Connected Leadership testimonial, Ryoji Kuroiwa
January 5, 2024
Ryoji Kuroiwa, from Ark LLC, Japan, shares his testimonial for the Connected Leadership programme, available for all Kreston Global members. Read below what he has to say, or click here to learn more about the 2024 course.
‘I work for Ark LLC in Japan and am mainly engaged in auditing services to listed companies. In addition to auditing work, I am also involved in acquiring new clients and expanding the size of the firm. I used to work at the Tokyo head office for more than 10 years, but I was transferred to Sapporo two and a half years ago following the opening of the Sapporo branch. Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of over 10 million, whereas Sapporo has a smaller population of around 2 million. Sapporo is very cold from December to March, and the entire region is covered with snow. During heavy snowfalls, transport is sometimes halted and commuting to work is not possible.’
‘Compared with other countries, Japan is not an open business environment due to the difficulty of communicating in English and high business barriers. Despite this, Tokyo has a great diversity of business, including global projects, due to its large economy. Although we have many competitors, we also have many clients, so I think we are fortunate to be in an environment where there are few inconveniences for any kind of business. When I transferred from Tokyo to Sapporo, I felt a difference in the business environment. People have strong connections in their work. I initially did not know anyone and had to start almost from scratch.’
‘When the Sapporo office opened, there were only two people, including myself, and only two clients, so we worked to acquire new clients. The number of employees has gradually increased and the number of clients has grown by five over the past two and a half years to a total of seven. Some of these clients were approached by us, but it was the human network that made a major contribution here. When I was posted to Sapporo, a few acquaintances introduced me to many people in Sapporo, where I had no personal network, and as a result, my personal network expanded and we were introduced to clients. Fortunately, the acquaintances included us in their network because they had a positive image of the auditing firm I belonged to. We regularly exchange information on a regular basis, and as a result, we are extremely grateful to them for helping us in a time of need.’
‘The Kreston Global training made me realise that we are a globally connected community and that the relationships that come from diversity are very important. During the Connected Leader programme, I learnt that business is accelerated by connecting with people. This is obvious, but not easy to put into practice. Naturally, the other party will think about the kind of people they want to do business with, and in order to connect with each other globally, it is important to have English and business skills, as well as mutual respect for each other due to different environments. I believe that building such a relationship is not something that can be done by using techniques, but by taking into account a variety of factors such as past experience, way of thinking, knowledge, and what one values in one’s work. While the benefits of human networks can be very significant, they are also difficult to build and maintain, but I believe they are a great asset.’