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Ceremony

Message from Sponsor: "Making Innovation the Central Focus"

Mr. Koichiro Kimura, Territory Senior Partner, the PwC Japan Group

Message from Sponsor Mr. Koichiro Kimura, Territory Senior Partner, the PwC Japan Group As everyone here is aware, the Porter Prize is presented to companies that: (1) make innovation a priority; (2) create unique strategies based on innovations; and (3) thereby achieve high profits. This prize gives recognition to innovative ideas that not only have been put into practice, but also have been well received by society. This is the mark of a business of real value. We at PwC Japan proudly sponsor the Porter Prize because we agree with both its emphasis on evaluating the real value provided by a business, and the prize's objective of enhancing the competitiveness of Japanese companies.

We, too, are always making efforts to reinvent ourselves, so that we can provide innovative professional services to our customers. We have been experimenting with a variety of ideas in order to create continuous innovation, and have established the Global Innovation Factory.

A PwC survey conducted in 2013 showed that 80 percent of the CEOs from across the world have cited innovation that produces new products, new services and new business models as a necessary condition for maintaining a competitive advantage in the next 5 years. Moreover, they predicted that companies with innovation as their core business strategy are likely to grow three times faster than others. In our view, the effectiveness and sustainability of a company's innovation efforts will be the key determinants of its future growth.

Six factors are essential for becoming an innovative company: (1) Speedy market access & responsiveness to customer needs; (2) development of personnel with an entrepreneurial spirit; (3) an organizational structure capable of coping proactively with change; (4) alliances with partner companies that lead to the diversification of products and services; (5) a work style and work environment that facilitates increases in productivity and customer value; and (6) a process for optimizing managerial and other resources. Arranging these factors independently is quite difficult. Thus, we at PwC aim to support enhanced levels of innovation at companies by leveraging our diverse alliance partnerships to supplement the functions that are lacking.

Based on PwC's unique methodology for organizational reform, we have established a specialized organizational unit called the "Global Innovation Factory," to provide comprehensive support for reforming various processes, organizations and systems. This is achieved through "the PwC Innovation Platform," which facilitates collaborations between members of PwC's global network operating in different countries, academic institutions, and research institutes.

The first step of the PwC Innovation Platform is to generate ideas. There is a limit to how many ideas a single company can produce, and how much creativity a company can generate on its own. By working together with alliance partners, it is possible to generate ideas on a much broader scale. The next step is to formulate a business concept. This involves materializing the idea with the greatest potential by defining and solidifying the business concept, then drawing up a detailed business plan. The third step is to transform the business plan into a business by creating a business prototype and then refining the products and services through repeated trial and error. The last step is commercialization. After the completion of test marketing, we launch the actual product or service in the market using our network.

We use this same platform when we launch a new business, because working with clients and start-ups enables us to actualize business visions into new businesses, utilizing PwC's strengths to the fullest. We believe that creating new business opportunities helps us grow as an innovative organization and increase our contribution to society.

Today, when the world is seamlessly connected, generating high-quality innovation all by oneself is a tough proposition. As a member of an ecosystem, we, too, are working to create value by expanding our network to include start-ups, alliance partners, financial institutions, universities, NPOs and clients.

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