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Ranchoux Christophe

President and Representative Director
Fiskars Japan Co., Ltd.

Date of birth: May 31, 1967

Hometown: Chamalieres, France

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 21 (as of March 2018)

Ranchoux Christophe
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I started to practice Japanese martial arts (karate and kendo) when I was 9 years old. During my years in junior high school, I decided to start learning Japanese by myself and after I received my master's degree in Japanese language and civilization at Paris Jussieu University, I came to Japan in 1990 to study economics as a postgraduate student.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Invictum justus” is the motto written in Latin on my family crest. It means, “A just man is unbeatable.” Justice, fairness and courage are part of my philosophy of life. It is in my blood.
But I also cherish a Japanese saying, ichi go ichi e that can be translated as “once in a lifetime encounter” and keep it as a motto. Taking care of each instance and each opportunity to make it count is important in life.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

In Japan it is hard to brag about your own achievements, but honestly, I feel some pride remembering that I started in 1995 as a very untalented salesperson in a famous jewelry brand's store. I have learned about retail and wholesale businesses in the field and after many experiences I eventually came to reach some management positions.
In other words, I feel pride in my roots.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

The goal in my life is to live without any regrets and to not impose any regrets on the ones I love. I also naturally try to keep this in sight when doing my job.
Generally, I aim to be a bridge between the Occidental and the Japanese cultures, especially now that I lead a group of international brands from various European countries in Japan.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Japan is generally seen as one of the most advanced and modern countries in the world. Nevertheless, many Occidental companies also judge Japan as one of the countries with the lowest level of productivity. The decision-making process is long and overtime is a never-ending issue.
Let us remember that Japan was almost entirely closed to the world for 265 years before opening itself to the Occident just 150 years ago. Traditions are strongly anchored in this country and ways of thinking, acting or reacting are sometimes different.
It does not mean that Japan will never change. Japan evolves at its own rhythm and we should respect its culture and be patient.
Foreigners working here shall also remember this other saying — “Gō ni haire ba gō ni shitagae.” When in Rome, do as the Romans do and give way to time to let the changes happen.
Patience is a virtue required to live and succeed here in Japan.

Last updated: Oct 2, 2018