Pick Up

We aim to develop new sales channels to fit the market trend in the Philippines—to establish a foothold for business expansion in ASEAN countries.




インターンMaria Adelina Marzan Facun

Philippines/University of the Philippines Diliman, Mass Communication


In our preparation for full-fledged entry into the fast-growing ASEAN countries, we expect initial support in identifying the local needs and business customs in each country.

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
Since our establishment in 1948, we have been deeply involved in the construction industry with a main focus on roofing and the installation work of solar panels. We began to strengthen our activities in the ASEAN and other countries several years ago with the anticipation of a further drop in Japan's new housing starts. We have established a local subsidiary in the Philippines where we are currently getting ready for off-grid solar sales (private power generators with solar panels and other green energy options) and the establishment of a CAD center for the pre-cutting process. As we aim for this goal, we wanted to work with interns who are knowledgeable in the cultures, customs, and national traits of the country as we sought initial support in our overseas development efforts such as creating company lists, basic documents for the cultivation of sales channels and other resources. Since this attempt was new to us, we had communication difficulties with the locals upon establishing new subsidiaries. We applied for the internship program hoping to welcome global talent into the company. This experience will surely help us deepen our understanding of local practices and core values. Also, we believe that this will give our employees the opportunity to reform their awareness and overcome communication barriers with international workers.



Our promotional activities for local companies got off to a proper start. We thank their support in exploring the local needs through market research.

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
We worked together to create presentation documents for local; a list of the target companies and other resources necessary for the development of sales channels. We requested that she create a list of over 2,000 developers and construction companies. We then narrowed it down to several hundred and then made contact. We could visit several companies as a result. She also participated in meetings with a consultant and presented information and opinions that would be useful for our plans in the development of sales channels. She took an active role in a variety of fields, such as researching the market to understand the actual needs, power supply and living conditions in the Philippines, as well as translating and creating educational materials for our Drone flight training in the country. Our offgrid systems require a fusion of expertise in solar panels, storage batteries, and generators, etc. It was not easy for us to explain how our systems are suitable for the electricity situations in the Philippines and its structure in English. We could not have done this without her intelligence and patience. She was always straightforward about what she could and what she could not do, as well as to what extent she understood the matter. It enabled us to carry forward steadily towards the goal.



We shifted to a new PR strategy that better fit the market trend; it laid the foundations for our future development in the Philippines.

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
Our past experience of working with foreign personnel made me slightly nervous as we had failed in communication with them due to the language barriers and cultural differences. My anxiety went away as soon as she started, and we quickly started working as one team for the shared goal. She took great effort in learning about the offgrid system and other products, and pointed out the advantages and disadvantages it would bring to the Philippines based on her analysis and understanding. We took her opinions seriously and modified the initial PR strategy; our presentation materials were revised to better fit the market trend. Her diligence in communication, as well as her punctuality and accuracy in work, has been a great stimulation for our employees. We surely have a lot to learn from her efforts and attitude as we further address the project in the Philippines, a country far from Japan. Her support laid the foundations for our future development in the Philippines.



I discovered new skills and possibilities. Moreover, I met people who may be my lifelong friends.

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
I applied for the intern program hoping to utilize my marketing expertise, and also to improve my Japanese skills. At first, there were times I was confused as to when I should speak to people in the office. My Japanese is not perfect, but I gained the courage to assertively initiate conversation with them. They were kind in response and we opened up to each other eventually. We tried out best to understand each other; we communicated on notes, and through language support apps when necessary, and never gave up until we completely understood each other. It requires expertise to understand the products of Matsuzawa Kawaraten. I could build the skills to explain technical contents in an easy-to understand manner through promotion activities of their product lineup. This has something in common with science communication, a field I have a long-standing interest in. My time with them also helped me gain independence in Japan. I recommend this internship program to not only those who wish to work for Japanese companies, but also those who are feeling lost or confused about their future careers, because it offers a good opportunity to explore your skills and a variety of possibilities in the future, and you may meet people who become your lifelong friends.



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