Introduction to Companies in Osaka
SilkRoad technology Inc.
Interviews with foreign investors in Osaka 2012.11.12
Chairman and CEO
QPlease introduce your company.
SilkRoad is a cloud-based provider of human resource technology, typically called social talent management. What makes us different is that we have created our products primarily for customers who are employees of companies. Most people create these products for companies. We do this in order to develop their careers, engage the employees into the business and we are very centered around the employee satisfaction issue. That makes us very different because everyone else has created software like this in the cloud like we have, but primarily to be cost efficient.
We are a global company. We think of ourselves globally, not as a U.S. company. We believe that this kind of product, engaging employees in the business and treating employees as the most sincere, best and most valuable asset is a global issue, especially as even medium-sized companies are very global today. It's impossible to be successful in just one geography.
QWhy did you choose Japan?
We know that Japan is always going to be one of the larger markets for any technology and any advanced software. We were very fortunate to have an investment by a company called SunBridge, started by Allen Miner who was very successful in introducing not only Oracle but Salesforce.com to the marketplace. I felt very much that it was a wonderful opportunity in partnership with SunBridge to enter the Japanese market and it has turned out to be a very wonderful opportunity for us. We've believed for a long time that it will be our second largest market after the United States. But again, it is almost difficult these days to tell because many of our Japanese customers are global and many of our U.S. customers are global in the sense that they have a presence in Japan. It truly is a global issue.
QDo you see differences between Osaka and Tokyo?
Certainly, and for someone who is from Chicago I see a lot of differences because Osaka reminds me of Chicago. Tokyo reminds me more of New York, but I like Chicago and I like Osaka because it feels right. We think we’ll do very, very well here and we'll have a very good center of excellence including our development activities here. So we're very proud to be here and very honored to be here.
QHow was the support from governments?
Osaka City has been marvelous and wonderful in supporting us and giving us all of the incentives necessary to be here. We would be here anyway because it's such an important city to be located in.
QWhat is the most important thing in your business?
The thing that we were most proud of, and the reason why SilkRoad became SilkRoad, is that we were always noted to be one of the best, if not the best, software companies to work for. We believe today that in order to get the best employees, in order to excel in business and succeed, you have to have the recognition of being one of the best, if not the best, employers. It is all about having the best talent, engaging the best talent, and that's what our software does whether it entails recruiting that talent, bringing it on board, developing their careers, teaching them how to be better at whatever skills and career development they want. It's all about the employee.
QWhat is important for innovation?
If you have the best employees and they are given the opportunity to be creative and innovative, meaning that they aren't restricted or put into a strict behavior pattern, if you allow them to fail and experiment, they will innovate dramatically. That innovation, that ability to have the freedom to fail and to try things, is really what makes successful companies.
They are always afraid of failing and it's healthy to be a little bit afraid of failure because it keeps you from being completely reckless. On the other hand, if you don't stimulate innovation, if you don't encourage the ability to experiment and fail, then you have a company that dies very quickly.
QWhat's the secret of your business success?
I think it's just trying and experimenting and innovating and failing and succeeding and really loving what you do. I love what I do. I think it is the most creative, most philanthropic thing you can do. In other words, rather than being charitable, if you create businesses and jobs and opportunities, that is what is really helpful. I have always loved business, absolutely. I have to admit that I've fallen in love with Melissa, my wife, much more than business, but that's the one exception.
QDo you have a message for global companies?
The global company message is simply to attract the best, concentrate and believe in your employees. If they are in your business, trust them because they will create magic if you allow them to.
|SilkRoad technology Inc.|
|Home Base||Chicago, USA|
|Parent Company||SilkRoad technology Inc.|
|Business||Leading provider of cloud-based social talent management solutions that develop happy employees
|History of SilkRoad technology, Japan||In Nov. 2010 Opened the first Japanese subsidiary in Tokyo.
In Nov. 2011 Opened Osaka office.