a peep into Japanese Entrepreneurs & Business ventures in Singapore
Produced by WASABI Creation
"WOW!" the World, MURAYAMA Singapore
Text by Xu Lulu, MBA, Hokkaido university
Translated by Lim Shi Hui, Undergraduate, NUS School of Business
MURAYAMA was established in 1902 with 113 years of history in organizing exhibitions, ceremonies, and business related services for large production companies. MURAYAMA expertise lies in ceremonies, theme parks, large-scale exhibitions, etc., such as national sports events.
In entering the Singapore market, MURAYAMA hopes to continue the hundred years long of history and tradition by expanding areas of their business they did not in Japan. Some activities would include business promotion, organizational activities, as well as the consulting business. In fact, MARAYAMA aims to expand into the entire Southeast Asian market.
MURAYAMA choose Singapore as a launch pad into Southeast Asia for several reasons, mainly due to the number of activity contractors and international networks available in Singapore. Southeast Asia is MURAYAMA’s second overseas expansion after their entry into the Chinese market.
MURAYAMA is just at the beginning stage of business development in Singapore, and had not yet determined specifically the format of operations or the results they wish to achieve. The person-in-charge in Singapore will start to track and accumulate their performance results here.
Mr. Aso, general manager of the Singapore branch of MURAYAMA, said that as they introduce interesting aspects of Japan to Asia, they too want to assist Southeast Asian companies interested in Japan to enter the Japanese market. Hence, companies interested in working with MURAYAMA or open to any strategic partnerships should contact them in Singapore.
Regarding the development plans in Singapore, MURAYAMA aims to set up and gradually expand several main businesses within one to two years. Mr. Aso said that their biggest goal is to expand the business gradually in Singapore, starting with the establishment of the business in the first year, gradual expansion in the second year, etc., rather than delving into a large scale business model from the start.
Speaking of differences between operations in Japan and Singapore, Mr. Aso mentioned that Singapore is much more fast-paced. He felt that the pace of work was already quick in China, and even more so when he came to Singapore. Mr. Aso also realized that Singapore is a highly individualistic society, which entails more freedom, but in turn translates to higher risks as well, which he is slightly nervous about. Hence, one of the future issues MURAYAMA will face is how to integrate into Singapore's unique culture.
Of course, Mr. Aso noticed similarities as well. For example, he felt that that there was little difference in the Singapore service industry when compared to Japan. Although spending in Singapore is relatively high, it is similar to Japan in this regard. Overall, he feels that all Singaporeans are friendly, polite, hardworking and kind.
Mr. Aso was very surprised at the prevalence of smartphones in all aspects of Singaporeans’ lives. In fact, things get difficult without a smartphone. For example, one needs a smartphone to access his verification code at the bank. One might encounter a similar situation in Japan but manual operations are still more common there. He concluded that Singapore is developing very quickly in terms of technology, given the large and constant usage of smart phones, laptop computers, WI-FI and Internet.
If he had to mention a difference between Japan and Singapore, Mr. Aso would say that the lack of a drinking culture here is foreign to him, as the Japanese loves drinking, while Singaporeans appear not to enjoy drinking as much.
As for MURAYAMA’s future projects, Mr. Aso expresses that WASABI Creation is a young but professional and vibrant company, and hence would like to continue working with WASABI Creation when expanding in Singapore.
MURAYAMA would like to strengthen ties between Japan and Southeast Asia, including Singapore through their business. They hope to obtain the support of people who share the same ideas as them, or are interested in their work. MURAYAMA also plans to go into consulting and hopes to face any challenges and issues together with their clients. MARAYAMA assures that despite its fresh entry into Singapore, they do not lack knowledge about the workings here as they have many great partners, and people who are interested in MURAYAMA’s services can work with them in confidence. MURAYAMA welcomes any consultation and discussions!
He has always worked in MURAYAMA Japan.
Because Aso intends to develop businesses in Singapore that have not been done before in Japan, he will not only take advantage of this prior experiences, but will also make use of their unique experience in Singapore to establish a new business. He knows that there are big risks involved, but solving any problems and developing MURAYAMA in Singapore within the quickest time possible is his mission while here.
Mr. Aso enjoys taking photos during the weekends, and is good at capturing the beauty of nature in his shots.
Mr. Aso says that there is a long history between Japan and Singapore. Japan has certain attractive qualities, such as its cuisine, products, and safety that provides reassurance to consumers. As Singapore is very similar to Japan, both countries have engaged in economic exchanges since ancient times. Mr. Aso was able to experience the charm of Singapore in his stay this time, and hopes to leverage on his experience and knowledge in helping Singapore and Japan achieve deeper levels of interactions.
Mr. Aso hopes to interact and carry out exchanges with like-minded people.
MURAAMA Singapore will be organizing its first event in Singapore on 28th October 2015 at Suntec Convention Center.
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