“As a newcomer to the Japanese market, we need to be patient, spontaneous & polite”
Mari Robert, Roberts Support Services Ltd
Founded in 2000, the company is part of the Roberts Security Group, which has offices in the United States, Canada, Denmark, India and the United Arab Emirates, and employs more than 1,500 highly trained and reliable staff globally.
Based in Luton, Roberts Support Services operates across a portfolio that includes static and mobile guard services, executive protection in the UK and internationally, remote monitoring and surveillance services on a 24-hour, 365-days-of-the-year basis, integrated biometric access control systems, critical infrastructure protection support, overseas business risk analysis and solutions, as well as security education and training.
A major advantage that Roberts Support Services has over its rivals, both in the UK and Japan, is its highly experienced board of directors and security management team, while a key asset in securing the Olympic team security contract was Japan-born director Mari Robert.
“I had an opportunity to visit Japan with UK Trade and Industry and the trip included a celebratory count-down to the London Olympics at the British Embassy in Tokyo, where I was able to meet several Japanese companies,” she said.
“Since then, I have been able to arrange further meetings with Japanese firms through UKTI and we have been quite successful in securing contracts,” she said.
When negotiating with Japanese companies, Robert agrees that she is at a linguistic and cultural advantage in being Japanese – but she says the assistance of the UKTI team in Tokyo has also been critical to the firm’s success here to date.
“Without their help, it would have taken much longer and been far harder to get through to the person that makes decisions,” she said.
Roberts Support Services plans to open an office in Tokyo to raise the profile of the company and to be in a stronger position to develop joint business ventures with locally based firms. After creating a presence in Japan, the office intends to send new employees overseas for training and has ambitions to provide security for the British athletes and officials who come to Tokyo in 2020. And Robert knows what she needs to bring to the table to make the foray into the Japanese market a success.
“As a newcomer to the Japanese market, we need to be patient, spontaneous and polite,” she said.