January 1, 2019
A Happy New Year to you all.
The business environment in 2018 was fraught with huge uncertainties, particularly the natural disasters that caused serious damage to Japan and the U.S.-China trade dispute that has been shaking up the global economy. In 2019, we remain cautious about the geopolitical risks, including the escalation of trade friction and the political uncertainty in Europe due to Brexit and other factors. This will be a historical milestone year for Japan, with the introduction of the new era name for the change of Emperor, the consumption tax hike, and accelerated development of social infrastructure for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Games.
At the same time, the rapid advancement of information and digital technologies is leading the world toward a major transition. The situation of competition among companies, including Konica Minolta, has been changing dramatically and all industries are seeking innovation. While there has been much talk about innovation, especially in digital technologies, such as AI, robotics, and IoT, what is truly required is not innovation in technology, but innovation in value. We should be able to create new value from technical innovation and then leverage that value to fulfill our corporate responsibility to contribute to the enhancement of the quality of society.
As a digital company with insight into implicit challenges, Konica Minolta is striving to lead the social reform by seizing the opportunities brought by this turbulent period. The progress we made last year includes the global launch of Workplace Hub, a new service that combines the MFP business with high-performance servers and IT service to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in transforming the way they work, starting from eight countries in Europe and the U.S., and the establishment of a new domestic company for full-scale provision of precision medicine services tailored to the individual needs of patients with cancer and Alzheimer's disease, among others, in Japan.
Maintaining the ability to manufacture high-quality products, collecting valuable data in various fields, applying state-of-the-art technologies to analysis and visualization, identifying a wide variety of customer values, improving our proprietary technologies, combining our products and services with cutting-edge digital technologies, and exploring markets through an open ecosystem approach – all these endeavors hold the key to creating new businesses in the future, and one of the most critical factors for success is human resources. More than 40,000 Konica Minolta members around the world are required to improve their individual skills to maximize performance, and openly connect with external companies and people, including customers, suppliers and business partners, instead of restricting themselves within the Konica Minolta Group.
We are determined to continue group-wide efforts to achieve the goals of our Medium Term Business Plan "SHINKA 2019" and also the goals set for fiscal 2021, so that we can continue growing as a global company.
Lastly, I offer my sincere wishes for your good health and happiness, and would greatly appreciate your continued support for the Konica Minolta Group in 2019.
President and CEO
Konica Minolta, Inc.