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MOL boss rings the changes, vows to ‘reshape’ business portfolio

Speaking on the occasion of Mitsui OSK Lines’ 133rd anniversary, Junichiro Ikeda, the president and CEO of the shipping giant has said the company is forecasting a return to profitability at the ordinary income level, while looking ahead he announced a very significant change to the way the Japanese line goes about investing.

“Our existing businesses face major upheaval in the business environment,” Ikeda explained. “In this climate, we must recognise that our conventional approach to investment, based at times on a tendency to focus on balancing investments among our existing businesses, is no longer viable,” he continued. “From now on, we must work to reshape our business portfolio. This will be done by carefully selecting business domains and projects where we have competitive advantages, and preferentially allocating our capital and human resources to each of these areas.”

Ikeda exhorted MOL employees to better understand client needs, sealing deals was no longer simply about offering the cheapest offers, he maintained.

“Our customers’ needs are becoming more and more diversified and sophisticated,” Ikeda said, adding: “To be selected as their best partner will require more than just price competitiveness. It will require deep insight into customer concerns and the ability to provide solutions other companies cannot match. Differentiation will be absolutely essential. We will be unable to rise above the competition unless we become a truly strong and resilient enterprise.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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