“From Instant Noodles to Rocket”
Learn how a trading company spread instant noodle to the world
August 2, 2019
Local support, language and safety
Understanding the local business culture
Fuji Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Gunma Prefecture Fujioka), established in 1964 manufactures instant noodle (ramen) production lines. Fuji Manufacturing manufactures, designs, sells, installs, and provides after support for instant noodle production lines.
Fuji Manufacturing delivers to 46 countries, with 800 production lines delivered. Marubeni Techno-Systems and Fuji Manufacturing have partnered for over 40 years. Together we have been exporting and delivering equipment around the world.
Fuji Manufacturing has over 50% of the global market share for instant noodle production lines. They directly do business with major Japanese instant noodle companies. In regard to overseas, the situation is a little different. In particular, Marubeni Techno-Systems is an inevitable partner when it comes to doing business in a new country and with foreign companies.
We interviewed Fuji Manufacturing Co., Ltd. about the role of Marubeni Techno-Systems plays in their overseas business.
“The most significant support we receive is help with language and ensuring the safety of our stationed employees. Marubeni Techno-Systems also supports us with understanding local business customs. Marubeni Techno-Systems is a valuable partner of ours,” says Mr. Kiribuchi, Director, Fuji Manufacturing.
The Marubeni Group has branches and companies around the world. Our locally stationed employees can rely on Marubeni for support. They provide us with various information such as crime rates to ensure the safety of our employees.
Fuji Manufacturing sells customized machinery fitted for each country and region.
“With 40 years of partnership, Marubeni Techno-Systems understands our products very well. It makes our work easier in that we do not have to explain every detail,” states Mr. Kiribuchi, Fuji Manufacturing.
Exhibiting and closing deals at trade shows with Marubeni Techno-Systems
We plan to exhibit at a Pakistani trade show with Marubeni Techno-Systems. In the past, we have exhibited together at trade shows in Turkey and Iran. We have closed several deals originating from these trade shows.
Fuji Manufacturing supports new clients in new countries by designing the factory in installing and developing instant noodle production lines. Without any local branch or staff in certain foreign countries, providing full support to clients is very hard. By teaming with Marubeni Techno-Systems, Fuji Manufacturing can maintain close communications with clients to lead projects to success.
“With new customers, there is always a gap between customer expectations and the end product. Ingredients change depending on countries and regions, and there are many adjustments needed for our machines. For example, the thickness of the noodles can have a high impact on the texture and needs adjusting per the local ingredients. Marubeni Techno-Systems plays a crucial role in helping us explain these issues to our clients,” Mr. Kiribuchi, Fuji Manufacturing said.
“Often new foreign customer do not have knowledge and experience manufacturing instant noodles. It is our job to understand what the customer needs to produce and support them to reach their goals and business success,” states Mr. Inoue, Senior Project Manager, Marubeni Techno-Systems.
Consistently looking for opportunities, Communication, and information are essential, trading companies provide significant value to our business.
We receive global inquiries every week on our noodle production line. But these projects tend to take time to close the deals.
A project in Algeria is one example. From initial contact, it took several years until we closed the deal. We partnered with Marubeni’s Algeria branch to gather information and win the contract.
In developed countries, noodle manufacturing equipment has gone through the first round of deployment and investment. The next large market will be emerging markets such as Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Many countries in Africa speak French, making it hard to do business for Fuji Manufacturing. Under these circumstances, the role of trading firms will be of more value.
“There are many obstacles we need to overcome in these emerging countries, language, business customs, and safety. I strongly believe Marubeni Techno-Systems will be playing a bigger role in our future business,” Mr. Kiribuchi, Fuji Manufacturing.