ウシオ電機の戦略:「国内の大企業」ではなく「世界の中堅企業」を狙う|Aiming at a “mid-sized company in the world” rather than a “large company in a country”

https://business.nikkei.com/atcl/seminar/19/00059/062100385/

ウシオ電機の牛尾会長は、安倍元首相と親類関係にある人ですけど、かなりリベラルな感覚でも鳴らした大物経営者でしたよね。好きでした。もうなくなりましたし、記事は少々古い(半年前)んですけど、よいインタビューなのでシェアします。

地方財閥の一族出身なので、あの時代そういうお坊ちゃんはだいたいハーバード やペン(シルバニア)に行ったのに、ワザワザ Haas(UC Berkeleyのbiz school)で MBAを取る辺りが、はね返りだという気がします。父親の死去により帰国しますが。

このインタビューの中で、我々、小規模企業に最も刺さるのは、”日本の大企業ではなく、世界の中堅企業を目指す”という、非常に今日的で戦略的な発想ですよね。ものすごい頭がいい人だと思います。

昔は「勝利の方程式」みたいに妄信されていた、国内で小企業から始まり、中小企業、中堅企業、そして大企業…と、出世魚のように上り詰めるのではなく、スケールは中堅企業 なんですけど、世界の各国で異なる環境の中で「生き延びる」ことができる、戦国時代のアメーバ(?)みたいな体質でいるということですね 。

そのおかげで、特定の国の経済が悪くなっても、ウシオ電気はあまりダメージを被りませんでした。アメリカで映画館業界の運営サービスの中枢を握っているのは全く知らなかったので、びっくりしました。

地方の保守的な名家から出発してても、こんなにオープンマインドな経営リーダーシップを取って、世界に散らばる多様性の塊の社員集団を導くことができるというのは、まさに「世界の中堅企業」のリーダーでしたね。

Chairman Ushio of Ushio Electric is a relative of former Prime Minister Abe, but he actually was a big businessman who also sounded quite liberal in his senses. I liked him much. He is no longer with us, and the article is a bit old (half a year ago), but it is a good interview, so I will share it with you here.

He came from a family of a local conglomerate, and while most of the young heirs back then went to Harvard or Penn (Sylvania), his decision to get an MBA from Haas (UC Berkeley’s biz school) felt like a bit rebellious and sure I like that. Mr. Ushio returned to Japan after his father’s death.

In this interview, what sticks out the most to us, small companies, is his very wise and strategic idea of “aiming to be a global mid-sized company, not a big company in Japan.” I think you are a very smart person, sir.

Starting as a small company in Japan, then the small-medium, then a medium-sized one, finally a large company, and so on, just like a “promotion-fish”, was once believed to be the “formula for victory.” On contrary, Ushio’s is a medium-sized company in scale, but it is able to “survive” in different environments in different countries around the world. Given our society becoming rapidly globalized, this strategy was ahead of time.

Thanks to this, Ushio Denki was not damaged too much when the economy of particular countries turned bad. I was surprised as I had no idea that they were the center of operational services for the movie theater industry in the United States. So cool.

Even though you started out from a local conservative and prominent family, you were able to take such an open-minded, global management leadership and lead a group of employees with a mass of diversity scattered all over the world.

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