Takao Kimura, chief operating officer of Hirose Electric (China), on the company’s role as an innovative supplier of interconnects to China.

Bridges: How well known is the Hirose brand in China today?

Takao Kimura, chief operating officer of Hirose Electric (China) | © HRS
Takao Kimura, chief operating officer of Hirose Electric (China) | © HRS

Kimura: We have achieved strong growth in automotive, industrial equipment and consumer equipment, including smartphones. In line with the drastic changes which have taken place in the market, we have strengthened the local capabilities of our sales offices and factories across China.

The need to continually adapt is a key theme for us and we are strengthening our manufacturing capabilities in China, including productivity, quality and cost. We are also increasing the support we provide to our sales and marketing teams across the country.

How has Hirose Electric (China) adjusted to adapt to the pandemic?

COVID-19 made it challenging for businesses to have direct contact with customers. In these “new normal” circumstances, we believe it is more important than ever to increase our contacts with customers.

Our development capabilities are the lifeblood of our company. This aspect of our business remains strong and allows us to concentrate on delivering valuable proposals to our customers.

We will continue to provide value-driven solutions to our customers by increasing our productivity and strengthening our capabilities. Investing in digital tools and engaging with online marketing initiatives has also enhanced our internal and external communication capabilities.

How do you see the Japan-China relationship developing?

This year marks the 50th anniversary since the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. Over 20 years ago, when Hirose Electric began full-scale business developments in China, the country’s rapid economic growth coincided with the expansion of our business.

Today, China is experiencing stable economic growth and it is important for us to enhance our local technical developments and manufacturing skills to build win-win relationships with our customers in China.

What are your future plans for the company?

China plays an important role in Hirose Electric’s global operations. We are committed to the Chinese market and we are investing in research and development here.

Enhancing our technological and manufacturing capabilities in China is vital to our success. For example, we are developing a quick-response system to better manage requests from customers across China. We will continue to put the customer first and aim to be a company which is well-respected by all our customers.