Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501; NYSE: HIT) announced the appointment of Shunsuke Ohtsu, Managing Director Hitachi Asia Ltd., as Chief Executive for Asia, effective August 1, 2006. The Chief Executive for Asia is the Hitachi Group’s senior representative for all Asian countries, except Japan and China. In this capacity, Mr. Ohtsu is responsible for developing the business strategy for the group and promoting business localization in the Asian region. Other responsibilities include developing and conducting new businesses leveraging group synergies, strengthening relationships with important customers and governing brand and risk management in this region.
In April 2003, the Hitachi Group established the regional chief executive system with senior representative responsibilities for the group. These individuals represent the social and customer interests in each region. The Hitachi Group’s aim in establishing this system is to promote operations as a “truly local company” in each geographic region by conducting business based on strategies that suit the characteristics of the particular region. Hitachi has already appointed full-time executive officers and directors as regional chief executive officers for North America, Europe and China. In each region, the regional chief executive will drive efforts to efficiently utilize the management resources of the entire Hitachi Group and formulate as well as execute strategies carefully tailored to each region.
Asian economies at present are characterized by steadily growing consumer spending, as well as healthy exports and capital expenditures. The Indian economy, in particular, has recorded high growth, driven by the IT and financial services industries; the real GDP growth rate in the Indian economy in 2005 was 8.0%. With internal demand also growing, boosted by higher consumer spending as employment and wage environments improve, India is expected to continue experiencing high economic growth. Markets in ASEAN countries are also expected to expand, based on healthy exports and capital expenditures in Thailand and Indonesia, rising income levels and other factors(1).
Hitachi first started business activities in Asia in 1929, exporting steam locomotives from Japan to the Dungun mine in British Malaya. In the ensuing years, Hitachi continued responding to the economic and social needs of Asia. In terms of specific actions, Hitachi Asia, which has a regional headquarters role, established its head office in Singapore, as well as subsidiaries in India, Thailand and Malaysia and offices in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Furthermore, the Hitachi Group has elevator and escalator manufacturing companies in Thailand and Singapore; hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturing companies in Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand; and an air-conditioner manufacturing company in India. In total, the Hitachi Group presently has 105 subsidiaries(2) in Asia. These subsidiaries spearhead the development of various businesses in the region, including power systems, industrial systems, elevators and escalators, automotive products, information and telecommunication systems, consumer electronics and high functional materials and components.
Commenting on his appointment to the post of Chief Executive for Asia, Mr. Ohtsu said, “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to play an important role in expanding the Hitachi Group’s business in the rapidly growing Asian region. The Hitachi Group has worked to respond to the economic and social needs of Asia for many years.” Mr. Ohtsu added, “We are determined to continue contributing to Asian societies and to enhance our presence in the region by supplying products and services that offer unique added value for the Asian region which respond to each country’s situation and vision. This approach will include formulating a business strategy for the fast-developing Indian market.”
1) Hitachi Research Institute (HRI) study, June 2006
2) As of March 31, 2006