GG co.,Ltd.


Toshiyuki Hirata

Toshiyuki Hirata
Contributing to the Development of Global Human Resources

One deep-rooted problem faced by many Japanese people is their poor English language ability. Even today, where the latest information from overseas is shared in real-time, and we can hope to establish a global business presence without borders between companies and individuals, there are still major linguistic obstacles preventing communication. One solution to this issue which has gained popularity over the past ten years is overseas language study in the Philippines. GG Co., Ltd. became an industry pioneer in the provision of short-term intensive overseas study programs. Mr. Toshiyuki Hirada, CEO of GG, says that his company succeeded by differentiating from the services provided by other firms, with directly operated schools and finely tuned services of the kind that only Japanese people can offer. He also says that in the future, GG will attempt to provide other services including immersive hands-on educational experiences and new opportunities to use English.

Year of Birth
GG co.,Ltd.
5&6F Osaka Sanko Nishi Umeda Building 2-4-34 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Type of business
Planning, development and operation of overseas study & internship products
With the beautiful beach resort of Cebu, and its massive capital city of Manila buzzing with energy and excitement, the Philippines is known as an archipelago of highly appealing resort islands. Although its official language is Filipino (Tagalog), the country has adopted English as its common language, and it has a particularly high number of English speakers amongst Asian countries. It also has a deep relationship with Japan historically, and Manila can be reached from Tokyo by a journey of around four hours, with only a one-hour time difference.

GG Co., Ltd. has formed partnerships with language schools in the Philippines primarily and various other locations around the world, and provides overseas study support to individuals, companies, schools and other educational institutions. We also directly operate two language schools on the island of Cebu, offering unique services and developing original study programs and educational materials. One attraction of overseas study in the Philippines is the low total cost. Another major distinguishing feature is an environment in which students can focus thoroughly, and intensively, on their English language studies. The majority of teaching is one-to-one or in very small-sized classes. Programs are conducted intensively, with around eight hours of classes per day, meaning that students can hope to reliably improve their language ability even over a short period of overseas study. At the very least, students should be able to overcome their feelings of ineptitude and aversions to actually speaking English. For business customers, we offer programs that are specialized towards business situations, based on keywords such as presentations and negotiations.

In recent years, there is also very high demand for overseas study on Cebu from educational institutions introducing short-term overseas language study programs at the departmental or year-group level, with numbers ranging from around 50 to 100 students. We currently arrange and support English study programs on Cebu for around 60 schools (junior high schools and high schools) per year. These programs are specially designed to provide children with English language output (i.e. speaking) practice—for which they would normally have very limited opportunities—and help them to become accustomed to using English and appreciate fun and enjoyment of speaking it. In addition to support during actual language training and overseas study periods, we also offer a diverse range of other services. These include our own online English conversation service, as a form of extended study to increase and maintain motivation for studying English before and/or after overseas study, and English language camps for elementary and junior high school students in Japan.

The popularity of overseas language study in the Philippines has increased over the past five years, and the environment has changed dramatically, to the point where it is incomparable with what it was when I first entered this business. One major point that makes GG different from other companies is that we directly operate our own language schools: IDEA CEBU and IDEA ACADEMIA. In the past, we focused intensively on identifying the needs of students and our partner language schools as an overseas study agency, pairing students with the most suitably matched language schools and providing support for procedures to enroll in overseas study. However, we found that many students often felt inconvenienced by various factors. In response to this issue, in 2011 we created our directly operated language schools, and began to share information that we obtained there regarding education and management methods for Japanese people with other schools. By doing so, we thought that we could increase the quality of service at other schools to a certain level. In my own career, I started out in the food & beverage and bridal (wedding services) industries. Incorporating finely tuned services which are quite unique to Japan’s service industries into 100% boarding-type schools leads to greater peace of mind for the students staying there. We created an environment in which students could concentrate on their studies as much as possible by focusing thoroughly on safety and peace of mind in terms of security, well-balanced diet, comfortable dormitories where students can spend their time after class, cleanliness, and stationing of nurses to manage students’ health. In school management, what is demanded is not only business success but to what extent we can provide creative value as an educational institution. One day, I was consulted by the educational institution of someone whom I respect—and who was also the motivation for me to start this enterprise—saying that they would like to help students increase their IELTS scores on Cebu, and so I began intensive research to develop an IELTS program. As a result of these efforts, IELTS scores increased by 0.5 points on average. It typically requires around three months of study to achieve this kind of increase. After this experience, I transformed from being simply an overseas study agent into being a general educational consultant.

Because we actually operate our own language schools, we can readily identify the character of our partner schools, and offer optimal programs to cater to the needs of our students by utilizing this expertise. We also offer online study services before and after overseas study, and dispatch instructors to lecture at companies. The reason for this extensive support is that we want to increase opportunities for people who want to study English to increase their language ability, and to have them actually use it.

From our experiences of involvement in the overseas language study over the past 10 years, I believe that it is necessary for us to aim to become a kind of general trading company for education which is able to propose one-stop educational models and lifestyles that enable people to study languages and/or experience working in various countries.

I want us to think not only about learning English, but how we will use it. I believe that it is the role of our generation to create a foundation for Japan’s younger generation to be active on the world stage, through efforts such as support for overseas study and business.

In 2018 we launched local subsidiaries in Thailand and Malta. Including Japan and Cebu, we now have four companies, seven offices, and over 200 permanent employees.

Over several years, and utilizing cutting-edge educational programs that we have developed through continuous efforts in Asia and Europe, we are creating a solid and reliable reference as a language school company. We also have base offices in Asia and Europe, and have also begun to provide programs developed there; including student-oriented entrepreneur experience programs, cultural exchanges, and immersive experience programs using alternative education (as represented by the Montessori and Steiner methods of education that are so popular in Europe) to increase students’ imaginations, thinking abilities and general abilities as human beings.

My own experiences working and learning through my interactions with other people have all helped to broaden my mind. I want GG to become the kind of company where people who have chosen to become involved with us will think they have found a connection between themselves and the wider world.

Toshiyuki Hirata
Toshiyuki Hirata

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

GG co.,Ltd.

Toshiyuki Hirata