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“Sustainable development goals are a very important part of the business to focus on. With the support of our group companies and partners, we believe that we can make an impact on our environmental footprint.” - Akinobu Ogata, Representative Director, President CEO, NITTO KOHKI CO., LTD.

When it comes to winning business, satisfying customers and staying ahead of the competition in agile modern markets, it’s about taking the right path and doing the right thing for society as well as shareholders.

A booming Japanese firm is enjoying its biggest successes by doing the little things right.

Nitto Kohki is the very definition of an effective niche market business, specializing in the things they do best – and using R&D to expand that range ever outwards.

The 65 year old components manufacturer from Tokyo represents the best of Japanese B2B culture, with even their smallest items integral to a diverse range of client brands and products sold to the UK, the EU, Australia, China, ASEAN, and the USA.

As has become crucial to the modern economy, corporate leadership is placing as much importance on sustainability as possible, with SDG plans, targets and initiatives driving every stage of the process.

While the company has enjoyed massive growth and reach, company President Akinobu Ogata is a big fan of specializing in its current field.

He said: “Nitto Kohki is in a niche market. We believe that we are providing a product that cannot be replicated without our technology. This has given us a level of quality that has made us a leader within our area of expertise.” 

Mr. Ogata added: “Within the Japanese market for couplings, we have more than 70 percent market share. Because of this high quality, most major auto manufacturers, as well as the leading semiconductor manufacturers in the country, use our products. It’s extremely important for us to maintain our quality standards.”

The gravity of their responsibility comes for example, from the contents of couplings which convey oils, natural gas, hydrogen, air and water inside various manufacturing sectors. The firm maintains a network of engineers around the world to ensure after-care and customer service is top level. 

Innovation and R&D has been intrinsic since Mr. Toshio Mikiya founded the firm in 1956 with a precise air micrometer measuring device. This development was followed by a magnetic drilling machine , and subsequent descendants in the product range extend from linear motor pumps to electric screwdrivers and power tools for robots. 

At the core of it all has been a philosophy of quality assurance, which has been key to fending off cheap imitators. 

According to Mr. Ogata, whose firm is now venturing into the realms of AI and automation to cut costs and meet expected labor shortages, the price gap to their rivals is offset by value. 

He said: “Some of our customers actually started to buy such products, but quickly returned to our company because of the lack of reliability in these copied products. The price difference is of course still a factor in choosing who to work with, but we believe that the safety and reliability we provide to our products far exceeds this price gap.”

Standards will not be diminished for profit, nor will their commitment to sustainability.

Tactics to meet crucial SDGs include reducing manpower and energy consumption at Nitto Kohki plants in Japan and at international group bases in Thailand.   While up to 1,000 firms in the supply chain must meet their SDG standards. And the race to cleaner business and power means they always look to raise the bar where possible.

Mr. Ogata said: “It is important that we educate our employees about these goals and how they contribute to society. With the support of our group companies and partners, we believe that we can make an impact on our environmental footprint.”

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