Pick Up

Rediscovering the appeal of our products from the perspective of foreign personnel
Leading to the creation of a foundation for exporting overseas



Miyazaki/Food Manufacturing

インターンインターンMongkhon Thanyalak

Thailand/Graduated from Chulalongkorn University,Arts,Japanese Major

インターンインターンPandey Priyanka

India/Master’s degree at Savitribai Phule Pune University,Department of Microbiology


Collaboration with foreign personnel with the goal of exporting to Asia - Starting to build a foundation from scratch

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
We are a company of about 15 employees, with a homey atmosphere, and we have been manufacturing, processing and selling black vinegar and konnyaku, made according to traditional methods, since our inception in 1930. Interest in them as healthy food products is also growing around the world, and we aim to expand and export our products to the Asia region, but we completely lack the know-how or information required to do so. From the basic knowledge of the process of export business, we wanted to obtain marketing information, such as what are the needs of the Asian market and what types of products are preferred. In addition, when I was young, I spent some time living in Europe as a trainee, so I also felt that, this time, I wanted to be in the position of host, as a means of repaying the kindness I experienced. I decided to host interns because, by having my employees, and myself, work with foreign personnel, we might do away with our perceptions that it is difficult to engage with foreigners because we cannot speak foreign languages and, in turn, broaden the possibilities for new business expansion.



Creating promotional tools for overseas exports and bringing ideas from a foreign perspective, they ushered in a new phase

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
We asked them to localize our website, brochures and corporate philosophy, and create sales promotion tools for overseas exports, such as sheets for the FCP (Food Communication Project), and we also asked them to send e-mails to prospective overseas customers and offer their opinions on our products from a foreign perspective. When we assign them tasks and made requests, the two interns proactively proposed ideas to response to them. We had regular meetings with the interns using both Japanese and English, and they engaged in their work whilst continually reviewing and reflecting on what they had done. Even though there were differences between them in terms of Japanese ability, experience and knowledge, they complemented each other well. As we spent more and more time communicating with them, we believe that cross-cultural understanding between Japan, Thailand and India advanced naturally. Also, as a result of the overlapping of various events at our company and in the local area with the internship period, we were able to get them involved with various people such as local residents and students. The contents became more fulfilling with a more global atmosphere than usual years, and the two interns breathed new life into our company and created smiles all around.



We were convinced that our company philosophy would resonate globally, and we made the decision to exhibit at exhibitions in Thailand and India

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
Promotion tools such as pamphlets for overseas were completed, and we were able to grasp the needs and tastes of Thailand and India and take the first steps in building a foundation for export to Asia. In addition, when translating our company philosophy, a favorable response was obtained from the two interns, and we understood that, even when there are differences in culture and customs, the values that we hold dear can be understood around the world. We would like to publish the corporate philosophy translated by the interns on our website and make an appeal to the rest of the world. In addition, there was a good response to the emails sent by the two of them, I think that we can continue negotiations and lead to the closing in the future. In the beginning, there was a resistance to speaking in English in the company, but I was surprised by the change that occurred, where English came to be spoken. We had some misgivings prior to hosting the interns, but once our internship got started, we found that there was nothing to worry about. We plan to take advantage of this experience and actively pursue challenges overseas. As a first step, we have decided to make use of the market information we obtained from the two interns and exhibit at exhibitions in Thailand and India in FY2019.



I experienced the Japan's unique business culture, and learns things that will be useful in the future career

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
What surprised me in the internship was that each employee had a wide range of skills and that they were able to develop a large business with just a small group of people. I am happy that they also quickly incorporated our ideas and that I was able to contribute with my own skills. I have worked in a Japanese company in Thailand and have visited Japan several times on holiday, but living actually there for the first time was a little bewildering. But thanks to another intern and the employees of the company, I was soon able to get used to life in Japan. (Mongkhon Thanyalak)
I am majoring in microbiology and fermentation at university in India, and I gained valuable experience learning about the vinegar manufacturing process. Ohyama Foods' corporate philosophy is wonderful, and I felt that they could gain support in the Indian market by actively conveying it to consumers in India. It was my first time abroad, and the internship was a big challenge for me as I cannot speak Japanese. From this experience I learned that the possibilities are endless if you do not let yourself be daunted by the language barrier but try to actively communicate. (Pandey Priyanka)



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