The EU-Japan Centre launched the 4th edition of its 2-week programme “Get Ready for Japan” drawn from the 4-week long Human Resources Training Programme.
The "Get Ready for Japan" programme provides EU businessmen with a professional Japan-related expertise. It is focused on business management and consists of a combination of lectures, case studies, role plays and company visits. Due to the current health situation, the programme will continue to be held online.
Preferred profile: “ideally” suited for executives of EU SMEs who need a quick and practical preparation to maximise their chance of building as successful partnerships.
Mr Szymon Zdrojewski, CEO, SPE Global Solutions, participant to Get Ready for Japan 2019 participant
I found this training as one of the best I have ever participated in, taking into consideration organisation, substantive value and networking opportunities. Individual company meetings were very fruitful. Initially 3 companies showed their interest in cooperation. If everything goes well, I will certainly increase business with Japan and use the knowledge from the training.
Despite that I have approximately 11 years of professional experience with Japan, I found out useful details which could potentially influence on business relations with Japanese partners. Most of them related to business etiquette. I realised that I was making many mistakes in terms of body language and for instance while exchanging business cards. From the other point of view, I learnt that there are other good and more competitive places for doing business than Tokyo. Trip to Miyagi prefecture was really beneficial. I could find out that the local government authorities put a lot of attention to attract new companies from different regions in order to start new businesses. They also care about companies operating there currently. My practical advice is to use time and networking opportunities as much as possible.
Petr Bares, Managing Director, at Iguassu Software Systems a.s. specialized in Satellite navigation performance monitoring and simulations.
How did your story with the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation start?
In 2008, I took part in “Human resource training programme in Japan” (HRTP 44).
Based on your experience, do you still trust the EU-Japan Centre's services?
Absolutely. The Centre is professional, knowledgeable, helpful, proactive and reliable in the long-term. Simply excellent in all respects! HRTP (which I attended twice!) gave me a broad insight into varied aspect of Japanese culture and business.
Being introduced to meetings by the Centre meant being received at much higher level than otherwise possible. I believe these were the main reasons why I was subsequently able to develop very personal working relationship, and at times long-term friendships, with professionals at top levels of company management and even in ministries. I continued to stay in touch with the Centre and got individual tailored support in winning the first customer - a government research institute. The help and advice of the Centre were truly invaluable.
What kind of significant progress Iguassu Software Systems already made in Japan?
We were able to sell a software license for satellite navigation monitoring to the Electronic Navigation Research Institute (ENRI) and now we are negotiating further custom development - ongoing support from the EU-Japan Centre is invaluable. We continue to be delighted to be able to work with the Centre.
What advice would you give to companies willing to enter the Japanese market (e.g., what do you wish you knew when Iguassu Software Systems entered the Japanese market)?
Participate in the current equivalent HRTP - Get Ready for Japan and try to learn about Japanese culture and people. Learn a few words of Japanese. Do not be put off by the many challenges that a foreigner is faced with in Japan. Almost every time an encountered problem changes into a very positive experience.
Making progress is often painfully slow by European expectations. Rather than relying on interpreters, arrange to go with your clients to an izakaya. You will be surprised how the conversation in English suddenly starts to flow after a small beer. The person that looked very formal and a bit distant in the morning, will start developing into a cheerful friend that you will keep meeting on next business trips.
What do I wish I knew? Everything that I learned in HRTP 44!