ICON’s Japanese Strategy Clicks into Place

“I cannot praise highly enough the quality of the service we have received from UK Trade & Investment Japan”
David Green, ICON

ICON began exploring Japanese business opportunities with the help of UKTI approximately 3 years ago. In addition to researching the most cost effective methods of starting-up in Japan and assessing the mobility of ICON’s products and services, UKTI provided essential insights into Japan’s unique business culture.

ICON initiated the process by focusing on one of its specialist areas – the automotive industry – by commissioning Overseas Market Introduction (OMIS) reports from UKTI. These reports gave a view of the local landscape and identified the key players in the market. This detailed business and logistical information allowed ICON to achieve a high success rate when arranging meetings with major Japanese manufacturers and saved valuable time and money.

David Green, Commercial Director at ICON, attributes their foot-hold in the Japanese Market to the “precious and irreplaceable” work of UKTI. It is clear that if ICON had attempted to enter the Japanese market without such assistance, they would have been far less successful in terms of knowing which companies to contact, who to speak to within these companies and identifying the key decision makers within the field. As a direct result of ICON’s liaison with UKTI, ICON received its first order from a major Japanese automotive company earlier in this year and is very optimistic about continuing and growing their business relationships in Japan.

David said “The advice I would give to fellow companies such as ourselves, who are looking to export to Japan and who do not have substantial financial resources and time to go out to Japan, is to target efforts wisely. I would say that it takes a while to break into Japan and needs face to face meetings in order to build worthwhile relationships. We needed a partner to help with this process and the UKTI provided this assistance and I cannot recommend the British Embassy`s services highly enough.”

“Working with Japanese companies is a long term investment and working with the local UKTI staff in Japan has helped Icon realise the benefits of its investment. I cannot praise highly enough the quality of the service we have received from UKTI – it has really been invaluable to ICON – without the assistance of the local Embassy staff we would undoubtedly have had to expend much more time, energy and finance to reach our current position.”

ICON & Japan – Success Story – FINAL101012