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Mr. Takano Shares Ideas for People About to Succeed an Established Business - DG TAKANO
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Mr. Takano Shares Ideas for People About to Succeed an Established Business


Taking over an established business is no easy feat: one has to deal with an already well-established organisation culture, with its own strengths and weaknesses, rules and traditions. The task is made even more difficult if one intends to take said business in a new direction. This is not a case study of a Fortune 500 company bringing a new CEO, but an issue faced by many Japanese SMEs every year. To those small businesses, the successful change of leadership may be the difference between bankruptcy and success.

In greying Japan, the issue of business succession, particularly among small Japanese manufacturers, has always been close to heart for DG TAKANO and something our CEO, Masaaki Takano, has spoken about many times before. Last Sunday, October 26, he was invited as a guest speaker by the Atotsugi Venture Organisation (loosely translated as the Organisation for Start-up-style business succession).

Mr. Takano told his story of how he bypassed the above-mentioned issue of taking an established business in a new direction by adopting only his predecessor’s technology and forming his own company.

Answering the panel questions, he talked about the difficulties in achieving profitability as a bootstrapped start-up, and the trials and tribulations of building a winning team. Attendees were particularly interested with Mr. Takano’s decision to hire non-Japanese people, even at the early stages of his start-up, and even without speaking much English himself. ‘I never really looked at it like that, though.’ he explained. ‘If I have a chance of hiring someone who’s capable or highly skilled, then I don’t really care about where they come from. The language barrier is touted as this huge issue to be afraid of, but in my experience it’s not that big of a problem.’

The event concluded with Mr. Takano and Mr. Shimada, the other guest speaker, giving advice to people who are just taking over their family business. Mr. Takano’s advice was to, ‘Find what makes you happy, then build your team and your main business around that.’

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