Solidifying the foundation of the Sumitomo Corporation Group even further for stable and continuous growth for another 100 years
Sumitomo Corporation will celebrate the centennial anniversary of its founding in 2019. My aim is to ensure that the Company will achieve stable and continuous growth together with society for another 100 years and far beyond.
To ensure continuous growth of the Sumitomo Corporation Group for another 100 years, we need to solidify the foundation of the Group even further.
The following three keys are considered to be the most important for realizing this goal.
First, we must reaffirm and implement Sumitomo's Business Philosophy and the Sumitomo Corporation Group's Corporate Mission Statement, which constitute the backbone of the Company.
Second, we must take a medium- to long-term perspective. We need to make clear our vision on what the Sumitomo Corporation Group aims to be in the medium- to long-term and consider what we should do to realize that vision.
Third, we must focus on human resources. "For an integrated trading company, people are everything"—this is my conviction. A sogo shosha (an integrated trading company) does not have its own goods; what we produce is business, and it is our people who do the producing.
Based on these three key factors, we have decided on "What We Aim to Be in 2019, Our Centennial Year" as shown below.
Kuniharu Nakamura, President and CEO
Aiming to be a corporate group that is recognized by society as meeting and exceeding the high expectations directed toward us
"Be the Best, Be the One" is a slogan that summarizes "What We Aim to Be in 2019, Our Centennial Year" in simple and plain words. Toward our centennial, we aim to be a corporate group that is recognized by society as meeting and exceeding the high expectations directed towards us, creating value that nobody else can match in ways befitting our distinctive identity.
The basic idea of "ways befitting our distinctive identity" can be found in Sumitomo's Business Philosophy and Sumitomo Corporation Group's Management Principles. Our corporate style and culture are the products of many years of constant referral to this philosophy and principles, as we take care to observe the precepts that call on us to focus on "integrity" and not pursue "easy gains." Our policy of contributing to and growing together with society through sound business activities is also one way to be "befitting our distinctive identity" based on the philosophy and principles.
"Creating value that nobody else can match" means demonstrating unique strengths and functions that only the Sumitomo Corporation Group can offer. By staying a step ahead in dealing with change and identifying new needs from issues that our clients and business partners are confronted with and offering solutions to them, we can develop unique strengths and functions that will make them eager to continue business with us. The key for us to achieve this is Integrated Corporate Strength, our core competence. Our ability to integrate the strengths of our Group and our internal and external partners without being constrained by existing frameworks to create greater value for society is an advantage that nobody else can match.
Only by integrating these two—"ways befitting our distinctive identity" and "creating value that nobody else can match"—into a single entity will we be a corporate group that can earn society's recognition and allow us to "Be the Best, Be the One."
Solidifying our earnings base while maintaining our financial soundness in order to achieve an even higher level of profit growth
Kuniharu Nakamura, President and CEO
The Sumitomo Corporation Group has been striving to solidify our earnings base for the future and further strengthen our financial soundness. One of the most prominent efforts made to ensure both stability and growth of our management has been the introduction of the risk-adjusted return ratio, a technique adopted ahead of other companies as a common, company-wide yardstick to evaluate the profitability of various businesses.
With the aim of achieving our vision of "What We Aim to Be in 2019, Our Centennial Year," we will solidify our earnings base while maintaining our financial soundness in order to achieve an even higher level of profit growth. Toward this end, we will make the existing earnings pillars even more robust, foster and develop new pillars of earnings for the future from a medium- to long-term perspective, and carry out reductions and divestitures of businesses that show little potential for profit or growth. Furthermore, by stimulating the metabolism of our business continuously and utilizing our finite management resources effectively, we will enhance the quality and profitability of our business portfolio and develop a more substantial and stronger earnings base.
Through the development of this sturdy earnings base, we will realize an even higher level of profit growth and lay a solid foundation on which the Sumitomo Corporation Group will continue to grow for another 100 years and on without end.
"For an integrated trading company, people are everything."
Our commitment to developing human resources who will fulfill our vision
In order to realize our vision of ideal human resources, the required character from human resources we seek has been summarized into the following three points, each representing essential qualities, actions, and abilities.
Employees who boast a wealth of knowledge and skills but who lack spirit and a strong sense of ethics end up creating increased risk for companies. The most important priority for employees is to maintain modesty and build solid fundamental human virtues.
To ensure further global expansion of the Sumitomo Corporation Group over the years to come, we need leadership capable of understanding diversity in nationality, race, religion, culture, and other aspects, and communicating with and mobilizing commitment from people of various backgrounds inside and outside the Group.
We also need human resources who have the imaginative capabilities required to combine disparate elements into something new without being constrained by existing frameworks, along with planning ability, implementation drive that turns plans into actual business, and negotiation power—in short, all the elements necessary to create new businesses. This is the very job of a sogo shosha (an integrated trading company) and a driving force to create new value.
I believe that the sum of all the abilities and experiences of every employee represents the true value of Sumitomo Corporation, and that the continuous growth of individuals is a driving force for the perpetual growth of the Group. We will devote ourselves to the continuous development of human resources through coordinated and unified efforts across the Group.
A corporate group where every employee works with spirit and pride, growing together with society while demonstrating distinctive strengths through the creation of value befitting the Sumitomo Corporation Group's identity and uniqueness, contributing to customers, business partners, and society, and supporting all the stakeholders including employees in their pursuit of prosperity and dreams—this is the future vision of the Group that we aim to achieve. Please look ahead to the future of the Sumitomo Corporation Group.