We will strive to realize the Long-Term Vision 2028 by steering the Group in a global direction and working relentlessly to enhance our human capital to strengthen our digital technologies.
Q.1 What challenges the Group face in realizing the Long-Term Vision 2028?
The Group developed its long-term vision in 2018. Since then, the world has undergone significant evolution, transformation, and turmoil. Nevertheless, we have forged ahead. We have laid the foundation for realizing the vision, and have achieved various milestones along the way. Overseas, for example, we acquired Acrelec and Revolution, while in Japan we formed capital and business alliances with AdInte and Showcase Gig. Entrenching and building on these milestones to reinforce our foundation for growth will be a challenge, but I am optimistic about our prospects for achieving the Long-Term Vision 2028. I feel we are making steady progress in fostering businesses that could become new pillars for the future, such as DMPs and next-generation restaurant business solutions.
Outside Director Iki
As President Miwa mentioned, we have taken various actions to date. Some seem to be doing well, whereas others are not producing the expected results. When discussing the challenges of our long-term vision, I prefer to take a slightly different perspective.
Overseas sales already account for more than half of the Group’s net sales. In the domestic market, I expect both ‘cash’ and ‘around-cash’ businesses to remain substantial in scope and be robust sources of earnings in the future. However, we should shift the axis of our business to overseas markets going forward. This is a major challenge as the Company’s base remains in Japan. For example, many of our ideas, coming from both top management to employees, are built on Japanese culture and paradigms. These include ideas about organizational structure, personnel systems, and investment styles. I think it’s time to change this mindset. We should all recognize that we will be operating on the world stage as we move forward.
Outside Director Uchida
As Mr. Iki says, I feel that the concept of dividing our business between Japan and overseas will reach its limits in the future. We should take a broader perspective and think flexibly and confidently about what value the world expects our group to deliver.
Here, we need to reaffirm our strengths. To date, we have achieved growth by developing products and launching new businesses that other companies have been unable to realize. This has satisfied our customers and made our employees proud. Our business environment will change even more in the future, but I’m confident that we can maintain this momentum. We must not change our stance even if the format or focus of our products changes from hardware to software and services.
I believe that our attitude is embodied in the design of our products as well as our blue and white logo. These both represent cleanliness and reliability and resonate broadly beyond Japan to Europe, the United States, Asia and other parts of the world. More recently, we have launched a simple, beautiful, all-black product line to indicate our smart future. These designs are important intangible assets that give pride to Glory.
Outside Director Jordan
As you both mentioned, I think Glory is on a journey to transform its business. In addition to expanding our business from Japan to the rest of the world, we are evolving from a hardware company into an international solutions business, combining the best of software and hardware maintenance services. I believe I have two roles to play as an Outside Director.
My first role is to promote digital transformation to encourage speed and acceleration in the pace of our change. In the next few years, Glory’s business will undergo a major transformation. In the meantime, sales from software and services will grow to rival sales of hardware.
My second role is to encourage Glory to become more global, and my presence on the Board is a good indicator of Glory’s willingness and desire to do that. Looking ahead, our position as a company will change as a matter of course. We will evolve from a company in Japan that sells hardware internationally to a global organization headquartered in Japan that delivers services and solutions to customers around the world.
Q.2 Which parts of our business infrastructure need to be reinforced to achieve sustainable growth?
As I was listening to you, I thought about the domestic market. Certainly, a major trend in the future will be an increase in the ratio of overseas sales. Looking at the domestic market, however, there is still room for growth in the financial market, and I see potential to continue to explore and innovate in the retail market. As head of our management team, I want to make sure this is communicated both internally and externally to ensure that employees remain engaged and motivated. However, we also must embrace the mindset of being a global company. Here, my responsibility is to balance these two aspects while enhancing our overall sense of urgency.
How about you gentlemen? What kind of foundations do you think Glory needs to strengthen to achieve medium- to long-term growth?
As mentioned earlier, I believe that both technologies and human resources will be important. To grow our business in the future, we must constantly incorporate new digital technologies. We also need to attract people who can deploy these technologies to create actual solutions. To enhance the capabilities of our group, it is crucial that we pursue these initiatives from a global perspective.
I think we should continue focusing on investments in technological development and the people who make such development possible. What kind of solutions do customers want? What kind of challenges in society will present themselves? To answer these questions with a sufficient level of awareness, we must develop our human resources and enhance our technologies.
To strengthen our business foundation over the medium to long term, we also need to reform our management systems. Perhaps we should build a simpler, more organized system. The key to achieving this is to ‘visualize management’ through digitalization. By increasing digitalization, we can ultimately globalize our operations and overcome language barriers, which will lead to faster management decision-making. Nowadays, schools are focusing more attention on digital education, and young people have become more digitally literate. Right now, we should start laying the groundwork so that these young people can play active roles as soon as they enter the Group.
Since I became an Outside Director, I have always felt that Glory has market-leading technological strengths, especially in the areas of recognition and identification. However, the process of deploying and commercializing these technological strengths requires improvement. Mr. Uchida mentioned the word ‘awareness’ We need to develop leadership talent with the sensitivity needed for successful commercialization. With many overseas operations, Glory should have plenty of opportunities to learn from the world in terms of markets, business, people, and technology. Fostering the next generation of technology development leaders is also essential in achieving growth over the medium to long term.
Q.3 What are your expectations for Glory in the future, and what challenges, if any, will the Group face in achieving them?
In the past few years, Glory has enjoyed significant growth in the retail market. This indicates to me that we have great potential to expand our business in different sectors as our technologies and solutions evolve. To achieve this, we need to create a global corporate culture that drives innovation. I’m confident that Glory will boldly take on the challenge of innovation without fear of failure. Our ability to rapidly deploy innovations globally is our greatest strength. That is a real asset to our group.
Although it might not be well known, the Glory Group is passionate about human resource exchanges. We promote such exchanges within the Group by inviting personnel from Europe, the United States, and Asia to Japan. As a company, we are proud of our Japanese roots, we are keen to step up the number of these exchanges in the future. I want employees from diverse countries and regions to mix with each other and create a chemical reaction that will create the next chapter of Glory.
As I mentioned earlier, I want as many engineers as possible to experience the joy of deploying the latest technologies to create new businesses. I’d like to share that joy with our young engineers.
Thank you very much for sharing your valuable insights today. In the future, it will be difficult to make decisions on M&As and other deals based solely on the knowledge and experience of internal directors. Indeed, the broad knowledge and impartial perspectives of outside directors will become increasingly important on more and more occasions. Globalization is a major theme today, and my sense is that Glory has finally graduated from the school of internationalization and is moving toward real globalization. Combining the strengths of our directors and employees, I look forward to taking concrete steps to achieve our long-term vision.