Overseas study tour in Japan
NUS Overseas College entrepreneurship overseas mission in Nagoya
WASABI Creation supported NUS Overseas College (NOC) in planning, coordinating, and facilitated their overseas study mission in Nagoya. NOC is an entrepreneurship program organised by NUS Enterprise from 18 years ago, where students join startup companies in Singapore, as well as overseas for 6 months to learn the skills of being an entrepreneur. The NOC programme has successfully produced many entrepreneurs through the year. Coincidentally, WASABI Creation's founder, Tong is a graduate of the same programme 10 years ago. It was an honour to be able to support NOC's first program in Japan as an alumni.
Students from NOC visited museums & factories such as Toyota, Denso, Brother, Nagoya University, as well as numerous startups, including student startups in Nagoya.
Learning Journey program in Singapore
A visit to East Japan Rail Company (Singapore)
WASABI Creation together with our educational partner organised a company visit to East Japan Rail Company's Singapore branch office for 2 groups of secondary school teachers from Singapore. Although most Singaporeans would know JR as the operator of trains, especially the famous bullet trains in Japan, little is known about the many other businesses JR East is running in Japan, as well as in Singapore.
The manager from JR East gave a presentation about the company's rail and non-rail businesses in Japan, such as real estate, retail and lifestyle businesses. In Singapore, JR East also runs Japan Rail Cafe located in Tanjong Pagar, JW360 a cafe & retail shop at Jewel Changi, as well as One & Co, a newly opened co-working space located in CBD.
Educational tour program in Singapore
2 week study program for KIIT University (India)
WASABI Creation worked with our educational partner from India to welcome 12 computer science students and business students from KIIT University in India in Singapore for a 2-week study program. The program consists a series of project work, participating in events related to IT, entrepreneurship, and technology, visits to various companies, museums, public services, as well as attending workshops, seminars, and networking sessions with various professionals, experts, and entrepreneurs.
Since it is the first time in Singapore for many students, they also visited many place of interest, sightseeing, and tried out different local delicacies.
Guest Speaker to Japanese Students
Seminar to Ryukoku University: How Singapore's policies have shaped a multiracial and international society.
A group of 40 students from Ryukoku University, Japan visited WASABI Creation as part of their educational tour in Vietnam and Singapore. WASABI Creation founder, Tong conducted a seminar on Singapore policies that have shaped the country's multiracialism, and built an international society.
More and more Japanese companies realise the need to venture overseas market as its domestic market continue to string due to aging population and depopulation, however there is a lack of talent within Japan who has the experience, skills, and know-how to bring business across boarders. We hope the seminar will be able to share with the students some ideas and tips on how to be a global talent.
Event Consulting & Support
Sakura Matsuri 2019 at Gardens by the Bay
WASABI Creation supported part of the Sakura Matsuri 2019, a 10-day event held at Gardens by the Bay. We recruited Japan related exhibitors and vendors to set up booths at the event, and supported with the logistics, setting up, booth decoration, as well as operation. We have also supported Akizakura, a vendor from Tokyo who created beautiful umbrellas from vintage Kinomos.
For more detail see: https://mothership.sg/2019/03/sakura-festival-gardens-by-the-bay/
Business Matching in Singapore
Kimono umbrellas for event decoration at Bay Hotel
WASABI Creation supported Akizakura in finding business opportunities and clients in Singapore. Akizakura is a Tokyo base company specialise in recreation of products from vintage Kimonos. Since Kimono fabrics are made into handcrafted decorative umbrella, as well as other products such as fans and other decorative items.
We supplied Akizakura's Kimono umbrellas to Bay Hotel's Japanese themed event for two nights, as well as provided the event decoration and setting up services.
Business Matching in Singapore
Beauty products from Japan to Singapore
WASABI Creation supported a skin care beauty product brand from Hyogo in their market entry to Singapore by following up with distributors and retailers we had met in the business matching project last year. After a few rounds of presentations and negotiations, a major retailer in Singapore is finally convinced of the product quality and has agreed to be an importer and retailing partner for the brand.
Further meetings were conducted to finalised the details, contractual terms and logistics.
Business Matching in Japan
Neuroscience education methodology to Japan
WASABI Creation is supported a Singapore education company in exploring business opportunities in the Japanese market, targeting pre-schools up to high school level. Our client has developed its own neuroscience based education methodology, programs, as well as products, that have been scientifically proven to be effective in children's learning ability. It is also proven to be effective in improving their focus, able to retain knowledge and represent them according to their own understanding.
WASABI Creation supported our client in researching and meeting potential partners in Kyoto and Tokyo, through a series of market research and business matching.
Market Research & Business Matching (Singapore)
Shutter & Door industry
Our client is a major manufacturer of shutters and doors in Japan, for construction and commerce purposes. WASABI Creation was tasked to research for the all the major players in the shutter & door industry in Singapore, and to identify ideal partners for business opportunities and partnership.
A couple of potential parters were identified and arranged business matching for the clients to meet, introduce, and have a discussion for possible collaboration.
Market Research in Singapore
Label printer's demand and applications
Our client is a major Japanese electronic manufacturer, with a division for developing label printers. Recently, a new label printer product has been developed which is smaller, lighter, more portable, and it able to be connect wirelessly to smart phones for the operation.
WASABI Creation is tasked to conduct market research on the demand and applications of such label printer across 10 different industries, ranging from small businesses, SMEs and government organisations.
Besides conducting product trials, and preliminary face-to-face interviews with the users, we also arranged meetings between our client and the users to receive direct feedback from them over a period of 4 days.
Market Research in Japan
Expert Interview with ophthalmologists
Our client is a major market research agency conducting market research on medical related topics. WASABI Creation support the project by conducting individual interviews with over 10 ophthalmologists from Japan through conference call, and translated the result and findings from Japanese to English.
The large amount of scientific terms used was one of the challenges, while ophthalmologists usually have a busy schedule, it was also challenging to catch hold of them for an hour of in-depth interview.
Micro-influencer marketing (Singapore)
Promoting Japan travel for West Japan Railway
WASABI Creation worked with a Singapore micro-influencer marketing agency and supported West Japan Railway Company (JRWest) in promoting West Japan travel as a way to raise awareness of the JR West Pass for travellers who are only travelling in Western parts of Japan. More than 60 micro-influencers responded to the campaign and posted throwback photos of their past traveling in Western Japan with attractive write-ups. A total of over 300,000 followers have been reached through the campaign.
Social Media Content Creation
Content creation on Instagram & Facebook
Anti-cut, Anti-theft Travelling bags
WASABI Creation worked with a new brand in Singapore that design and sells anti-cut, anti-theft travelling bags, which started out as a successfully Kickstarter funded project. We provided our content creation service which consists of creative contents in terms of photos, short videos, stop-motion, computer graphics to strengthen the branding and emphasised on the unique value proposition of the products.
We also engaged influencers, models, and cross-marketing with other brands to raise awareness, as well as to build a true following for a brand new Instagram account for the brand in Singapore.
WASABI Insight vol.12
"Branding & Packaging: Customers First! - Branding your business for new market entry
In recent trends, there has been a fresh approach to branding that has revolutionised the way businesses engage with their target audiences. The approach is a human-centric process that shifts power back to the consumer to drive innovation for the business. We will share our experiences in the importance of customer insights as the foundation to building a brand, especially for new entry in a crowded marketplace. These will be illustrated through case studies of current brands that were homegrown in Japan, but have successfully gained entry to new markets with different needs and aspirations. The themes covered will be Human-centric design, Finding the Gap, and Localisation.
Japan Tourism Consultation
Rural experiential tourism at Minami-cho, Tokushima
Tong, CEO & Founder of WASABI Creation was invited to join a 4 days 4 nights tour at Minami-cho, Tokushima with a group of Singaporeans. There has been little foreign visitors at Minami-cho. Recently some groups of visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong had visited the town, and this is the first time that a group from Singapore is visiting.
Minami (美波町 Minami-chō) is a town located in Kaifu District, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. Located 50 km south of prefecture's capital, Tokushima city, Minami is over 33 km from east to west, and covers an area of approximately 140.8 km². It is bordered on the southwest by the Kaifu mountains and on the east by the Pacific Ocean, making Minami a scenic town surrounded by mountains and sea. As of October 1, 2016, the town has an estimated population of 6,929 and a density of 49 persons per km². Total area is 140.85 km².
Japan Tourism Consultation
Rural Japan Tourism in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture
Tong, CEO & Founder of WASABI Creation was invited by a Japanese business partner to visit Izumo in Shimane Prefecture where his family owns some property many generations ago. There is a house in one of the small rural villages which has faced depopulation for decades. This is due to young people going out to cities for job opportunities and few return. There is an elementary school right next to the house which has been close a couple of years ago due to lack of students.
WASABI Creation was invited to visit and view the area. We visited some places of interest such as the famous Izumo Shrine, and brainstormed on ideas for revitalisation of this area as a destination for rural Japan tourism for foreign travelers. This is going to be a long term project.
Japanese cultural events
Event collateral design & Support
Japan Culture Center 10th Anniversary
Bunraku Japanese Puppet Performance
WASABI Creation supported part of the Bunraku Japanese Puppet Performance organised by Japan Culture Center in celebration of its 10th anniversary. We provided our services in poster design, Japanese to English translation, translation of video subtitles from Japanese to English, as well as video editing for promotional videos. Also, at the pre-event performances held at Singapore Japanese Association & Japan Culture Center, WASABI Creation provided event photography, video filming, as well as event reports with articles documenting the events and the feedback from the audiences.
New Product Development
New Product Development: Japanese Traditional Crafts
Japan inspired handcrafted watch straps
47Ronin浪人 Watch Straps are designed & handcrafted piece by piece with exotic materials from Japan, such as leather, Kimono fabric, Japanese print, and interesting materials from various parts of Japan.
WASABI Creation supported 47Ronin in various stages of the new business startup such as market research, sourcing of materials from Japan, as well as product development and marketing.
The watch straps are applicable to all kind of watches from traditional automatic wrist watches to smart watches such as Apple Watch. In just a couple of months time, over 40 designs have been developed, and the company has started getting orders from Singapore, Japan, USA, and Europe.
In the Press
Interviewed by Japanese web media
Mash Up: Encouraging overseas internship & volunteering work to Japanese students
WASABI Creation's CEO, Tong had a phone interview by Mash Up, a Japanese web media that provides information to Japanese students in order to encourage them to take up internship or volunteering projects overseas. The website provides interview contents of people working and doing business overseas, as well as articles written by interns who had internship outside of Japan.
Tong shared about WASABI Creation, the business vision, as well as his business experience and opinion towards some of the issues faced by Japan. Lastly, he also gave some suggestions and advises to the students in Japan.
Read the full interview article here.
Article contribution to Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (Singapore)
From a Mono-culture Island Nation to a Multi-culture Island State. Embracing Diversity for Business Success
WASABI Creation's CEO, Tong was invited by the publication committee of Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (Singapore) to write an article for the November 2019 issue. Tong took the opportunity and honour to share his insight and advises for Japanese businesses entering a new market such as Singapore.
In his article, Tong wrote about the multi-culture and diverse workforce of Singapore, the significance of contract for business dealings, the common misconception made by Japanese overseas, as well as the risk of only hiring Japanese speakers for their overseas offices. We hope Japanese companies entering Singapore will find the article insightful.