Friday, Feb 15, 2019
Industry & Trade | Asia-Pacific | Japan

Japan Inc.


8 months ago

Keizo Sekiya, President of TECNISCO
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President of TECNISCO

We speak to Keizo Sekiya, President of TECNISCO, who discusses Japanese monozukuri, the evolution of his company and how it focuses on quality rather than quantity. TECNISCO is a manufacturer of precision processed glass, metal, and si products for a range of different industries, and is a pioneer of ‘cross-edge’ micro-processing technology.


In your opinion, what advantages does Japan have over the rising competition from China and Korea? How would you define monozukuri?

Compared to our neighbours such as China and Korea, the main difference, and what we really try to emphasis is the ability of being able to respond to our clients needs. It is not that we simply produce products for the market. Our approach is rather to respond to specific needs, in order to better utilise our technology and create something original which will directly respond to our clients needs. It’s not simply a matter of buying the appropriate technology and producing products. It’s much deeper and complex than that, especially when it comes to the SME’s in Japan, as we do not have a big budget to invest in machinery. We acknowledge that countries such as China and Taiwan, thanks to their huge investments in machinery are catching us at a very quick pace. Nevertheless, our essence is being able to utilize existing technologies to their maximum, and that is how we differentiate ourselves. Fundamentally, the monozukuri spirit can be resumed as follows: “It is not the machinery that creates the product, but rather the people.”


Could you please highlight the key milestones of your company?

First formed in 1970, TECNISCO was originally called Precision Cutting Laboratory. It was 3 years later in 1973 that we changed our name to TECNISCO. Originally we were part of DISCO Corporation acting as a subsidiary of DISCO. We were originally known for our cutting services, thanks to our unique processing and cutting-style called dicing. This processing style began to spread within the industry, and it no longer became unique or a niche market. This was undeniably a turning point for us. From there in order to maintain our company afloat, we began to diversify our services. We no longer focused solely on cutting and dicing but rather metal processing and plating processing. Originally, SME’s in Japan focused on one field of activity, and it was quite rare to diversify at that time. Slowly, as we began to diversify, we obtained the ability to combine our technology. For example, combining plating and dicing to create a unique product.From these experimentations, we are able to develop original products.


Could you walk us through your different products and what have been your best selling products and why?

It is quite difficult for us to tell you what our current best-selling products are. However, we can definitely comment on which of our products have the biggest impact technologically speaking.We are involved in various industries, such as the automobile industry, the life science industry and many others. For the automobile industry, we have been very successful in producing glass components for sensors. For the life science industry, we are producing glass components such as DNA analysis equipment, and devices that are implanted into the body, such as pacemakers.


At the eve of the 4th industrial revolution, many companies are seeing factory automation, AI and robotics play a bigger role in their business. How is this affecting your company, and how are you leveraging on this technology?

Here at TECNISCO, we are not mass producers, but rather diversifying and producing small quantities of various different products for that reason, it is difficult for us to use automation and AI. However, we do believe that we will have to use such technology in the future.


Japan is currently facing the problem of ageing population and a shrinking domestic market. Therefore, Prime Minister Abe is pushing Japanese corporations to internationalise their activities. For TECNISCO, what markets have the biggest growth potential?

The reason why we own our factories in China and Singapore is not to sell our products directly but rather in order to manufacture them there. However, we also consider China as one of the markets which has the biggest growth potential.


Both domestically and abroad, your company face market competition with industrial giants and local competitors also wanting to get their slice of the pie.
What are the competitive advantages of TECNISCO?

Recently clients have been coming to us directly, often from Europe and the United States. They come with problems such as missing components, and we help them by meeting with them first. We always work hand in hand to deliver the best possible solution for our clients needs. Incorporating this sense of Japanese “omotenashi” in our everyday business activities is what we believe makes our strength here at TECNISCO.


When you have new clients approaching your company for new products, how do you respond to those needs? Do your factories in China and Singapore have the technological capabilities to respond affectively to all your client’s specific needs?

Absolutely. We are also expanding our capacity to Singapore and China to be able to respond to all our clients’ needs in the future. There are of course certain situations when we are not able to respond to all of the various demands, but we are investing, especially in Singapore to be able to do so in the near future. However, our firm is not about expanding in terms of quantity, but rather focusing on quality, and also creating the newest technology.  


Are you currently considering M&A’s, Joint-Ventures or partnerships in order to increase your activities?

We aren’t really looking for M&A’s. In the case of Singapore, it was just one company that we bought in order to be able to respond to our clients needs


What means do you use in order to raise your brand awareness?

That is one of our clear objectives for the upcoming years. Our biggest tool in order to raise our brand awareness has been trade shows, in which we participate in 12 to 13 per year. In addition, we work with a French marketing company which helps us raise our brand awareness. We are very well recognised in a niche market, which allows us to have a constant flow of clients.


What is your TECNISCO Vision for 2018?

One of our goals is to stabilize our business on the 3 TECNISCO pillars. One was to raise our brand awareness of TECNISCO in the life science industry. As we have only been in this field for 3 years, we want to start being recognised, and make it one of the pillars of our firm. The second is as follows: “We want to develop our technology in a sustainable way”. This is very important for us, in order to develop original technology.


If we were to meet again in 10 years, where would you like to see your company and what strategic objectives would you like to accomplish in that lapse of time?

We are not trying to compete in terms of size, but rather in terms of quality and technology. As soon as there is a problem, we want to be the first to be contacted by customers.





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