Masakatsu Kouzai with the HQ in Osaka and offices as well factories both in Vietnam and Thailand. We have asked the Representative Director & CEO, Katsuya Nakasaka, regarding how by using their strength, they were able to expand their services in Cambodia. (Interviewed at: April, 2018)
Mr. Katsuya Nakasaka: Representative Director & CEO of Masakatsu Kouzai Cambodia.
Making use of the experience gathered in Vietnam and advancing into the Cambodian market
―――Please tell us about the main strength of your business
As Masakatsu Group we are focusing on the development of four businesses. One is focusing on the steel manufacturing “Masakatsu Kouzai”, next is our kitchen showroom “Takara Standard Kitchen Showroom”, the third one is massage service as the “MK Cambodia” and lastly, our karaoke lounges “Purin Purin”.
We have started steel production as “Masakatsu Kouzai” on a full-scale in July 2017. With the experience in this industry gathered already in Vietnam and by answering for the demand for steel in both countries, we were able to expand our business also to Cambodia, also aiming to get more personnel to our existing group in Japan and Vietnam. Another reason was that Cambodia is late comparing to Vietnam about 10 years, which give us a huge advantage over the potential competitors. Cambodia is also very interesting country, due to the still not matured market. That creates a lot of possibilities for the new businesses.
At “Takara Standard Showroom”, clients considering purchase of the kitchen, are not only able to see the Japanese quality on the photographs, but also feel its quality by themselves. I think this particular feature is very important for the local people, since they can see the real products.
―――Please tell us about the strengths of your company
The definite strong point of “Masakatsu Kouzai” is an ability to offer a high quality technology and responding to the clients’ requests through the wide services.
Both in Japan and in Cambodia, in order to reduce the clients’ troubles, we are doing everything what we can – starting from buying the materials and processing, finishing with welding and the end products. Even in Japan, steel sellers’ services are only limited to either transaction or just cutting the still. But focusing solely on a single business, it is very easy to lose to the competition. That is why we are doing everything – from the purchase of the materials to the building of the final products. I think it is the only way to survive as a company, especially in Cambodia.
Besides, we have access to the high-grade Japanese manufacturing technology. For example, since we were the first company to introduce the water jet cutter to Cambodia, even from the local competition it is expected to offer the quality level similar to the Japanese company. Even though I am the only Japanese person in the company, we have made the working environment in a way, so through the technological guidance the Cambodian employees were conscious, that they are working in the Japanese organization. Local, Cambodian organizations as well the other companies, especially those with the Japanese origin, are aware that the high-grade Japanese technology is associated with the safety.
It works better, since the foreign companies simply cannot win with the locals just by basing their competition on the price
―――What are the main problems to solve in the industry?
In Cambodian steel industry, there are still plenty things to do. First of all, in Cambodia there is no steel manufacturer. Almost every Cambodian organization is forced to import materials from other countries. In this field, Japanese companies are facing serious troubles. Local competitors are able to make the profits just through the import of the materials and then not paying the taxes, but foreign companies like us cannot do the same. That is why, there is no point for us to compete in the price field.
Another raising issue is personnel and electricity cost. Since the lowest wage for the factory workers is both same in Phnom Penh and countryside, a lot of companies which want to enter Cambodian market stop, seeing that both personnel and electricity expenditure was beyond their expectations.
Therefore, due to this reason, I think Cambodia should first of all focus on lowering the electricity costs and bringing material producers to the country. It depends ultimately on the country’s policy, but if they will not take it into the consideration, it may be hard to Cambodia to develop further. In other words, we would like them to think more about the foreign companies.
- Masakatsu Kouzai Cambodia