Takao (Tak) Kawasaki is an Economics graduate of Keio University. After college he joined a Tokyo-based multinational glass manufacturer, NSG Group, where he worked for 40 years. During his career at NSG Tak held a variety of international posts. He spent a total of 14 years in the U.S., first as a sales representative and later as President of NSG Holding USA (which included serving as President of NSG’s manufacturing plant in Kentucky). He also spent five years involved in the company’s Asian activities, and served as head of the company’s Asian business unit. Examples of his achievements include leading a major change in strategy in the Chinese market, privatization of joint ventures in Malaysia and Vietnam, and building a large-scale new manufacturing plant in Southern Vietnam. Tak was also involved in post-merger integration activities when the company bought the British firm Pilkington.
This international experience gave Tak an appreciation for the importance of cross-cultural communication, and the need for businesspeople to increase their skills for working with people of different backgrounds. This led him to join Japan Intercultural Consulting, where he leads cross-cultural seminars, primarily for Japanese who are working with other Asians and Americans. He has also designed and delivers a pre-departure session for Japanese expatriates focusing on HR management of non-Japanese staff, which was highlighted in a special feature in Nikkei Business magazine.
In addition to his work at Japan Intercultural Consulting, Tak teaches a graduate course at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and an undergraduate course at Hitotsubashi University. He has also been appointed as an Honorable Goodwill Ambassador by the Malaysian government.