Sept 9, 2013

Hankyu Hanshin Express launches new office in Dong Nai, Vietnam

The Hanoi-headquartered Hankyu Hanshin Express (Vietnam) (led by its president, Osamu Moriyama), the Vietnamese subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Express Co., opened a new office (Photo) at Dong Nai province at the outskirts of the southern Ho Chi Minh city on September 9. Located in an office building at the province's Amata Industrial Park, the new office has been positioned as its foothold for marketing activities targeting Japanese-affiliated companies that have forayed into the areas near the city. In addition to the reinforcement of its services to existing customers, it will also strengthen its moves to capture new projects involving air and marine cargoes, centering on automotive companies. With the opening of the Dong Nai office, Hankyu Hanshin will now have a total of 100 company-owned bases, including the sales sites and offices it operates overseas.

The Vietnamese subsidiary runs a branch in Ho Chi Minh as its main base south of the country, as well as operates an office within the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) at Binh Duong province. Apart from VSIP, there are many other industrial zones that house large numbers of Japanese-affiliated companies at the city outskirts, such as the industrial parks in Amata, Loteco and Bien Hoa. However, Hankyu Hanshin has so far been covering its marketing activities in the region through its two-base system.

Masayuki Asano, head of the overseas management unit under the global control division of the company, explained that, "After the opening of the Binh Duong office last year, we were commissioned to undertake multiple new projects by companies that have forayed into VSIP. There are huge advantages in putting up a base near the customers." With the launch of the Dong Nai office, the company will be able to beef up its marketing system for the southern regions of the country, which it hopes will lead to keeping the existing customers and tapping new ones. The Amata Industrial Park where the new office is located is situated with 30 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh city, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Saigon port. It is also close to VSIP and other industrial zones, giving it a geographical edge as a marketing base.

Hankyu Hanshin currently serves a large number of customers related to electronic/electrical products, medical equipment and materials that are housed at VSIP, Amata and other industrial zones in the country. With the opening of the new office, it aims to boost services such as customs clearance mainly for the existing customers at Amata, as well as reinforce its marketing drive targeting automobile-affiliated customers who have come late into the region. One Vietnamese sales staff will mount marketing activities through the offices in Binh Duong and Dong Nai, while another customs clearance staff will be deployed to both offices.

The new office will also be used as the base of the Japanese resident staffs who will be posted at the Hanoi headquarters and the Ho Chi Minh branch. Hankyu Hanshin will also consider putting up a control/administration branch in the middle of the two offices. While it also offers domestic storage/delivery services in the southern parts of the country through its affiliated agents, the company has yet to build its independent warehouse in the region. It is currently studying the advisability of operating its own warehouse at VSIP and other industrial zones, hoping to offer high value-added services such as vendor management inventory (VMI) down the road.

The recently opened Dong Nai office represents Hankyu Hanshin's 100th overseas base. It has been expanding its overseas bases since it opened its resident office in New York in 1961, opening offices in Europe, such as in the Netherlands and Germany, and in Asia, such as in Hong Kong and Singapore. It has advanced the establishment of local subsidiaries since the 1980s, beginning with the ones in the U.S. In the 2000s, it put up a subsidiary in China, followed by the ones in the emerging Asian economies of Indonesia, Vietnam and India. At present, it covers the major cities worldwide through its own network of bases.

Just recently, it forayed into Mexico in April and Myanmar in August. It has been adopting the overseas foray method in which it transforms the resident offices it has put up in partnership with local agents into full-fledged local subsidiaries several years after such offices take off. With Mexico and Myanmar, however, it went straight to launching local subsidiaries. "The trends of customers have become speed nowadays, making us unable to fully cope with just our resident offices that cannot mount marketing activities," pointed out Asano.

In the future, Hankyu Hanshin will study the establishment of its own bases in Cambodia, Laos and other emerging countries in the Indochina peninsula. It is also advancing market research in the African region toward its plan to further boost its network of bases worldwide.

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