Paper360 - May/June 2016 - (Page 24)

trendspotting | AWARDS RISI's Asian CEO of the Year An interview with Kiyoshi Otsubo, Chairman, President and CEO of Rengo Co., Ltd. MARK RUSHTON AND JESSICA ZIMBALATTI Kiyoshi Otsubo: "I have experience of working overseas in Malaysia and the UK, which taught me the importance of localization in overseas business operations." The winner of RISI's Asian CEO of the Year Award for 2016 is Kiyoshi Otsubo, chairman, president and CEO of Rengo Co., Ltd. Otsubo has been president and CEO at Rengo since 2000, and became chairman of the company in April 2014. PPI interviewed Otsubo, who shared some of his thoughts on the industry in the Asian region and beyond. PPI: Your international expansions have been groundbreaking, particularly in Southeast Asia. Do you expect this to continue? What is your vision for Rengo's future international presence? Might it eventually move west, to South Asia? Otsubo: The Rengo Group is engaging in six core businesses - paperboard, corrugated packaging, folding cartons, flexible packaging, heavy-duty packaging and overseas 24 Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 business - as a General Packaging Industry (GPI) based on its hexagonal business structure. In Japan, Rengo took a stake in Sun Tox Co. Ltd., a plastic film manufacturer, last year. In both our domestic and overseas business, we intend to focus efforts on petrochemical-based packaging operations, in addition to packaging made of wood fiberbased materials, with the aim of creating GPI Rengo in a real sense. Rengo has overseas operations in China, Southeast Asia and Hawaii, and will consider the feasibility of expanding into India as a new market. Many of your overseas investments have been in converting or printing operations, but your Vina Kraft venture with SCG is starting a new 243,000 metric ton/yr BM in Vietnam soon (startup is planned for Q2 2017). Do you envision Rengo investing in more board mills in growth markets in the near term? We decided to build a new containerboard mill on the anticipation that demand for containerboard in Vietnam is expected to grow in the future, driven by continued direct investment from overseas and a rise in domestic consumption. While demand for containerboard has virtually reached saturation in Japan, demand is still growing rapidly in Asia's growth markets, where we see business opportunities. On the other hand, establishing a new paper machine requires a large capital investment, and we are not planning to make any further capital investments in growth markets at this time. Rengo has a very interesting vertically integrated structure, internationally. At the same time, it seems you offer a great deal of autonomy to your international businesses, employing local management to a high level. How have you achieved this balance? I have experience working overseas in Malaysia and the UK, which taught me the importance of localization in overseas business operations. That is to say, it is virtually impossible for Japanese employees who are sent from Rengo to its overseas operations to take charge of everything. What is important, therefore, is how we foster excellent human resources locally. Our corrugated packaging business in Hawaii has been showing improvements recently, and the reason behind this is that its American president and Japanese staff dispatched from Rengo are showing

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - May/June 2016

Over the Wire
The Winners Issue
RISI ’s Asian CEO of the Year, Kiyoshi Otsubo
Barely Tapped Global Potential
Brighter Days Forecast for CelluForce
Be Original: The Path to LC Paper’s OnePly Tissue
Reliability and Maintenance Beliefs – Part V
TAPPI Journal Summaries
Extending Lifecycle: the Key to Lower Costs
Smart Roll Flow at APRIL Fine Paper, Xinhui, China
Standard Bleaching Sequences Including an Ozone Stage – Part II
Stora Enso Looks to Biomaterials Future
Cellulosic Biofuels: Five-Year Forecast
Association News
Index of Advertisers

Paper360 - May/June 2016