EU-Japan business market entry

Okaerinasai (=welcome back) IKEA

Today, Monday April 24, 2006 at 7:30am, IKEA invited about 300 guests to celebrate the opening of the first 100% IKEA-owned IKEA store in Japan. We had the honor of working for IKEA – IKEA is another company that “thinks different” in so many creative ways. We wish them all the best in Japan!

IKEA had attempted earlier to establish business in Japan via a joint-venture established in 1974. This Joint-Venture was terminated in 1986, and IKEA ended business in Japan in 1986. Interestingly – and this is not the only such case – its only that IKEA itself at that time failed in Japan. The business IKEA created in this joint-venture actually continued successfully without IKEA even after IKEA had left Japan.

About 20 years later, this is now IKEA’s second venture into Japan.

The photographs shows Mr Koshichi Fujishiro, the Mayor of the City of Funabashi, and Mr Gordon Gustavsson, Manager of the new IKEA Funabashi store sawing the traditional log. Witnessing the log sawing ceremony are Ms Akiko Domoto, Governor of the Chiba Prefecture, His Excellency, Mikael Lindstrom, the Ambassador of Sweden, Anders Dahlvig, CEO of the global IKEA Group and Tommy Kullberg, CEO of IKEA-Japan:

IKEA opening ceremony for the IKEA store in Funabashi
IKEA opening ceremony for the IKEA store in Funabashi
Opening ceremony for IKEA's store in Funabashi
Opening ceremony for IKEA’s store in Funabashi
Opening ceremony of the IKEA store in Funabashi: the Mayor of Funabashi and the IKEA store manager saw a log
Opening ceremony of the IKEA store in Funabashi: the Mayor of Funabashi and the IKEA store manager saw a log

A JR-Keiyo Line train with IKEA logos passing the new IKEA store in Minami-Funabashi:

IKEA advertisements on JR-East trains
IKEA advertisements on JR-East trains

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Investor AB – briefing 30 Swedish CFOs about Japan

by Gerhard Fasol

Investor AB’s corporate academy Novare requested education about Japan’s technology industry sector

Eurotechnology Japan KK educates 30 CFOs of Investor AB portfolio companies about Japan

April 24, 2006 was my Swedish Day: for breakfast I was invited to IKEA’s opening party for their new store in Funabashi (I met even with the global Chairman of IKEA – that he attended the opening in Funabashi shows how seriously IKEA is taken the market entry to Japan) – we had done some IT work for IKEA.

Lunch and afternoon I spent with about 30 Swedish CFO’s / controllers of some of the largest Swedish corporations, who had come to Japan on a study tour. These CFO’s/Controllers were all working at companies in Investor AB’s portfolio, and the program was organized by Investor AB’s Corporate Academy Novare.

Investor AB CFOs needed education about Japan’s telecom sector, particularly regarding Ericsson and Nokia

The Swedish controllers had asked for briefing on Japan’s telecom industries. Some of their companies are considering to start, re-start, or grow faster in Japan, so there were many detailed questions about business in Japan, what can go wrong, personell issues, experience of other multinationals, and of course a lot of questions about IKEA and Vodafone.

My presentation was similar to the presentation I had given on March 23, 2006 to the Technology Attaches of the Embassies of the 25 European Union countries, which lead the European Union to award our company a project contract about EU vs Japan benchmarking issues in telecoms and key technology areas.

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