Media Partner the newyork times

MUNAZO INC.

CEO

Tsunenori Munakata

ムナゾヲ株式会社 宗像恒憲
A leader who seeks inefficiency

From the time I was a child, what has always motivated me was a self-sustaining spirit and a sense of “independence” that allowed me to be responsible for anything that I wanted to do on my own will. Ever since I have become a business owner, the theme of my organization has been to create a structure where every single employee can fully utilize their strengths and characteristics, and where the result stemming from that allows them to feel happiness. I think that this is also important for Japan's innovation, which has been said to be in limbo.

Year of Birth
1952
Birthplace
Osaka
Name
MUNAZO INC.
Headquarters
6-9, Koyochonaka, Higashinada-ku Kobe-shi, Hyogo
Founded
2010
Type of business
Manufacture, Internet accompanying service
url
https://www.munazo.co.jp/
After graduating from university, I worked in the entertainment industry, performed in musicals and also gained experience in record production, etc. After leaving the world of show business when I married, I joined a foreign-affiliated trading company in 1990 after working as a supermarket employee, convenience store manager and other jobs. What the trading company handled was barcode verification machines. Our company was founded because our client, an American verification machine manufacturer, needed somebody to represent them when setting up a sales agency in Japan. The barcode was rapidly introduced into Japanese retail stores in the 1980s and was already in use when I was a convenience store manager. I feel a strange relationship how that experience is the most directly related task to my job now.

In addition to selling specific equipment, our company's sales agency business has the advantage of being able to match our users with equipment suited for them, including competitors, and also being able to modify this equipment to better match our customers' requests. Honestly responding to our users' requests and demands, accurately determining whether it is feasible or not, asking the manufacturers to understand the importance of our customers' demands, and making it all a reality. We believe that being able to serve as a high-function interface where both the demand and supply sides can be satisfied, is the main reason for our growth.

A company's reason for introducing a barcode verification machine is primarily to improve efficiency. In modern businesses, automation making full use of AI and robot technologies is actively implemented. The best example of efficiency improvement is the existence of unmanned convenience stores that are spreading throughout the globe. Because the purpose of a company is to reduce costs and maximize profits, it goes without saying that efficiency is very important.However, as work in all sectors has become extremely efficient, we feel that it is becoming clear that what is needed is not merely efficiency improvement. Taking our company as an example, we introduced a core management system in 2015, succeeded in realizing performance equal or superior to other years with a small number of staff, and increased our profit ratio. However, at the same time, we faced an issue in which our revenue pie had not increased.

What we needed then was top sales. Our sales stance in the last 10 years was like a shop clerk of a famous brand, in that we had staff with expertise simply wait for customers to come. We focused on improving efficiency by automating the behind-the-scenes tasks to reduce costs, which in turn resulted in us neglecting a positive stance toward sales, which would have led to a brighter future for our company. Like the top sales of insurances and imported foreign cars, we were very weak in the aspect that we could not aggressively provide information on our products. In order to secure an advantageous market position with an efficient organization, it is necessary to foster top-talent human resources.The required condition of top sales is to build a good trusting relationship with the customer face to face, obtain a lot of information from there, and to prefetch and provide what those customers want. The relationship of trust between people is built through personality and sensibility, and this relationship requires obligations and humanity, which also make it very inefficient. How to nurture "human" departments which supplement what automated technologies lack in humanity - this is our challenge at the moment.

Unfortunately, in Japan, you become evaluated from when you are a child on how well you can simply do as your parent or teacher says, and even in business scenes you are expected to "respect with harmony" and "if you can't beat them, join them". When stating a peculiar opinion different from everyone else's, you are criticized even by your parents. Such "monotony" of the Japanese was an efficient method of life for agricultural Japan. Contemporary university students and businessmen who dislike these ideologies are jumping overseas. I also had doubts about such cultures since childhood, and threw myself in the music world right after graduating, and eventually quit my job as an office worker and started my own business. However, in the era of globalization, it is obvious that Japanese companies must have an environment in which individuality can be demonstrated.My ideal is a group in which each person each person utilizes their skills and differences to all work toward one goal, like the movie "Seven Samurai" (directed by Akira Kurosawa). I believe that my duty now as a leader, is to gather such workers with untapped potential from all over the world, allow them to influence each other, keep creating new ideas and forging a new world. With our US corporation MUNAZO CO., LTD (Silicon Valley) as our foundation, we aim to become a global company that creates new systems and products and realizes top sales that dominate the blue ocean market.

Since the beginning of history, mankind has taken little steps by steps to reduce waste and inefficiency. To put in simply, the world must be 1 + 1 = 2. On the other hand, the history of "person" has been filled with waste and inefficiencies, including living lives according to each person's happiness and values, seeking human relationships, and offering these aspects to others. For example, 1 + 1 becomes ≈ 3 as well as ≈ 1, and conversely when it = 2 it is a world where there is a sort of edge between human relationships.Like these efficiencies and inefficiencies, the real economy and financial economy, free trade and protection trade, analog and digital, yin and yang, men and women, war and peace etc., events in the world - they all consist of a bipolar relationship. Even if one side may appear to be superior and apparently absolutely correct, adverse effects are gradually created and everything gets pulled in the opposite direction. This is a never-ending cycle. I think that what is necessary for leaders in the efficiency age is the ability to accurately navigate through this cycle, and to correctly foresee the future in such circumstances.

ムナゾヲ株式会社 宗像恒憲
ムナゾヲ株式会社 宗像恒憲

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

MUNAZO INC.

CEO
Tsunenori Munakata