3years after the internship

KIYORA kikuchi CO.,LTD.

企業KIYORA kikuchi CO.,LTD.

Kumamoto/Manufacturing

インターンNationality:Malaysia

インターンNationality:Indonesia

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We aim to expand our business abroad by recruiting local global talent to create products that fit the local culture and traditions

受入目的

Cultivation of a positive global mindset in employees, business expansion in South east Asian countries, sales improvement in Singapore

活動内容

Market research on South east Asian countries (Malaysia and Indonesia), product development for overseas markets, renewal of existing products, participation in exhibitions in Japan, products-making experience, creation of PR contents such as pops and online shopping sites

事業概要

Production and sale of hydrogen water made from all-natural water from Kikuchi City, Kumamoto

Looking back on the internship, how many stars do you give for it? Also, what kind of activity would you like to do if you accept an intern again?

Satisfaction with activities at the time of the internship ★★★★☆4.0/5.0

It would be better if the interns’ majors matched our activities. Our internship was at first planned to consist mostly of marketing, but Syifa was a psychology major and Nur was an environmental engineering major. In retrospect, we feel sorry for them for not being able to provide an environment where they could utilize their expertise and skills.
Looking back on their first day, we were nervous and not very confident as that was the first time for most of the employees to work with people from abroad, but it ended so soon with a positive conclusion; our employees have grown more active in developing our brand into overseas markets today.
If we were to join the program again, we would like to gain support for research such as follow-up measures to keep existing customers and win back lost customers.
In Japan, we have been seeking advice in the field, as while we have measures for domestic customers such as a point system and membership upgrade, strategies for customers abroad are still not at the same stage.

How did the internship affect you, your employees and organizations? And is it still going on?

The products renewed during the internship are still in the market. While domestic sales of hydrogen water continued a downward trend, we experienced positive feedback and results abroad. Since the most common question we received at exhibitions in Singapore was if our products were halal, we worked with two Muslim interns and renewed our products to fit their religious beliefs. Furthermore, we included collagen and used honey and vitamin C instead of sugar to promote the product appeal for women in Singapore, who are said to have a higher sense of beauty than the global standard.
To ensure our product is halal for Muslim customers, we made it from fish collagen, which also helped us promote a healthy product image. The product was launched in the Singapore market at the end of last year and continues to be on sale, which led to the foundation of a local company. Our efforts to hold exhibition sales at least once every two months have led to an increase in the volume of regular customers.

What would you like to do in the future by taking advantage of your internship experience?

Going forward, we would like to establish a system that enables us to offer information through newsletters and other publications to keep customers satisfied and coming back.
We appreciate that we are invited every year to participate in the exhibition held every two months, as it accounts largely for the strong sales growth abroad. We are currently considering the launch of a new business to further expand our sales channels in Singapore and its surrounding countries, which will serve as the key driver for our expansion in the global market. In order to reach the goals, it will be crucial to set up new local companies and work closely with locals in consideration of new business opportunities. We aim to be a company that attracts customers around the world with highly-tailored products that match the local culture and traditions rather than exporting our products from Japan.

Please give some advice to companies participating in this program in the future.

It would be a great opportunity for host companies and interns to exchange opinions and information such as what host companies expect from interns and visa versa as well as the culture, lifestyle and business in Japan. This is because interns who work in Japan for the first time must be nervous and the program does not last long enough for companies that are not accustomed to communicating with people from abroad to build up confidence in guiding them. Even if there may be a lot of work for personnel in charge, we recommend planning a variety of programs for interns and prepare adequately in advance to ensure the experience will be fulfilling and rewarding for both. We used LINE and other communication measures to exchange information with our interns in advance, which helped us start our first day on a positive and smooth note. Also, we achieved a smooth cross-divisional collaboration by planning outlines of the activity contents and sharing them with divisions in charge ahead of time.

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