Introduction to Companies in Osaka
TÜV Rheinland Japan Ltd
Interviews with foreign investors in Osaka 2012.08.28
Chief Regional Officer Asia Pacific,
TÜV Rheinland Japan Ltd
QPlease give us a brief introduction about TÜV Rheinland Group.
TÜV Rheinland is one of the leading testing, inspection, and certification service providers. We are present in 65 countries with 18,000 people, and actually, we celebrate this year our 140th birthday. And today we are a company with global trade around the world, and we are a market access provider for our clients, helping them to get their products into the global market on one hand, and on the other hand to make sure that we have safe and quality products around the world.
QWill you give us an introduction about TÜV Rheinland Japan and Kansai Technology Center (KTAC)?
TÜV Rheinland started in Japan in the end of the 70s. So we started with a relatively small team on, but today in Japan we are in the Kanto region, in Yokohama, very big laboratories. We have now been in Osaka since 20 years already, and we are very happy also in this region, and that is the reason why we built up also a second very large laboratory, or Kansai Technology Assessment Center – we call it KTAC – to support particularly the industries here in this region. This laboratory is very unique. We can do testing on high-performance batteries, and these batteries they are, particularly for lithium-ion batteries, they have a very high polar density, and so very careful testing for safety, but also for performance, is required, and you need very specialized facilities, and we are very unique here in the Osaka region and TÜV Rheinland has only, globally, here in Osaka, this special huge laboratory.
QAfter three months operation of KTAC, are you satisfied with your choice?
At the moment, we are operating officially since three months for our new laboratory facilities, and I have to say we are very happy. We are very happy that we chose this location on one hand, and on the other hand we are very happy about the business we could generate additionally.
We have been doing testing of batteries before in Yokohama, but now we notice that the presence close to our clients is very, very helpful, and therefore we have a lot of new contacts, and we also enjoy a very good reputation on one hand, and on the other hand, also, this is new business for us.
On the other hand, the photovoltaics testing we have done also since now 6 years here in Japan, but also as well being close to the market, but also that we have new services here, because in July, the Japanese government decided on feed-in tariff then, we are one of the testing organizations who can do the complete system testing, so that those units can be actually connected to the Japanese power grid and also feed electricity into the Japanese grid.
QWhy did you choose Osaka?
I have to admit I have been living here in Osaka and in the Kansai region myself 15 years ago, and I experienced that it's very easy to make business because Osaka people have it very much in their blood, in their nature. They're very business-oriented and what I noticed is that you can get decisions relatively fast.
And for me as a German, this is relatively easy to make business with. But we came to Osaka in particular because the manufacturers, for this special equipment like high-performance batteries, but also for photovoltaics – with the majority, they are all here in the Kansai region. 70% of all the photovoltaics manufactured, 80% of all battery manufacturers are situated here in Kansai.
And we noticed also that there is a very strong drive for innovation very much here in this region. So this helped us form a decision to come also here to Osaka.
But there are also other factors that we considered. Because we are already in Japan since more than 30 years ago, and our major laboratory operations was, until recently, in Yokohama only, and after the very big earthquake in March 2011, we have decided we want to have some boost in diversification, and for our business continuity management, we wanted to spread out.
We have the possibility that in case we have another major occurrence of a catastrophe so that we have the opportunities to support the industry independently from two different locations.
QWhat did you think about government support?
We appreciated very much the support that we received here in Osaka by Osaka Prefecture, by Osaka City, the Chamber of Commerce, and of course O-BIC. Because not only from the subsidies side, but very much also for the support in setting up the facilities and also that we could promote our services, and I have to say this was very valuable to our team here, to help them develop their contacts and also to bring us the right people into our laboratories.
QWould you give some messages to Japanese companies?
TÜV Rheinland is one of the leading providers for certification, and the testing we do here for the Japanese companies will help them to access the global markets.
Our certificates are worldwide recognized. That means these are the passports, actually, for the Japanese industries, so I can only show them the attractiveness for the global market, because Japan is based on an export-oriented nation, so that we support them here with our services on the product side but also on the industrial installation side.
QWould you give some messages for foreign companies?
If you consider going to Japan, I think headquarters very often are in the Tokyo region, but in Osaka there is really the strong business. In particular, when you come from a culture that you need fast and easy decisions, then this is, here, the place to make business.
Of course, a lot of headquarters are there because the government is located there, and also big associations are actually located there. But if you look at here, also, the business, you have the business culture and if you look, also the business activities are here in Osaka. I can see that this is a second really big hub, then.
And in particular for foreign companies, I think they have neglected this region very much. But the trade is actually here in the Kansai region.
|TÜV Rheinland Japan Ltd|
|Home Base||Koln, Germany|
|Parent Company||TÜV Rheinland Group|
|Business||Testing, inspection and certification as a third party organization.|
|History of TÜV Rheinland Japan||1978 Opened a representative office in Japan
1983 Incorporated TÜV Rheinland Japan Ltd
1992 Opened Yokohama Laboratory and Osaka Office
2005 Opened Global Technology Assessment Center (GTAC)
2009 Opened Solar Energy Assessment Center (SEAC)
2012 Opened Kansai Technology Assessment Center (KTAC)