Pick Up

Research done by the intern on the solar power generation market in India clarified our next step into India.


Host CompanyHost CompanyMABUCHI S&T INC

Nagano/Wholesale and retail


India/Indira Gandhi National Open University, Toursim Studies


Collecting information on solar energy and exploring viability to enter the Indian market.

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
We have been engaged in the sales of equipment and consumable supplies to be used in the process of "polishing, cleaning, thin film coating, and measuring" in optical and semiconductor fields since its foundation in 1950. Overseas customers include those in South Korea, China, and Southeast Asia. We started considering the export of solar panel parts (silicon wafer) processing devices to India a few years ago, and actually obtained original market research information and a list of potential customers. Although we have the know-how to some extent on how to enter overseas market as a trading house, we needed to assess the risks and explore the viability of our expansion into India by collecting information on the solar energy business in India, because a lot is yet to be known about this market. However, investing heavily in a place where we barely had any solid base yet was too difficult. It was under such circumstances that we saw the case stidies of JIP from web site; we were able to grasp the image of activities from these examples, and we decided to apply for the project. At almost the same time as we made the application, we received an inquiry from an Indian manufacturer for solar panel parts, which helped us to set clear goals for this internship.


Details of the Internship

Overcoming the difficulty of asking an intern to conduct surveys out of her line by "visualizing tasks"

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
What we asked Neha to do first was to read a report by a Japanese research company regarding the solar energy business in India and told her to make question list on anything she did not understand. We were fully aware what we were asking her to do was something that she, being a student majoring in tourism, did not know anything about. Therefore, we referred to the case study of a manufacturer which is posted on Japan Internship program website page . What we did specifically was that we first received questions about terminology and information that she did not know or did not understand, and we replied to her questions by e-mail. Also, we gave orderly instructions on how to crosscheck research results, how to do referencing on data obtained through web searches, how to make documents, and how to do presentations. Furthermore, we held online meetings two to three times a week to explain tasks to her, and encouraged her to ask any questions there. Rather than simply holding meetings, we focused on "visualizing tasks" by sharing the contents in advance by e-mail. As for an activity besides market research, we set up "Snack Time" where our employees from various divisions met her and exchanged opinions on each other's culture. Bringing snacks and beverages, we all were able to enjoy conversation with her in a relaxed atmosphere.



The possibility of business chances in India widened.

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
The biggest outcome is that we were able to acquire supportive information for renewable energy promotion, including solar power generation in India. The intern's survey report helped us to make a clear strategy for our move into India. Currently in India, electricity demand is quickly expanding in line with the rapid economic growth while its supply is tight. In addition, they now need to review their investment plan on renewable energy due to the global COVID-19 pandemic expansion; this is where our business chances lie. Another positive outcome I felt is the improvement of communication skills. Up until recently, I worked outside Japan, and so I have confidence with my communication skills in a global setting, but I was able to identify the challenges for online communication and came to understand where to improve, including paying attention to recognizing facial expressions over the screen and the need for preparation and ingenuity to achieve good communication. Also, I keenly felt that if we show our empathy to the dreams and goals held by young people longing for Japan with highly aspirations, they also show willingness to meet the expectations of the company.



I became interested in market research after experiencing research in a field I was previously not familiar with.

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
My task was doing research on the information necessary for importing silicon wafer processing devices for solar panels into India; this included research on the electricity demand/supply situation, the Indian government's energy strategy, India's legal system regarding import/export, etc. I didn't have any knowledge on solar power generation nor on research methods in general, but Ikeda-san supported me, meticulously teaching me how to do research and how to summarize the outcome. Thanks to him, I was able to have a valuable new experience. I also enjoyed "Snack Time" with people from various divisions of the company. We brought snacks from each country and enjoyed talking about various topics including "animation", "trendy things among Japanese young women", etc. I think it is very difficult for a Japanese company to conduct local market research in India under the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. I became interested in market research through this internship. Now I dream of working in Japan in the future after gaining more experience.



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