Nine sales representatives cover the Kyushu-Okinawa area, which is the business scope of the Fukuoka branch. “Culture and language are quite different when going to Kagoshima and Okinawa,” Chief Manager Yoshinori Hata said. “But wherever you go, they are open for everyone.”
Naoyuki Hirata, a new Chief Manager from Tokyo, seems to be accepted by customers even though he’s not local. In addition, Fukuoka Branch Manager Ichiro Takashima taught us that “You get better results when approaching honestly and directly, rather than using subtle techniques.” KAI’s sincerity is conveyed to customers in other areas. “Our company's basic goal is to make sales. We have not changed our business style drastically. That’s because our senior staff has earned longtime customers,” said Takashima.
Kyushu is surrounded by the ocean, which is filled with marine life. This means that kitchen knife sales for restaurants and fishermen are higher than other areas. Okinawa is also an important market. Here, two blades razor “GOGO2” is popular. There’s even growing demand from foreign tourists, mainly in Fukuoka. “Nail clippers are overwhelmingly popular,” Hirata said. “Beauty Guard” and “Pure Komachi” body care razors for women are also selling well.” Local and foreign demand are both being addressed by the KAI team.
Ichiro Takashima, KAI Fukuoka Branch Manager／He worked in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka — twice each. Takashima became Fukuoka Branch Manager four years ago. Currently, he’s planning a branch member trip, cherry blossom viewing, and BBQ for better communication among employees.
Yoshinori Hata, Chief Manager (left)／After joining KAI, he was assigned to the Osaka branch. After resigned once, came back to the Fukuoka branch ten years ago. “The ocean and the mountain are both a one-hour drive away,” he said. “Fukuoka is convenient for everything.”
Naoyuki Hirata, Chief Manager (right)／He was born in Gifu Prefecture. It has been less than a year since he moved from Tokyo headquarters. “Nagasaki Champon stir-fry noodles really fit with sake,” he said. He is already quite familiar with gourmet dining.
The Fukuoka branch is responsible for Okinawa. In 1972, the U.S. still occupied many military bases on the island. During this time, the former KAI, Sanwa opened its first branch in Naha City. The goal was to expand KAI’s razor sales market. The branch’s only employee carried out sales activities at remote islands, including Ishigaki and Miyako.
At this restaurant, you can enjoy eating Okinawa soba noodles while listening to jazz. When Yoshitake began working in Okinawa, local customers introduced him to this place. Since then, he has visited frequently.
2-9-18, Akebono, Naha City
This classic fast food restaurant can be found in Okinawa. “Hamburgers, French fries, and two drinks of all-you-can-drink root beer” is Kondo’s favorite order.
2-1-21, Makishi, Naha City