Pick Up

We aim to explore business opportunities in overseas market with strength of the trading company—a business system that does not exist in the Philippines.



Kanagawa/Trading Company

インターンJulius Tan Sarcilla Gonzales

Philippines/International University of Japan, International Relations


We would like to tailor our business and strategies to the local market needs before expanding to the Philippines.

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
We are a trading company that specializes in a wide range of ophthalmological services; our main products include medical equipment and consumables for ophthalmic use. Our activities center around the thirty-five (35) sales offices in Japan. However, the domestic market continues to be saturated, and our medical system is expected to become stricter as the population ages. Then, at an in-house presentation competition, I proposed a business development plan in the Philippines and acquired approval. It has moved me to the next step of advancing the project as a member of the project. The country attracted my attention because they speak good English and have a strong affinity for Japan. The fact that they do not have a system similar to ours further encouraged me to explore the business opportunities in the Philippines. Since this was our first attempt to expand abroad, we started with gathering information. The results of field surveys at the local hospitals and clinics led us to a conclusion that we need more details on the commercial distribution and lifestyle in the country. We applied for this intern program with aims to learn more about their culture from the intern. We also hope to leverage their expertise as a highly-skilled professional and tailor the business strategies to the needs of the local market. The cooperative work will surely foster the success of the project.



We helped the intern deepen his knowledge about the ophthalmic medical devices and roles of the trading companies through a range of hands-on experiences at surgical sites and in sales and client services.

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
He first learned about the ophthalmic medical devices at our company and our role as a trading company. We helped him deepen his knowledge of the ophthalmic medical devices and ophthalmology in Japan through a range of hands-on training during the first half of the program; he accompanied employees on sales and learned about the medical devices, negotiations with doctors and paramedical personnel, as well as the management of logistics and products. The last half of the program consisted of translation of the catalogs (into English) and technical literature from abroad (into Japanese). Furthermore, since he had experience in working as an analyst in his company, we asked him to research and analyze the marketing aspects in the Philippines. We communicated with him in both Japanese and English. The language barrier was however, still hard to get past at first. We asked the employees to clarify the subject and predicate in their sentences and try to talk in a simple and effective manner when they communicate in Japanese. Consequently, it gave us an opportunity to review our instructions and procedures. In addition, we took him to a surgical site upon his approval with the aim of helping him learn how our devices are used in real settings. He also had a chance to familiarize himself with the devices of other companies during his participation at an academic conference in Kyoto. We also had a lot of to socializing with him outside the company through the welcome party, day trips, home stay and other activities. It surely helped our hearts closer together.



The experience and valuable information we gained will help us further explore the opportunities in the Philippines.

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
The market expansion plan in the Philippines has taken a great leap forward thanks to the internship program. Visiting our clients with the intern was fruitful and rewarding because we were able to share our initiatives with people outside the company, including the ophthalmologists in a positive and productive way. The employees also had a chance to learn about different cultures and people, and what is more, our future goals are now shared throughout the company. This was actually not the first time that we had worked with people from the Philippines. However, his quick and excellent work performance shone out it was definitely of a highly-skilled professional. He motivated us to review and enhance the efficiency of the Japanese employees. We do not have a division that handles international affairs as of today but the plan for establishing the Overseas Operations Division the next spring or later has been accelerating in the company. Furthermore, we plan to conduct on-site investigation by assigning our employees to the country. Should the greater possibilities for the sales expansion in the Philippines arise over the course of the project, we would like to consider establishing a local subsidiary. Although we are still in the beginning stages, we aim to forge every business opportunity possible with the motto, “discover new horizons.” The experience and valuable information will help us greatly in the mission.



It would be wonderful to have the customer-oriented services of the Japanese trading companies in my country.

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
I used to work as an analyst in my country and specialized in numerical data research. The work in the new field was quite stimulating. The company afforded me the opportunities to accompany them on sales calls and meet ophthalmologists and paramedical personnel during the internship program. It was quite a valuable experience for me. I was surprised by how they made small talk with each other about sports, family, and other daily events. I would work alone in my country but at Ritz Medical company, my work was based on communication with other employees and clients. The experience led me realize the benefits of working in teams. We do not have a system similar to that of the Japanese trading companies. I hope to apply it to my country someday as the business model is quite customer-oriented. Getting used to the technical terms was never easy but thanks to the support of every one, I was able to acquire a lot of knowledge about the ophthalmic medical devices and their industry. I learned the important values at work through the internship program; do the best you can, be punctual, and refresh and relax once in a while. I would like to find work where I can further improve my analytical skills and Japanese after I return to the Philippines.



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