LONDON UK, 4 May 2016: The Trustees of Asia House are delighted to announce that Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman of the Board, Representative Executive Officer, Hitachi, Ltd. has won the Asia House Asian Business Leaders Award for 2016. The award will be presented to Mr Nakanishi at a gala event to be held at Westminster’s Banqueting House on Tuesday, 1 November.
Mr Nakanishi was selected as the recipient of this year’s award in recognition of his achievements over the course of his five-year tenure at the helm of Hitachi, a Japanese multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Tokyo.
Mr Nakanishi has led one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Japanese corporate history. When Mr Nakanishi became president, Hitachi had suffered four years of losses amounting to nearly US $10 billion. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, the company’s profit totalled US $5.173 billion.
The company’s consolidated revenues for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 totalled US $88.8 billion.
Mr Nakanishi made several bold decisions to restructure Hitachi and bring the company back into profit, which included a shift of focus from consumer-related products to global infrastructure projects. He also directed the company to look outside Japan in order to grow, with overseas operations now accounting for more than 51 per cent of revenue.
Under Mr Nakanishi’s leadership, Hitachi continues to reinvent itself, placing Social Innovation at the core of its future development. Social Innovation Business, which combines advanced information technologies with infrastructure technologies, is driven by a desire to find and develop innovative, inclusive and sustainable ways of advancing society, requiring the convergence of technologies, industries, products, and business models. Furthermore, the true value for Social Innovation is measured through its positive impact on society and on individual people’s lives.
Mr Nakanishi joined the company in 1970 as an engineer and worked his way up the ladder before assuming the presidency in 2010, followed by Chairman and CEO in 2014, and then his current position in April 2016. Mr Nakanishi was awarded an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Her Majesty The Queen in 2015 in recognition of his services to business relations between the UK and Japan.
Mr Nakanishi, Chairman of the Board, said: “It is a great honour to be the first Japanese recipient of this prestigious award. As a leading forum for promotion of exchange and trade between Europe and the broad Asian continent, Asia House plays a unique and invaluable role. Because of its history, talent and place in Europe, the UK has always been central to Hitachi’s overseas investment strategy, as are China and the other leading Asian nations. Since Hitachi Europe was established as a European base in London, UK, in 1982, the Hitachi Group has been building a strong relationship with the UK for more than a quarter of a century, for example by introducing Social Infrastructure Systems including rail as well as new nuclear power. Hitachi’s future lies in these areas, and this award is a strong encouragement to us.”
Sir John Boyd, Chairman of Asia House, said: “We are delighted to acknowledge the success and good works of Hiroaki Nakanishi through the Asia House Asian Business Leaders Award. Since his appointment as President of Hitachi in 2010, Mr Nakanishi has made his vision for Hitachi a reality, spearheading one of the greatest turnarounds in Japanese corporate history. He has, among other things, underlined the vital importance of innovation, placing products and solutions aimed at solving global issues at the heart of Hitachi’s business.”
Asia House presents this annual award to those individuals who exemplify the concept of the ‘Servant Leader’. The award highlights the links between economic success, professional excellence accompanied by moral leadership and service to society.
Previous recipients of the Asia House Asian Business Leaders Award include Nazir Razak, Chairman of CIMB Group; Ho Ching, Executive Director and CEO of Temasek: Jack Ma, Chairman and Founder of Alibaba.com; Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group; Lubna Olayan, Chief Executive of Olayan Financing Company; and Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro.
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Asia House is a London-based centre of expertise on Asia. We drive economic and political engagement between Europe and Asia by providing a forum for senior decision-makers, business leaders and opinion formers to engage in high-level discussions that direct business and policy strategies. We are the leading pan-Asian organisation in the UK, having built our reputation on our extensive network, our objectivity and our independence.
Under Mr Nakanishi’s leadership Hitachi is now a key investor in the UK’s rail and nuclear sectors. In 2014, Hitachi announced that it would make London the headquarters of its global rail systems business and in 2015 the company opened its £82m rolling stock manufacturing facility in County Durham creating 730 jobs. Hitachi Group’s operations in Europe employ about 11,000 people, 5,000 of which are in the UK. These operations represent around eight per cent of Hitachi Group’s global net sales.
For more information on the Asia House Asian Business Leaders Award and to see videos and photos of the previous recipients receiving their Award click here.