Communication is a key to leadership

The Life: The managing director for Brother International Gulf, which is the Middle East subsidiary for the Japanese manufacturing company, speaks about trying to boost the company's market share while motivating his staff.

Shinji Tada, the managing director of Brother Gulf, works on building a close relationship with his employees.
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Brother International Gulf, the Middle Eastern subsidiary of the Japanese manufacturing company Brother, admits that its market share in the region is lower than it would like. Shinji Tada, the subsidiary's managing director, talks about the company's plans to improve that and also how he motivates his staff.

q&a

q What is your vision for the company?

a We established Brother International Gulf almost 20 years ago, in 1991. Still, [our] market share of our products in the Middle East and Africa market, if we compare with the USA or Europe … is still low. So one thing we have to do is to get a similar market share as the USA or Europe. This location is very a good location to be a hub, a centre of business, so we want to … organise our area from here.

q Your company sells printers and other office equipment. How do you plan to increase your market share in the region?

a We are now introducing some low-end models for both inkjet and laser, and especially laser products. We just introduced a very attractive price range [of] models, which I think will be very suitable for the retail market. We are expecting some expansion in sales. Our design people developed the products for emerging markets … But the other important thing is our [after-sales] service. We want to enhance the after-service function to improve customer satisfaction.

q What kind of leader are you?

a I think a leader must listen to what their staff says. Only I have the vision or dream or direction, but a company is not only the leader, but also the staff. Every staff [member] must go in the same direction. If I just pull, I don't think it's good. I have to get comments, opinions and thinking of all staff, then we [go in] the same direction where all staff can agree. The consensus of the staff is important for a company like us. If it is a huge organisation it may be different, but our organisation is still small, like 40 people.

q So you have quite a close relationship with your employees?

a I believe so but, still, I think I need more face-to-face communication with every staff [member]. Maybe I need to do more.

q How do you motivate your employees to get the best out of them?

a We have a system to talk face-to-face [with] our management and staff. And we are always thinking about two or three years later, how you want to be, what kind of a job you want to do three years later. Everybody has their own dream or expectation or position that they want to be in three years later. Then [we talk about] what is missing for you now to [achieve] this. Then … we talk about what kind of education is necessary and what kind of experience is necessary. We have that kind of discussion so every staff member can achieve their own dream or position. The company tries to support [them].