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The Start of a New Era for Nippon Koei - BDP

日本工営・BDPの新時代の幕開け

Mr Ryuichi ArimotoNippon Koei President Ryuichi Arimoto talks about the collaboration between BDP and Nippon Koei and the joint vision to be the world’s leading integrated architecture, design and engineering firm delivering world class design solutions which enhance the communities they serve.

It is precisely one year since I made the decision to welcome BDP, a distinguished British interdisciplinary design practice, into the Nippon Koei Group. Making this decision was a long and complicated process because it involved an investment of unprecedented proportions for us and our first acquisition of an overseas firm. Above all, I considered carefully the state of mind of BDP’s employees and pondered as to how I could provide a management style that would generate a strong cohesive momentum. However, in the event my concerns were dispelled by a conversation I had with BDP’s Chief Executive, John McManus. I discovered that his highest priorities were the same as mine. In other words, the top managers of both companies shared the same concerns and would be looking to work together to resolve them. My management strategy became clear and it’s very simple. Firstly, I value our employees highly and have concluded that we need to set up a profit sharing framework with clearly established targets to incentivise them. Secondly, we need to create new business opportunities and customers whilst simultaneously taking maximum advantage of both companies’ unique characteristics. To bring this about, we formulated a business plan for future governance which was called the ‘100-Days Review and Discussion’ and is based on the concept of Autonomy and Collaboration.

2016 will almost certainly be recorded as a red-letter year in the histories of both Nippon Koei and BDP. Soon their two histories will become one. I am confident that together, we will create a new era which will exceed anything currently envisaged.

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Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge

A fortunate coincidence for both parties is the fact that their respective founders shared similar corporate philosophies and values. Nippon Koei’s founder, Yutaka Kubota, started his company at the age of 56 with a rich supply of human resources possessing extensive knowledge of civil engineering, electricity, geology and other fields of engineering and science. BDP’s founder, Sir George Grenfell Baines, likewise started his company at the age of 54 based on an interdisciplinary concept. Although their companies were in different fields — engineering and architecture — they shared similarities in their attitudes toward business. Specifically both endeavored to respond to their clients’ demands with sincerity. Although such a management style might be considered inefficient, from the customer’s standpoint it spares no effort in providing the most effective and sensible solutions to their requirements.

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Ho Chi Minh City Mass Rapid Transit, Vietnam

Many readers probably expect Nippon Koei and BDP to begin demonstrating synergy immediately. However, these things are never simple. Although small effects are likely to quickly become evident, if we are to give shape to new projects on the world map we must bring to bear more knowhow and courage than ever before. We need to remember that this will not be a voyage of smooth sailing. With that said however, above all else I pledge to seek the happiness of both our employees and our customers. The future is very bright and I look forward to it with enthusiasm!

Sharing as an ideal, sharing not just what we have but, more importantly, each shares contributing effort to making it....why not do this with the building industry and professionals?

Sir George Grenfell Baines

2016年は日本工営・BDP双方の歴史に記念すべき年として記録されるだろう。そして近い将来、二つの歴史は一つの歴史に集約され、私の想定を超える新たな時代を刻んでいくと確信している。

ちょうど1年前、私は英国の名門建築設計会社であるBDP社を日本工営グループの一員に迎えることを決断した。かつてない大型投資であり、かつ初めての外国企業の買収であることから決心するまでに長く曲折のある時間を要した。取り分けBDPの従業員の心理について深慮し、どうしたら求心力を高める経営ができるか腐心した。しかし、その悩みはCEOのJohn McManusさんとの会話のなかで氷解した。何故ならば、彼もまた私と同じことを最重要課題と捉えていたからだ。つまり両社のトップが課題を共有し、その解決に向けて共同して検討することになったからだ。私の経営方針は明確になった。とても単純なことだが、従業員を大事にすること、双方の企業の個性を最大限に活かすと同時に新しい事業機会、新しい顧客を創出することを明確に示すことだ。前者は目標値を明確にしたProfit shareの仕組みを設定すること、後者は自律と連携の方針にもとづく100日計画と称するガバナンスと協業のビジネスプランを策定することに帰結した。

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Masjed-Soleyman Hydropower Project, Iran

双方にとって幸運だったことは、創業者の企業理念・価値観がとても似ていることだった。日本工営の創業者久保田豊は56歳のときに土木、電気、地質などの工学・理学の知見豊かな人材を財産に起業した、BDPの創業者Sir George Grenfell Bainesも54歳のときにマルチ・ディシプリナリーの理念にもとづき起業した。二つの会社は、エンジニアリングと建築という違う世界ではあったが事業に対する取り組み姿勢は共通のものがあった。すなわち、顧客の要望に誠実に応えるという姿勢である。経営の効率性という観点からは、もしかすると非効率と思われるかもしれないが、あくまでも顧客の立場に立って最も理に適った解決策を提供するために努力を惜しまない経営スタイルである。

多くの読者は日本工営とBDPがすぐにでもシナジー効果を発揮するものと期待していると思うが、私は正直なところ簡単ではないと思っている。小さな効果はすぐにでも出てくるだろうが、世界地図に新たな事業を形成するためにはこれまで以上の知恵と勇気が必要であり、順風満帆な航海ではないことを肝に銘じなくてはならない。そして、私は何よりも従業員と顧客の幸せを追求することを約束する。私は熱い眼差しで明るい未来を見据えている。

Act with integrity and contribute to society through technology and engineering.

Yutaka Kubota