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Building synergies between Japan and Ireland's food industry

Oct 20, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


Behind Ireland’s reputation as a source of fresh, world-class produce is Bord Bia, or the Irish Food Board. Its CEO, Tara McCarthy, sees a lot of growth potential in Japan because its consumers are also well-known for being meticulous about the quality of their food and drink.

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy

“Ireland exports food to 180 countries. Trade with Japan is growing across food categories, and with the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, we believe it’s an exciting time,” McCarthy said.

Irish pork, beef, whiskey and luxury chocolates have become high demand products in Japan. Although the Irish food industry is largely dominated by meat and dairy, it has seen strong growth in its seafood and alcohol industries recently.

Aside from its high quality products, the Irish food industry has also garnered much praise for its commitment of sustainability. A growing number of Irish farmers and food and beverage firms now seek verification under a program called Origin Green. This added guarantee verification has raised the premium of Irish products among Japanese consumers.

Because of its long-term commitment to Japan, Bord Bia plans to organize frequent trade missions to the country and open an office in Tokyo.

“Ireland is a country committed to sustainable food production, and we believe that this is the type of brand that the Japanese consumer is looking for. We are committed to a long-term relationship with the Japanese market. That will be shown in our investment and research, and our commitment to serve the market to the best of our ability,” McCarthy said.

Irish diagnostics expert to help Asian drugmakers enter global market

Oct 20, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


As several Irish health care companies branch out, Diaceutics stands out among its peers because of its crucial role in the industry as the leading diagnostic commercialization service provider.

“We were established in 2005 and remain entirely focused on the intersection between diagnostics and therapeutic decision-making. We’re deeply committed to delivering on our mantra ‘Better Testing. Better Treatment,’ ensuring that precision medicine is at the forefront of oncology and pathology,” Chief Operating Officer Damian Thornton explained.

The company created the Diaceutics Method and provides drug developers an end-to-end solution, which maps out the diagnostic landscape, builds commercialization strategies

and tactics, implements testing at the laboratory level and tracks post-launch key performance indicators. Because it manages a network of more than 2,500 partner laboratories across Europe, China and the United States, Diaceutics relies heavily on big data management.

“We have built, and are constantly adding to, a robust database of quality information and robust analytics capabilities to understand the different markets and testing practices around the world,” Thornton stressed.

The company has personnel in 17 different countries and serves more than 30 leading pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Having established a strong reputation globally, the company has experienced around 60 percent growth annually since 2014.

To continue driving this growth, Diaceutics is mapping out bold plans and is aiming to expand geographically, particularly in Asia.

“Asia is our next big opportunity. While we are on the constant lookout for an Asian headquarters, our goal is to potentially have office in Japan, China and South Korea in the next couple of years. Those would be our big three,” Thornton said.

“We definitely see huge potential in Asia. This year, our Japanese clients alone have contributed 15 percent to our bottom line,” he added.

In line with its strategy in Japan, Diaceutics will expand its team and its network with top laboratories there throughout 2019.

“As we commit to expansion in Asia, we need to communicate effectively and build our brand. All that said, we’re really excited about what the region and Japan will bring to our business,” Thornton said.

Irish firm hauls the construction industry into the digital age

Oct 20, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


While the world embraces the value of data and the transition toward digitalization, some industries still have a long way to go. Construction is one example. Today, architects, engineers, contractors and site owners still rely heavily on traditional methods and conduct their work in an insular manner.

In some parts of Asia, inefficiency still looms over many projects. Dublin-based software company Zutec Holding AB identified the opportunity and created a cloud-based platform specifically designed to improve process and data management within the context of construction project management.

ZUTEC CEO Brendan O'Riordan

“Our technology is a game changer. We help manage processes and workflow in order to avoid paperwork errors and, subsequently, avoid delays in construction projects, translating into significant savings,” Zutec CEO Brendan O’Riordan said.

With a presence in London, Hong Kong, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, Zutec is aggressively pursuing international expansion, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The region is vitally important to our business. We see great benefit for Zutec to assist with and be engaged in many major projects across Asian countries, including airports, hospitals, universities and stadiums,” O’Riordan said.

The company has contributed to many landmark projects across the globe, such as the Shard in London; Terminal 2 of Dublin Airport; the Midfield Terminal in Abu Dhabi; the Melbourne Entertainment and Convention Center, the Flinders Street Station restoration (also in Melbourne); the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar; and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, among others.

As the first Irish company to successfully go public in the Nasdaq First North in Sweden, Zutec has strengthened its global reputation as it looks to cement ties with Asia’s top builders, Japanese companies being among them.

“Japan, as a country, is further advanced when adopting technology in the construction sector. We would like to build on our relationships in Japan to demonstrate our ability to listen and to impart our knowledge and experience,” O’Riordan said.

Ireland's cross cultural legal experts

Oct 20, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


OBH Partners is a dynamic corporate law firm supported by an ever-expanding team of partners and solicitors who are focused on corporate law and have steadily developed an expertise in mergers and acquisitions, banking and commercial property law.­ The partnership also takes particular pride in its ability to accommodate different business cultures, aside from delivering excellent results.

OBH Partners founders Orlaith O'Brien and June Hynes

“We are entrepreneurial. That is in our nature. We understand the value of well-considered and evaluated risk, without some element of which most businesses would never be successful. But most of our clients have certainly learned and act in a more measured fashion following the recession,” Founding Partner Orlaith O’Brien explained.

As Ireland’s economy recovered and growth gained firm momentum in the last few years, OBH Partners capitalized on the influx of new foreign investors, particularly large consumer brands and property developers.

“We act for a large number of foreign clients and because of our size, we are seen as more approachable and accessible than other larger law firms. We work closely with our clients and are an integral part of the core team on transactions,” said Founding Partner June Hynes, who also highlights OBH Partners’ ability to deliver excellent service to many business cultures.

“We are about creating and maintaining relationships. We have a strong team that involves a lot of partner interaction, and we tend to build close relationships with our clients,” O’Brien said.

Founder of top Irish BPO builds on Japanese experience

Oct 20, 2018
Credit : GMI Post


Leading Irish business process outsourcing (BPO) firm Abtran began when its founder, Pat Ryan, took on a Japanese firm as a client in 1997. Through an Irish program for engineering professionals, Ryan spent four years in Japan, where he worked at Alps Electric Co. Ltd., whose subsidiary, in Cork later became his first client. Since then, Abtran has shifted its focus to three main segments: public and financial services in Ireland and the energy sectors in Ireland and the U.K.

Abtran CEO Pat Ryan

One of the firm’s biggest milestones was when it secured its first public-sector contract in 2001, when Ryan’s team helped Ireland’s Department of Finance in the introduction of the euro. It set up contact centers and provided fulfillment or logistics services as part of that project.

“Our business is fundamentally a people business driven by strong processes and technology. We found our base in customer contact center outsourcing and back office processing,” Ryan said.

Celebrating 21 years in the business, Abtran is strengthening its leading position in the BPO industry. Looking back, Ryan said: “All my experiences with the Japanese helped me steer the business to where it is today. I appreciate all this and we will continue to improve.”

Ireland 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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