Story 03

Reviving an old plant in Eastern Europe
Exporting Petro-chemical equipment

July 19, 2019

Trust & Relations is the key to continuing business and expansion

Marubeni Techno-Systems sells equipment for petrochemical plants to major companies in Japan and overseas. Since 2003 we have been trading with India’s leading petrochemical conglomerate. Mr. Yuji Iijima, who joined us in 2015, is now in charge of the account.

We began business with this Indian company through the sales of PTAs (raw materials for polyester fibers, PET resin, PET materials, etc.). With the growth of the Indian economy, our client’s factories expanded. As we proposed various machines, the relationship between the two companies grew and expanded to a broader scope.
Mr. Iijima continues to expand the business, developed by his predecessors, further strengthening the relationship.

Mr. Iijima proudly says, “Contacts at our clients have changed over the years, but I believe that the trust we have is the foundation of our strong relationship.”

Yuji Iijima, Chemical & Material Production Machinery Division

Indian companies are incredibly demanding.
“It’s normal for Indian companies to request 120% from you initially. These high demands are part of the Indian business culture, and we start by saying NO and try to communicate realistic goals. For example, there are many cases where people say, “I want an estimate by tomorrow.” Still, in most cases, the real deadline is much later. Even if we meet deadlines, often clients do not keep up with the timelines. Even with close communication, this happens. It is crucial to understand the business cultural differences and manage projects accordingly. If you keep demanding tight schedules from your vendors, they won’t continue to work with you. You will lose trust. What is the norm in India, is not the same in Japan. Every day is a challenge, communicating and working within two cultures.”

India’s population and economic power are increasing. From the delivery of the first production line, the business continues to grow with the Indian conglomerate.

“Every step is important; selecting proper equipment and being able to deliver according to the client’s requirements and providing proper aftercare support and maintenance. Ensuring that our clients are satisfied builds trust. In the petrochemical industry, many of our products are raw materials for various products. By maintaining our trust and relationship, many opportunities present themselves as the economy grows. A little trust turns into one business, which then turns into town, and then a city, and then a country. I believe this is a very rewarding job.”

“With India’s economic development, the quality and quantity of society’s needs will explode and diversify. Therefore, I believe as a trading company, and it will be important to understand their needs. Continuously proposing new ideas to satisfy their requirements in a timely and manner,” says Mr. Iijima.

“And to find new business partners and innovative technologies that we can introduce to India. Seeing happy faces of our clients is the best part of the job and working at Marubeni Techno-Systems,” states Mr. Iijima.

Reviving an old petrochemical plant in Eastern Europe.
How a trading company helped maintain a petrochemical plant

In Eastern Europe, Slovakia, we helped the renewal of an old petrochemical plant. The project was complicated, but having pulled it off, we built deep trust between our client.
One day we were contacted by a significant Slovak oil company that we had worked within the past. There was an inquiry to Marubeni Techno-Systems about an old plant that was in desperate need of maintenance. Unfortunately, the client did not know who to contact.

The Slovakian company was operating equipment that they had purchased from a Japanese engineering company in the 70’s. The plant had been working for over 40 years, and a full overhaul was long due. Valves and pumps needed replacement, as well as other significant components.
There was an enormous number of parts and manufacturers that needed contact. The Slovakian company couldn’t contact each company in Japan directly. Marubeni Techno-Systems decided to manage and coordinate the project on behalf of the Slovakian company.

With many parts to replace, at one point, our office phone would not stop ringing with inquiries from Slovakia. Mr. Iijima needed to find replacement parts for discontinued products. He also needed to work with new vendors to supply products that Marubeni Techno-Systems did not offer. Thanks to Mr. Iijima’s effort and hard work, the petrochemical plant was able to function and operate again.

This Slovakian company had a second petrochemical plant that needed repairs and replacement parts. The Slovakian company asked us if we could help them again, and we did. We were successful in restoring their second plant.

“There are many parts in a petrochemical plant. By acting as an agent to help them procure necessary equipment from Japan, when they have issues with Japanese related products, they ask Marubeni Techno-Systems for help.”

It was a challenging project with many obstacles, and the best reward is that our Slovakian client appreciated our work. Through this project, we started businesses with new companies. Our knowledge has expanded to new fields, and we look forward to making new proposals to our clients.