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We aim to provide food products based on the correct knowledge of cultures and values in the Islamic world --to be loved beyond differences in beliefs.

Prema Inc.

企業Prema Inc.

Kyoto/Wholesale and retail

インターンEl Hakim Mariam

Egypt/Ain Shams University, Japanese language and literature

インターンElkhouly Hadeel

Egypt/Ain Shams University, Japanese language and literature


We strive to expand our business into Islamic market with our philosophy ‘Beyond Food Barrier'

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
Prema Inc. was established in 1999 in Ukyo-ku, Kyoto city as a distribution company that has been generating food products and goods with consideration for the environment, society and health. While the organic industry market has been shrinking in Japan, we have been expanding into South Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and other regions around the world. In 2017, for attracting younger customers as well as appealing to new overseas markets, we began manufacturing and sales of the Prema-original Gelato. It responds to the needs of vegans and those with food allergies, as part of our efforts in developing products that makes all thecustomers happy regardless of health concerns, cultures, values and beliefs. We have decided to work with intern students from Egypt, hoping to gain support in promoting our Gelato to Muslim tourists in Kyoto. The main purpose of this project was to establish the most effective PR (Public Relations) tactics for the Islamic market. This would require deeper analysis and study of their cultures. During the internship program, we expected experiences with the interns could go beyond food barrier.



They made a great contribution to our PR activities for the Islamic market, as well as expanding the business such as by offering an Arabic service at stores and addressing SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
Before we welcome them to our company, we collected information on the Islamic customs and cultures . During the internship, we adopt project management system ;WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) . Also, we set clear priorities and prepared fragmented time schedules and tasks in order to review the work on a weekly basis. We moved forward with the project according to their aptitudes and amount of work progress, which differed from one to another. Mariam got an appointment with the Embassy of Egypt in Tokyo. She demonstrated sophisticated negotiation skills with external institutions, so we assigned the work to her. Our meeting went well owing to her as an interpreter and facilitator; we could exchange productive talks about economic and cultural topics. Also, Hadeel was well-informed regarding IT, so she was assigned in charge of distributing information on SNS (Social Networking Services) both in Arabic and Japanese. We got a growing number of followers on this SNS, as a result ,many visitors came to our shop. It provided us a chance to see their reactions to our products including its taste. Also, we asked the interns to create menus and brochure for our cafeteria in Arabic and what is more, we made experimental Egyptian home dishes and Gelato with the ingredients originating from Egypt. Mariam and Hadeel also participated in the JAPAN SDGs Conference held at Kiyosato, giving a speech about our initiatives. We are planning to offer halal dishes at our new restaurant and designing a prayer space at the top floor for every Muslim customers who are visiting Kyoto for free.



With the slogan of “Be loved across the world--let’s go beyond the differences”, we strive onwards to build a network with the Islamic world and promote employees’ international awareness.

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
We feel that the relationship which Mariam and Hadeel built would become a bridgeto our business in the future. They let us know the values and ideas that are different from ours. Showing respect and consideration for others with different cultures and beliefs must come first in the service industry. It is the base that is essential for our business goals. Since Mariam and Hadeel were fluent in Japanese, we thought there would be no problem in communicating with them, but it did not go that easy due to differences in cultures and customs. This experience taught us how important it is to act spontaneously and provide detailed support. We will utilize what we learned this time for our future recruitment of international personnel. We firmly believe that what we need for globalization comes from not just appealing superiority of Japanese tradition and culture but we must have a objective view on how Japan is viewed from the world. We could step forward to the higher level and be closer to the realization of our corporate mission-- “Be loved by the people across the world--go beyond the food barrier”.



Giving a speech at the SDGs conference helped me learn new corporate values as well as the know-how of the sales business.

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
The activity I remember the most is the speech I gave at the SDGs conference. Prema Inc. is a company which company spirit is not only gaining profit , but also contributing to the society and environment, was fruitful awareness for my life. I learned practical work procedures such as time and task management during the internship period. My experience as an intern was very comfortable and pleasant. They treated me with a plenty of hospitality . Moreover, they not only showed respect for my dietary habits, but also cared about my prayer times. I hope to deepen the knowledge I have acquired from them and work for a non-governmental organization or other social body. (Ms. Hadeer)
It was my first time to have experiences of working as a team at Prema Inc. I learned the importance of communication based on mutual respect. I also love their spirit of “Let's give it a try even if you fail”. It taught me the sheer pleasure of taking on a challenge. Through the sales experience, I was able to acquire the effective and practical sales methodologies. At the SDGs conference, I had a great opportunity to think about what I can do for the environment from a global viewpoint. I would like to share my experience with young people in Egypt ,my country, and to scatter seeds of new business opportunities between Japan and Egypt. (Ms. Mariam)



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