We asked two of its members to share with us their vision.
As a manufacturer of chemical products, DAITO KASEI has customers across Japan and around the world. In recent years, our cosmetic ingredients division has been particularly busy developing our business abroad.
More than ten years ago our revenue was about 40 million euros. Our domestic revenue accounted for 70% of the total against 30% for international revenue. This proportion has since reversed.
Foreign demand has been steadily increasing since 2010 which led us to establish new offices and plants. In 2010 DAITO KASEI EUROPE was established in France, followed by DAITO KASEI CHINA in 2012. Our grasp on French and European markets was further strengthened in 2015 as DAITO KASEI INDUSTRIES FRANCE, a plant, was established. More recently, in 2018, a joint management agreement was reached with our distributors in South East Asia and a formulation development center was created in Thailand. With this expanded global presence, DAITO KASEI has increased the added value of our services and products. We can now offer technical assistance and provide formulation guidelines to all our foreign customers. Today, our plan is to work on developing our technological capacities to support our global expansion.
Western countries, along with Japan, have been leading the cosmetic industry for quite a while. However, in recent years Korea, China, India and South East Asian countries have joined the race and we see new companies being created each year. As these countries enjoy economic development, new markets emerge, particularly fueled by female consumers.
In the United States and especially in the EU, cosmetic regulations have become increasingly strict. This has resulted in a marked improvement in the quality of cosmetic products. Furthermore, in western countries many consumers are concerned with testing on animals, and desire products that are natural and free of additives. In these countries, we have seen big growth in the natural cosmetics market - a trend that is spreading to the rest of the world.
The properties of cosmetic products are also different depending on the country and region. Let’s take foundation, for example; in Japan, where the climate is humid, powder foundation is popular. Conversely, in countries with drier climates, such as France or the United States, liquid foundation is more mainstream.
In the cosmetic industry, there is no such thing as one size fits all products. Each project must be approached by first taking into account the customers’ specific needs such as the brand concept. Our role in the sales department is to have a deep understanding of local trends and needs in order to propose the most suitable ingredients to our customers.
DAITO KASEI regularly holds two-day GLOBAL CHALLENGE SUMMITS which address a different theme each time. During these meetings, we discuss sales figures and trends country by country, customer by customer. We believe that trends tend to cycle and reappear with modern touches rather than simply appear out of nowhere and then disappear forever. What is trendy in Europe now might become trendy in Asia in the near future. As such, nothing should be dismissed as impossible. We also believe it is capital for us to be able to anticipate these changes. Our ability to anticipate these trends is capital that sets us apart. This is also an occasion for us to report advancements of R&D projects, new ingredient developments, changes in overseas regulations, etc.
We also often discuss our business strategy and needs for new ingredients. Talking about all these subjects face to face rather than by phone encourages us mutually and increases our motivation. So far, these meetings have always been held in Japan, but we plan to hold some abroad in the future.
To further increase our sales abroad, it goes without saying that we need to deepen our knowledge of these markets. The GLOBAL CHALLENGE SUMMITS are precious information-sharing opportunities that allow us to achieve just that.
One of our distributors also organizes regional seminars in Thailand for our South East Asian customers where our formulation development center is located. During these events, we hold lectures about many subjects such as regional and national trends.
South East Asia is a vast and diverse region that has been growing at a remarkable pace in recent years. Gathering all our customers at the same time and place and being able to discuss so many things with each and every one of them is truly a great opportunity for us.
In Thailand and Indonesia new companies are just entering the cosmetic industry, but in India, the Philippines and Malaysia the industry remains mainly underdeveloped in what seems to be markets full of infinite possibilities. For us, exploring those markets and proposing new solutions is both a challenge and a thrilling opportunity. We truly believe in our technology and production system and that it will allow us to expand the sales of our high-quality Japanese products in these areas.
Doing business abroad starts with facing different languages and cultures. There are times where we do not make ourselves understood, but one thing is always clear: DAITO KASEI’s technical know-how and product quality are always recognized. This favorable assessment makes us proud and happy about our contribution to society.
Daito Kasei has been a leader in powder-surface treatment technology for decades. As more companies try to break into this market, we are confident that our experience as specialists in this field gives us the advantage to remain on the forefront.