Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Friday, April 22

Return of the Rising Sun

Japan, the land of Rising Sun is seemingly back in the Global business. Japan was a powerhouse in 1980s. Miniaturaisation was the name. Bon-sai was the rage. Sayanora becomes english. The short, shrewed Japanese executives, without even a single english word, were riding the world with their customary welcome note. Whenever they bend their heads, somewhere in the world, they finished the deal. Then came the fall.

The stock market crashed in 1989. The country went haywire. Japanese companies started searching their foot outside Japan. Sony is Americanised. Toyata tyremarked Europe & America. Panasonic went middle east. Sanyo joined with BPL. Japanese workers over worked, stretched their physical abilities to their extreme limits. Karoshi started. Tokyo's concrete jungle is full of single executives of men & women. Death rate went exceptionally low. The country struggled with an alarming aging population growing at a steady rate. Economy continuously in red. Prime ministers have frequently changed like the routine earthquakes. Corruption entered with double bang. Things went awry. Kimono shuts down deep down inside, struggling to find a feet in the changed global trade.

In the meanwhile, the world has hit upon the Information Technology Revolution. Dot com boomed & busted. New Asian Tigers India & China have roared. Jobs are moving a plenty to these countries. When Indian engineers busy writing billions of lines of code for the world, their chinese counterparts busy replicating hardware worldwide. Slowly & steadily, Japan is sliping from the business memory of the world trade. New masters have entered and dictated terms. Is that is the death of the Kimono?

No said the Japanese. Like a tiger waiting for its prey, Japanese companies are slowly building their business clandestinely. The Kimono now started roaring again. Wharton School of Management studied the Japanese market and claims the former Powerhouse is back in business. The trade they enjoyed with China alone in last year is $400 billion. (BBC News Report) Yahoo! outbids eBay inside Japan. The world leader in Auction is struggling at a mere 3% marketshare. (Wharton Report) Yahoo! broadband is very successful. Harley-Davidson rides luxury bikes comfortably. Japanese companies have come a long way. From their grand days of kai-san, now they adopt global management practices.

This was the time of the Asian currency crisis, the Russian debt crisis, the implosion of both US-based hedge fund LTCM and Japanese bank LTCB. The whole Japanese banking system seemed to be teetering on the edge of the abyss. But it never quite fell - the government launched its long-delayed bank-restructuring programme and corporate Japan finally began its long haul back to respectability.
The Japanese Yen is appreciating against US Dollar, the currency is becoming stronger and Japan competes FTA regulations with Australia. Surely, the land of Rising Sun is started Shining brightly.

Read the Wharton's Report - The Return of Japan Inc?


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