Haseko Corporation - the largest apartment building company in Japan, said that they will keep their aggressive investment plan in Vietnam amid the terrible outbreak of Covid-19 in the country. An interview by VinaForum.
Mr. Tadashi Nakatsuka - General Manager, Vietnam Chief Representative of Haseko, in front of the Authentic Building - the 1st apartment project of Haseko in Vietnam. Photo provided by Mr.Nakatsuka.
How does Covid-19 pandemic affect your business here and in Japan?
There is a big impact of our business by Covid-19 pandemic as follows:
We are now operating the service apartment ”The Authentic” for Japanese business people in Hanoi. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the transferring of new Japanese expatriates is restricted and the new investment by Japanese companies to Vietnam is very slow. There is a big impact of the occupancy rate of our service apartment.
We invested and started to operate the local construction company “Ecoba” in May 2020. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the revenue and net profit of the company in 2020 were dropped against the result of 2019.
We are trying to invest new apartment development projects in Vietnam. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the movement of the property market is dull and the legal procedures are also slow and complicated.
In Japan, there is not a big impact of our business by Covid-19 pandemic. The growth rate of the property market and the construction market for apartments in Japan is stable but it is not expected the higher growth.
Japan is famous for natural disasters. Has you / your company ever encountered a disaster similar to the Covid-19 pandemic? How has you / your company successfully overcome such a disaster?
There was the earthquake and tsunami at the northeast part of Japan on March,2011 and there is the possibility that a large earthquake and tsunami may hit Japan again in future. In addition, there are damages by the torrential rain in Japan recently.
Business continuity may be defined as "the capability of an organization to continue the delivery of products or services at pre-defined acceptable levels following a disruptive incident” and business continuity planning (BCP) is the process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company. In addition to prevention, the goal is to enable ongoing operations before and during execution of disaster recovery. Business continuity is the intended outcome of proper execution of both business continuity planning and disaster recovery.
We have prepared “BCP for our Vietnamese operation for COVID-19 pandemic” recently and we have shared it with all staffs.
The Authentic Building - 1st Japanese quality apartment project of Haseko in Hanoi. Photo by Haseko.
How has your company prepared for Covid-19 effect for now and for the future?
It is the company’s responsibility that the company gives the top priority to the human life of employees and their families and securing of the security also. We are now trying to expedite the vaccination for the Covid-19 for all our employees as soon as possible.
In our BCP, we have classified our duties into “Top priority duties” ”Priority duties” ”General duties”. We also classified the stages by the infection spread of COVID-19 into 4 stages. We have prepared what we have to take actions and fulfill our duties in each stage.
How do you see the Vietnam real estate industry now and in the short-medium-long future?
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the supplies and sales of apartments both in Hanoi and HCMC are not active like several years ago. The legal procedure for real estate projects both in Hanoi and HCMC is still slow and complicated and we can not expect to be improved shortly.
I think that such tough market situation may continue in 2021 and 2022, it will start to recover from 2023.
In the middle to long term, I am sure of the expansion of this field of market.
What is your business strategy / plan here?
The corporate philosophy of HASEKO Corporation is “To contribute to society by creating an optimal environment for cities and people.”
HASEKO Corporation is a construction company focusing on apartment and have many subsidiaries doing all apartment related business such as sales, property management, renovation, nursing or retirement homes etc.
In the long term, we would like to provide the same services in Vietnam which we are doing in Japan.
In the middle to short terms, we would like to focus the following filed of business.
We became the shareholder of the local construction company “Ecoba” in May 2020 and we appointed a non-permanent Board of Director of “ECOBA” from our company. We also dispatched our Japanese engineer and sales specialist to “ECOBA”. We will supply the high quality of construction of apartments with reasonable costs to customers. We expect the cooperation with “Ecoba” will enhance our business in Vietnam.
Development of apartment projects
We will invest our own capital to develop apartment projects in Vietnam together with the reliable Vietnamese partner(s). We will do the investment, making the concept design and construction to provide an apartment with the “taste” of Japan and the high quality.
We will contribute our expertise into it and try to make the difference from other apartment projects in Vietnam.
How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect your business plan in Vietnam? Are you going to reduce or increase your investment here? Why?
As I explained, I think that such tough market situation may continue in 2021 and 2022, it will start to recover from 2023.
But In the middle to long term, I am sure of the expansion of real estate market including various apartment projects in Vietnam. We would like to be aggressive and try to invest in suitable projects in Vietnam continuously.
What values / strengths do you and your company bring to this market?
We would like to provide the highest quality and best services to customers in Vietnam. We always think and act from the viewpoint of the customers and endeavor to build customer satisfaction and trust by continuously providing better-quality products and services. As the result, we would like to contribute to the society in Vietnam by creating an optimal environment for living for Vietnamese people.
Haseko's projects in Japan. Photos by Haseko.
Would you please share your practical experience with our community on how to get prepared and to overcome a disaster similar to Covid-19 pandemic?
From a risk management perspective, when a disaster similar to Covid-19 pandemic occurs, it is extremely important to provide immediate and accurate information to the public by the government and such information is shared by ourselves.
Then our community or companies or individuals have to proceed utilizing the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle which is same as the operation of a company to overcome a disaster. I think that the preparation of Plan such as BCP (business continuity planning) is the first step.
Would you please introduce yourself?
My name is Tadashi Nakatsuka.
I have been working as a General Manager and Chief Representative, Hanoi Representative Office, Haseko Corporation since September 2020.
I joined Haseko Corporation on July 2019 just after returning from USA in June 2019. Before joining Haseko Corporation, I had been working at a Japanese integrated global trading and investment Company “Sumitomo Corporation” for 39 years. During these 39 years, I worked for 22 years in overseas countries, 3 years in USA, 4 years in Canada, 10 years in Indonesia, 3 years in Saudi Arabia and 2 years in Iran. During my services in Sumitomo Corporation, my main field of business was “Management of distribution and rental companies for construction and mining equipment” in various countries.
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