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Shoko Tech: Quality, collaboration and growth

Article - February 13, 2024

Shoko Tech’s global mindset is focused on sustaining quality through skilled employees and a resolute commitment to customer satisfaction.

With numerous regional challenges and a tumultuous period following the Lehman shock in 2008 when global markets faced pricing pressures, Shoko Tech kept its eyes open.

“The only way to sustain business and get out of this situation was to localize production overseas,” company president Hiroshi Okamoto explains, a decision that enabled it to maintain high-quality standards while staying competitive.

Shoko Tech’s success in China, with 220 employees, showcases the company’s unique perspective and ability to retain human capital.

“Without people, we would not be able to maintain these high levels of quality,” the president says, highlighting the importance of skilled employees for competitiveness, while acknowledging the changing dynamics, with SMEs now facing challenges in overseas production due to logistical complexities, costs, and geopolitical risks. The broader trend has seen companies reconsidering their manufacturing locations with a focus on domestic production.

A core principle of Shoko Tech has been its unwavering commitment to its customers, and sometimes it’s not what you say but what’s behind it that counts..

“We don’t actually need to use our words, rather the scientific data is able to persuade our customers,” Mr. Okamoto says, reflecting on Nara University research that supported the Smart Nanofilter’s credibility. Collaboration with medical institutions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic ensured various rigorous safety hurdles were overcome.

The electric vehicle (EV) battery market has also been a significant opportunity, providing cables and harnesses, with partnerships already in place to supply Tesla’s Gigafactory. And further collaboration with overseas companies, particularly in the field of cables and wires, is being looked at, aligning the company’s direction towards the EV battery market and battery storage units.

While Shoko Tech has strong distribution channels, via a trading company in Japan, India remains a promising market in the short term, with the president pointing to a potential link-up with Mitsubishi Denki, further indicating the company’s global expansion ambitions.

In five years, Mr. Okamoto’s goal is clear: to ensure employees understand their role in the company’s 20% year-on-year profit growth, suggesting a bright future ahead.

“We really treasure our human capital and we treasure the performance of our employees.”