*Information accurate as of time of publication.
Building a Robust Company
Experience Planted Seeds of Business Opportunity
TransACT supplies temporary staff to corporate executives, and we are very unusual in supplying not only drivers, but also personal assistants. This is a major strength that our competitors do not offer. I started the business with the intention of leveraging all my experience.
My first job after graduation was as personal assistant to a member of the House of Representatives. The Diet member I worked for was a very influential person who had a packed schedule. Just keeping track of everything and managing appointments was an incredibly demanding job. This experience of accomplishing my work while constantly envisaging irregular circumstances was highly fulfilling, and has proven very useful in my present work.
After that I went to work for a company run by my grandfather, but I quit after finding it didn't suit me. While I was searching for what I really wanted to do, I suddenly realized I wasn't getting any younger.
However, there was no point in just worrying. I had to look for a job to earn a living, but I found that jobs were quite difficult to come by when my only experience was as personal assistant to a Diet member. Constantly worried about my future, I made ends meet by doing various part-time jobs.
Around that time, I started working part-time as a driver for corporate directors on the recommendation of a friend. This reminded me of how fulfilling it had been to work as a personal assistant. I began to realize that I might now be in a position to create a new service. Typically, professional drivers always have to think two or three steps ahead. I saw a business opportunity in further enhancing the quality of that exacting work. That's what spurred me to start my own business.
Role of a Leader in an Industry Where Only Bad Experiences Count
In our work, customers only take account of bad experiences and give no credit for good experiences. For example, it is taken for granted that a professional driver will arrive on time. The tension of keeping to schedules that won't tolerate the slightest delay helped me to grow. Since we work for top corporate executives, high levels of skill and thoughtfulness are required as a matter of course. You have to imagine what the customers are thinking and act on their behalf. I developed a sense for that when I was a personal assistant and an executive driver.
As leader of a company, I always try to care about my employees and appreciate the relationships I have built with them and with my customers. Especially since the work of a professional driver is lonely. Frequently they wait on standby for up to four hours, and I fully understand the sense of isolation at those times, because I have experienced it myself. That's why I am truly grateful to my employees and strive to always manage things so that they work in an environment where they can feel connected. I regard that as my duty as a leader.
Fearless of Innovation in a Limited Market
Our market is a limited one. It's not a business model where you can succeed simply by expanding the scale of the company. You need to seek the appropriate size for the market and the company, and not define value simply by the scale of the operation.
Never forgetting that the company exists because of its employees and not vice versa, my aim is to build a robust operation that can be resilient even with just a small number of employees. Driverless cars are likely to be widely used in the future, but I am confident that we provide added value. I have no fear of innovation in this age.
Hideki TachibanaPresidentTransACT Co.,Ltd.
- Mr. Hideki Tachibana was born in Osaka Prefecture. After graduating from the Dokkyo University Faculty of Economics, he played a front-line support role in the world of politics as personal assistant to a member of Japan's House of Representatives. He then joined a private-sector company, but, determined to follow a political path, returned to his former role as a personal assistant and set his sights on being elected to a ward assembly. However, his hopes were frustrated when he was not nominated as a candidate. After a difficult period of unemployment, he started his own business.