July 14, 2018

Business Talk with Kazuhiro Ozawa, President & CEO of Canon Marketing Philippines, Inc.

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  • Business Talk with Kazuhiro Ozawa, President & CEO of Canon Marketing Philippines, Inc.
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    Kazuhiro Ozawa started as a walk-in sales associate with Canon, selling office equipment. Armed with this experience, he continued working for Canon in different countries. In the Philippines, the sales of business-to-consumer (B2C) products and commercial printing are on the rise, yet office equipment is showing slow growth.

    Canon has excellent products, but this does not mean they are able to solve all of their customers’ problems. Ozawa was assigned to his current post in August 2017 and has been working on trying to solve this issue.

    Kazuhiro Ozawa was born in 1964 in Kamakura City. He holds a degree in political science and economics from Waseda University graduate and joined Canon in 1989.

    What made you decide to join Canon?

    I had a desire to work in places which I have never been to. I wanted to be involved in global business, even though I had never left Japan. I found an opportunity to go abroad with Canon. Their corporate culture suited me, and I thought they looked after their employees well.

    What did you do before coming to the Philippines?

    I received sales training for a year in a Tokyo sales company. I later returned to the main office and was assigned in a division that deals with exporting copiers, where I was put in charge of shipments to the Middle East and Africa.

    In 1996, I was sent to the Netherlands. The company’s system changed during that time, with European sales companies taking over sales for the Middle East and Africa. The European main office was in the Netherlands at that time, and I stayed there for four years. I went to Dubai to establish a base of operations for Canon in the Middle East and stayed there for two years. I went back to Japan’s main office in 2002, where I was in our sales promotion division until 2013.

    Did you go overseas again in 2013?

    I was sent to Singapore in April 2013 and stayed there for four and half years. Singapore is where our head office was for Southeast Asia. I worked in the office equipment business division doing sales and solutions, mainly dealing with business-to-business multifunction devices.

    At that time, we had three major marketing bases in Asia outside of Japan: Beijing, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The Philippines was under the umbrella of Hong Kong until 2017, when our Hong Kong operations came under the control of Singapore to promote efficiency. This is how the Philippines came to my attention.

    I knew that office equipment sales were weak in the Philippines. I would often tell my boss to “first, reorganize administration, then improve sales and services, and, based on customer problem solutions, we need a fundamental reform of business management!”

    We knew we had to send someone to the Philippines to solve this problem, so I was sent in August 2017.

    How are the sales in the Philippines?

    B2C products are doing well. B2C’s commercial printing is not that bad, but office equipment is a tough sell.  I used to be in charge of office equipment, and that’s what I am here for.

    I would like to get our office equipment sales on track as soon as possible by improving services and solving customer problems.

    What makes Canon better than other companies in the same trade?

    We have all the products you need, from input to output. We offer cameras and scanners as input devices, and our copiers are considered some of the best-in-class for output devices.

    This means you can connect everything with Canon’s products, making your operations very efficient. For example, whenever you scan and save data, you can control it as you print.

    “First, reorganize administration, then improve sales and services, and, based on customer problem solutions, we need a fundamental reform of business management!”

    – Kazuhiro Ozawa, President and CEO of Canon Marketing Philippines

    What kind of business plan and service do you have in mind?

    I have three things in mind. One is regional development. In rural areas, there aren’t many entertainment facilities other than shopping malls. I would like to display our products or showcase them in a fun way in rural areas.

    Second is improving our services. Consumers will only get frustrated if we don’t provide enough customer support. I would like to improve the quality and speed of our customer service. Canon’s products are good, so providing good service is our responsibility.

    Lastly, I would like to focus on product promotion. We have excellent products and new technologies that are designed for both consumer and commercial use, yet these are not known to people. In various situations, our products will improve the efficiency of your job. I want to make sure that our staff members fully understand these wonderful products first before we introduce them to the public.

    What is your view for the future of Canon?

    The slogan of Canon Asia Marketing Group is “Delighting You Always.” I would really like to please our customers through the use of our products. If we can do that, I believe it will also make us happy. I would like to achieve this goal together with all our staff members.

    Name one book that has inspired you to do well in your job.

    “Clouds above the Hill” is a Japanese historical novel that gives me energy. It is set in the Meiji period and has strong-willed young main characters who go through hardships. They may have lived tough lives from a reader’s perspective, but they lived full lives.

    In this story, the word “optimistic” is used, and although the characters face tough challenges, they try to overcome — that excites me.


    This also appears in Philippine Primer English Magazine’s July issue.

                 
               
               
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