I opted to join Kubota, which is the leading company in agricultural machinery, after graduating from university. Increased food production through the mechanization of agriculture is needed not only in Ghana but in all parts of the world; and I wanted to contribute by engaging in work that would accomplish this. After joining Kubota, however, I was assigned to a department that handled steel and machinery rather than the agricultural machinery sector. I was initially a bit confused, but now I feel a sense of social contribution in my job with a different approach from agriculture.
I am currently in charge of products that are used in heat treatment facilities at steel plants, including hearth rolls, which are rolls that convey steel plates, and skid buttons, which support the heated steel materials inside the heating furnace. These products are required to have high strength at high temperatures, a high degree of oxidation resistance, etc. In addition to being in charge of several domestic companies, I am also engaged in global sales activities covering India, Taiwan, South Korea, Northern Europe and Russia.
Winning an order for a new plant — The challenge of thinking and acting on your own
Arecent assignment with an Indian plant manufacturer stands out in my mind. The Indian market has been developed by my predecessors over the years, but the customer that I approached was a plant manufacturer we had never had business with before that was planning to construct a new plant in Vietnam. The first thing that surprised me was the enormous number of specification sheets, and there were many specifications that Kubota could not meet. With the cooperation of our technical department, I suggested a shift to “Kubota specifications.” The company rejected the proposal at first, but I highlighted the level of quality, a level that only Kubota was capable of achieving. The company agreed to our proposal and we finally won the order. The key is to understand what the customer is thinking by looking at the situation from the customer's standpoint. Another thing is to respond with a sense of speed. This experience gave me a great sense of accomplishment.
Every potential project requires us to think, take action and produce results on our own. Although I naturally receive support from the people around me, I am basically on my own in dealing with overseas customers. Kubota offers an environment that allows young people to take on challenges in the true sense of the word. Even though the responsibilities are great, the sense of accomplishment is also great.
I am currently working on Northern Europe and Russia as new development targets. Again, I am responsible for everything, from research and preparation to specific approaches, product proposals, presentations, specification adjustment and price negotiations. I always feel uneasy when I leave Japan, but the sense of accomplishment when I achieve the results that I had expected in the field is unbeatable. Since steel is needed in every industry, it is not an exaggeration to say that steel supports the very foundation of society. Agricultural machinery also requires steel. In that sense, I am actually feeling a sense of social contribution through my current work of supporting steel manufacturing.