Mr Hiroshi Ide is the President of IHI Corporation; Chief Operating Officer and President of Resources, Energy & Environmental Business Area.
Since he was appointed as President of Resources, Energy & Environmental Business Area in April 2019 and subsequently as Chief Operating Officer in April 2020, IHI Group has accelerated the pace of its transformation to reposition for growth in the rapidly changing business environment. In his close to four decades with the company, Mr Ide has weathered numerous business cycles, tackling crisis boldly.
He was the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jurong Engineering Limited (JEL) from 2013 to 2017. During this tenure, our revenue and profit grew steadily, and total contracts secured also reached a new high.
Speaking on the host of challenges in this current pandemic operating environment, Mr Ide said “As we speak, COVID-19 is still spreading erratically across the globe and beyond our imagination. Undoubtedly, our business will not escape unscathed, so we need bold and swift measures to mitigate the downside risks.”
“Correspondingly, we will focus on strengthening our risk and quality management, and reinforce our safety and compliance procedures and activities,” Mr Ide explained.
In his message to all employees: “If we don’t transform when the environment changes, this change around us will eventually become risks to us. On the contrary, changes can lead to opportunities if we are cognizant of the situation, share openly of our opinions and information and be innovative in thinking of new ways to create distinct products and services,” said Mr Ide.
“Let’s strive towards a ‘Resonate to Changes, Act Pre-empively’ organization. Everyone has the capacity to effect change by identifying the areas that need to be resolved within IHI, just like how we’d approach our own matters.”
Excerpt from IHI bulletin:
Q: What was the response from your family when they got to know of the new appointment?
A: They didn’t believe me as I tell jokes everyday.
Q: What is a motto that you live by?
A: 泰然自若 (Chinese Characters, pronounced as Tai-Zen-Zi-Jaku), which means to have the presence of mind and in control of situation. I am by nature an impatient person, so I recite this motto in my mind when I need to calm down. When I swing the golf club, I say ‘Tai – Zen – Zi – Jaku’ in my mind. Unfortunately, it seems to have less effect on the outcome of the swing!
Q: Can you share with us episodes of failure and the lessons you learned in your younger days?
A: I had my fair share of mistakes. Of course, I felt embarrassed especially when I was reprimanded by my boss. But my boss continued to give me the latitude to take on challenging tasks, and that enabled me to grow. So, I want to do the same when approaching junior staff’s mistakes – I do hope they will learn from these experiences.
Q: What were some of the memorable experiences during those years that you worked abroad?
A: When I was seconded to Malaysia, ex-head of Malaysia office said to me, “I am sorry but there is no big project in Malaysia now.” I was stunned. Unfazed by the circumstances, I visited clients in Malaysia peninsula and Singapore week after week, and finally I could get 3 big projects within four years. Those were my enthralling experiences. During the execution of these projects, we encountered numerous difficulties, and I seldom went home. Till today, I feel sorry for my family during that period.
Q: What is second to none to you?
A: Never give up once I decide to do. When I was in my twenties, there was a coal power plant project overseas where we could not get the ITB (Invitation to Bid). As I was anxious to bid for this project, I found out client’s plan to visit Japan, got hold of their hotel information and waited at the hotel lobby for two days. My persistence paid off as I finally met the client at the hotel, who eventually issued the ITB to IHI. Looking back now, it was foolhardy. I would not want anyone to go through that for goodness sake. However, the takeaway is the importance of implacability.
Q: What in your opinion are IHI’s strengths?
A: Two areas – technical capability and perceptiveness from actual location, actual services provided and actual circumstance.
Q: What are you doing in holidays?
A: Usually I read books or watch documentary movies. I tend to read books about international relations and international cultural exchanges. For documentary movies, ‘American Factory’ is the best in recent days. This movie documented the factory which was previously owned by GM, subsequently acquired by Chinese company and the development post acquisition. This movie draws the lessons by helping us to understand the possible conflicts due to cultural differences.
Q: What was your happiest moment recently?
A: When we welcomed a new family member. My eldest son got married two years ago in Autumn, and his wife has become part of our family.
Q: Describe yourself during your younger days.
A: I enjoyed the time spent with my friends. Fortunately, I was surrounded by many excellent friends.
Q: Are you using a pocket notebook?
A: Yes. I write my schedules in my pocket notebook separately from smartphone. I refer to my notebook for the tasks ahead.