SamAn update from Sam Puri, who is participating in the Global Leadership Program in Japan and China:

For our fourth day, we continued with our company visits and had the chance to meet with PWC and Kirin. The PWC visit was much more of a Q&A format, as we spent about 15 minutes learning about the company with the rest of the time devoted to Q&A. Some of the main takeaways we learned during the session included:

  • PWC PRTM Japan was acquired by PWC US as part of the 2011 PRTM acquisition
  • In Japan, meetings are not for discussion as everything should have been discussed beforehand
  • Traditional companies in Japan have an administrative track into which mostly women are hired and are unable to switch from
  • The other track is a management track into which mostly men are hired and have a hard time switching from
  • Japanese are nonconfrontational and avoid direct conflict at work

After visiting PWC we had a chance to visit Kirin. Here were some of the main highlights of that visit:

  • All nine of Kirin’s breweries are located in Japan
  • Kirin was founded by foreign investors who believed that beer could become popular among Japanese
  • Automation has allowed Kirin to more than double production with half of their historic workforce
  • The Yokohama brewery location is used as a facility for community outreach, including tastings, tours, and beer brewing schools
  • Kirin swaps licenses with Anheuser-Busch to brew and distribute each other’s beer in their respective countries as opposed to competing against one another

Kirin then proceeded to take us on a tour of their facility, which was quite large. Here are some photos I took of the facility.




Here is also a picture of Greg Oertel, an SMU MA/MBA (MAMBA) presenting a gift to our tour guide during our tour.


After the company visits I visited Takadanobaba. I wanted to check out a local arcade there where the newest version of Street Fighter was available to play. Although Japan is known for its Sumo wrestling, karaoke, and fish, another staple to its culture is the gaming community. It was not uncommon to see many people in Tokyo at the arcades playing arcade games after work. I did not find any of the world famous players at the arcade, but did play many games against a local Japanese player. As you can see in the picture, the Japanese commonly give the ‘peace’ sign when taking pictures.


After the arcade I was a bit tired and knew I had to be up early in the morning for our flight to Shanghai, so I went home and called it a night. Please continue to check into my blog as I will continue to chronicle what happened during my trip!