Member Spotlight: SEKISUI

16 companies, more than 1,000 experts, and a strong focus on tomorrow: This is SEKISUI in Europe! My name is Satoshi Masuda and I have been the Managing Director of the Regional Headquarters since October 2022.

I joined the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group more than 30 years ago and have worked for various subsidiaries worldwide, such as SEKISUI PRODUCTS LLC in the United States and SEKISUI S-LEC in Thailand. Before taking up my position in Europe, I worked for the foam division in Tokyo.

SEKISUI EUROPE B.V. is the European headquarters of the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group and is responsible for the European SEKISUI companies with their eight production sites.

We at SEKISUI strive to combine outstanding production processes with unique materials to provide customers with environmentally friendly products that contribute to the continuous advancement of human society in four business areas: Mobility, Construction & Infrastructure, Electronics and Medical & Diagnostics.

What does Dujat membership mean for your business?

Here in Europe, there are so many organizations to facilitate relationships for trade and business expansion between Japan/Asia and Europe. Dujat is key for us in focusing on Dutch-Japanese relations due to its long history. Membership at Dujat enables us to participate in a wide range of different and meaningful seminars, workshops, learning sessions and visits to other companies. The activities organized by Dujat appeal to all different disciplines and are great opportunities to network with other members. It is always good to connect with peers in the industry to share and learn from each other.

When thinking of Dujat, which fond memories come to mind?

SEKISUI was very proud to have won the Deshima Award twice, once in the “established companies” category (12 years ago) and recently (2023) in the “newcomer” category for our research and development (R&D) activities at the Automotive Campus in Helmond.

When we wanted to set up our R&D center we faced two challenges.

  1. Establish R&D activities in Europe other than Japan.
  2. Establish a location away from our production site and office locations.

Dujat has always supported us in this process, and thanks to the Brabant region and its open innovation approach, we were able to succeed and start our activities at the Automotive Campus.

Being a member of Dujat and being part of a large and strong community of Japanese companies in the Netherlands helps SEKISUI strengthen its business by focusing on sustainability, innovation, and growth. The Deshima Award is a wonderful recognition of SEKISUI’s efforts.

Do you have any advice for doing business in Japan or the Netherlands?

You need to respect and learn from the unique differences in culture and work style. Being open-minded is key. In the end, everyone benefits when the best of all worlds come together.

Looking at Europe from the perspective of a Japanese company, the Netherlands certainly has advantages over other European countries, not only in terms of taxation, but also in terms of diversity, fewer language barriers, and geographical location.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We hope that Dujat will continue to provide us with informative workshops, seminars and events that will help us better understand the Dutch and Japanese cultures, business situations and regulations, as well as provide us with opportunities to communicate and network with other companies in the Netherlands. At the same time, we also hope to see more Japanese companies join the network.