Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis to build a new society
We would first like to offer our heartfelt sympathy to those individuals and their families who have been affected by the COVID-19, and our sincerest thoughts and prayers for those who have died in this pandemic. We would also like to express our deep appreciation for the dedication of the many individuals working on the front lines of medicine and to everyone engaged in the work of sustaining the infrastructure of our everyday lives.
At the end of January, 2020, the TDK Group formed a team to take measures against crisis management to address the COVID-19, and worked to ensure the safety of its employees by expanding teleworking and establishing rules for cross - regional business travel. Ironically, the coronavirus - a major threat to mankind - has advanced society's accelerated use of technology, resulting in the widening adoption of new ways of working. Even after the pandemic's risks have been reduced through the dissemination of specific medicnes and vaccines, it is unlikely that people's lives will return to what they were before, and I think we will continue to redefine our collective "new normal" state of life.
How we deal with the crisis that we currently face will change the world after we have overcome it. For example, if teleworking becomes established in an appropriate form, workers could take the vast amount of time previously spent commuting and apply it to activities like exercising for better health, communicating with friends and colleagues, and spending time with family. That will create richer, more human lives and bring greater happiness.
While the impact of the pandemic has been enormous, we also see this as an opportunity to head into a new age, one in which we must succeed in evolving based on the assumption of a "new normal."
Contributing to DX and EX with an emphasis on CX (Customer Experiences)
To date, the TDK Group has seen digital transformation (DX) and energy transformation (EX) as opportunities to contribute to society. The COVID-19 has done nothing to impede this trend - if anything, we believe it will only accelerate further.
In DX, it is clear that digital innovation will support new, more flexible ways of working and assist in resolving labor shortages. EX, meanwhile, will be essential in making it possible to lead more comfortable, happier lives using less energy through the pursuit of more efficient energy use via "time - shift - use" - storing energy during the day for use at night - among other methods, thus bequeathing future generations a more livable society with fewer energy - related risks.
To change the world through DX and EX, we at TDK Group must first, ourselves, change. The Group is currently advancing "Digi - TDK," a strategy for utilizing digital data to optimize manufacturing. "Eco - TDK," meanwhile, will be our strategy for engaging in rigorous energy - saving measures and shifting to renewable energy.
The customer experience / consumer experience (CX) perspective - our ability to approach DX and EX from the viewpoint of our customers and consumers - will be important to accomplishing these goals. An attitude that says that simply fulfilling the required specifications is good enough will have no place in this scenario. Only by imagining and understanding what lies behind those requirements - that the customer's specifications are based on certain assumptions about how and why the consumer will use the finished product - can we offer solutions that are worthy of the customer's trust and that will satisfy their needs, providing experiences that exceed their expectations.
This concept of CX is also essential on the front lines of development and production. Originating from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the TDK Group is moving forward with efforts to encourage those involved in product development and production to explore for themselves what kind of value their products and technological capabilities can deliver toward solving social issues, and to actually create that value.
Becoming a strong, flexible organization that responds quickly to change
In financial terms, the worsening relationship between the U.S. and China, along with the impact of the COVID-19, had severe consequences for the Group in fiscal 2019, but significant progress was made on the non - financial side, which will form the foundation of future growth.
First, we established a governance structure for the global promotion of empowerment and transparency at TDK. In April 2020, we officially began operating under our "Global Common Regulations," which we spent two years putting in place. These ensure that, as the TDK Group expands worldwide through M&A, each of the companies it acquires can make the most of their respective cultures and characteristics, while sharing TDK's corporate motto and principles, and corporate vision and clarifying the rules and regulations each Group member should follow.
Second, TDK created a global human resource management system, building on its strengths in global human resources and diversity. Providing maximum opportunities for the over 100,000 employees of the TDK Group members to contribute their talents will be key to our sustainable growth going forward. So beginning in fiscal 2020, we launched a comprehensive framework around education, training, evaluation and other human resource issues.
My goal is to make the TDK Group an autonomous, decentralized organization, rather than one in which authority is centralized at the executive management and headquarter level. Without that, in fact, there is no way for us to quickly provide value in response to changes in society. This is why we are putting such emphasis on empowerment and transparency - trusting in people who share our corporate motto and principles, and goals and who will work together to conduct our business while maintaining transparency - and on HR reforms designed to leverage our global human resources.
In February 2020, we also joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), an organization that works to promote sustainability in global supply chains. Today, efforts to address human rights and other social issues, as well as environmental issues, are absolutely essential to managing a global business. TDK offers its full support of the RBA's vision, and will protect the rights, health, and safety of workers in its supply chain.
Balancing a sustainable society and corporate growth by pursuing our
Corporate Motto to "Contribute to culture and industry through creativity"
There was a time when balancing economic rationality and social rationality was seen as a paradox, and the two were thought of as a trade - off. As discussions around sustainability have intensified, however, that angle has gradually narrowed, and today the two vectors are seen as being in complete alignment. In other words, contributions to a sustainable society are themselves now viewed as leading to corporate growth. This perfect overlap is what will maximize the drive forward for business.
TDK marks its 85th anniversary in 2020, leading us to think ahead to our 100th year, our next major milestone. Now is an apt time to remind ourselves of our corporate motto, "Contribute to culture and industry through creativity." This encompasses the full range of goals for our Group's business, while everything else is just a means to that end. Based on that understanding, in fiscal 2019 we set forth the TDK Group's Sustainability Vision, "Technology for the well - being of all people."
I would like to make TDK a company that people get excited about. My ideal would be for our employees to work each day full of dreams, and for society to look forward to what we, as a company, will come up with next. I would like our employees to share a sense of fulfillment in knowing that the work they do benefits society; to have a positive impact on one another; and to take that feeling of excitement about what they might be capable of next and turn it into productivity. Using the power of each of our passionate employees to drive our business, the TDK Group will work to achieve a sustainable and happy society for all people.