The next visit was to Avaya-Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of the US-based multinational provider of voice and data business communication hardware and software. (Disclosure: I served as Chief Marketing Officer and senior management executive for the firm from 1999-2002.) The students were briefed by Takeshi Kase, Director of Marketing for Japan and Korea, and Gary Garner, the regional sales leader for Multinational Account Sales. In addition to his regional managerial responsibilities, Gary handles the Asian accounts for GE, Citibank, Wal-Mart and Volkswagen.
Kase and Gary focused their presentation on the critical meaning of “quality” and “customer service” in the demanding and highly competitive Japanese communications market. Students gained valuable insights into the significant differences encountered in Japan relative to other markets and how companies deal with the challenges and opportunities of the marketplace.