Sandeep Goyal
Oct 10, 2012

Opinion: Japanese brands will return to their glory days

Sandeep Goyal, vice chairman, Mogae Group

Opinion: Japanese brands will return to their glory days

After the stake Mogae held in Dentsu was sold to Dentsu, I took a three-month break. It coincided, more or less, pretty well with my 25th wedding anniversary. But I do realise that I’m too young to retire. One thing that is keeping me going is Mogae (as Campaign India reported earlier). Another is my PhD, which has just kicked off at Faculty of Management Studies. Yet another is my writing.
At each sitting, I manage to write about 4,000 words, and that gives me confidence to plan the timelines for my next book (after Dum Dum Bullet). No, the next title isn’t Witches of Worli, but I’m done with 40 to 42,000 words on the next, and I would say it’s about 20 (working) days from a first draft. Typically, 120 to 1,60,000 words make that draft. But I’m in the mood for something more. And this comes from the heart, the way books should. In a sentence, it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at doing business with the Japanese. Here’s why.

My first response to working with Dentsu is always that it’s a fabulous organisation. The Japanese enabled me to do things that others wouldn’t think of. I am honored and privileged to have done business with them for more than two decades. I am obliged to converting that experience, of working with these people, into a ready reference guide for working with the Japanese. And I don’t see the reason to be negative. That’s not how the Japanese go about their business.

Because I like these people, their values and their culture so much, I think of them fondly. I think of their days of unchallenged supremacy in various segments, and I foresee the day they return to those glory days again.

For Japan, I think it’s time for the country to reinvent itself. In recent years, brands from the country, be it Sony or Toshiba, which were world-beaters, lost their place on the pinnacle. I don’t see this as a sectoral loss. Japan has been through change as a nation. And I have faith that the nation will bounce back, along with its brands.

The nation went from losing a World War to creating the new Japan - the one we know. It’s a nation that knows from history all about the bubble and growing within the bubble. They also know how to rebuild once the bubble bursts.

The fact that today the foremost electronics company in the world is Samsung, and not a Sony or Toshiba, is an indicator in itself. And like after the World War, I believe in the ability of the Japanese to bounce back. Not many who know them will doubt the Japanese’s ability to rise to the challenge. We all saw it loud and clear with the earthquake last year.

The Japanese are on a strong footing because their basic value systems, and their core values, remain unchanged. This is evident from the way they deal with adversity. Unlike many others in the rest of the world, this is a race that doesn’t make a hue and cry as it rebuilds its broken limbs. Innate to Japan is its ability to reconstruct itself quickly.

There is no reason to believe that its world-beating brands won’t do the same, again.

Sandeep Goyal, vice chairman, Mogae Group

Campaign India