Director of Finance- LEO Pharma, Morten Jakobsen, Success Stories

Posted almost 2 years ago by David Sweet


Strategies to boost growth 



By FocusCore Group with

 Morten Kjaergaard Jakobsen, LEO Pharma Japan, 

Director of Finance, Product Supply & Quality / レオ ファーマ株式会社 経理部長 モーテン K.ヤコブセン 


Q1. What are your priority strategies to maximise growth when your company is in expansion mode? 


There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy that an organisation can apply when in expansion mode or in any other mode. The choice of strategy depends on many different parameters; type of industry, products, market landscape, competitor strategies, general economic situation and outlook. There is also company ownership structure, access to funding and the general risk appetite of company management, to name a few. 


However, there are obviously some fundamentals necessary to have in place when designing any growth strategy. A company must always have a strong and constant awareness of its core competencies and weak spots. It must understand the needs of its customers and how those needs develop over time. This will paint a picture of how the future could appear and if the company has the capabilities to be a key player in potential future scenarios – or what is needed to develop them. Needless to say, having the right people in your organisation will always be the foundation of success.



Q 1. 企業の事業拡張期に、成長を最大限に導くために優先すべき戦略は何ですか?




しかし、 いかなる成長戦略を意図する場合にも不可欠な基本事項があります。まず中核となる自社の適格性、能力と弱点について常に強く認識している必要があります。顧客のニーズとそのニーズが今後どのように展開していくかを理解することも重要です。これは将来展望、企業が将来的に考えられる状況下で重要な役割を担うことができるか、あるいはどのようにそれを発展させていくことができるかを示してくれます。言うまでもなく適格な人材を確保することが成功の基盤となります。


Q 2. What strategies for cash control during this time? 


First of all you need to define your risk appetite, which includes a risk management strategy. Where are the damaging risks and how can you mitigate them? You must be clear about how much cash you would need in a worst case scenario, in order to turn your business around without falling into the mercy of the banks.


Secondly, sustainable growth can only be built on creditworthy clients, meaning your credit policy becomes crucial. You need to have a tight control and framework in place for the DSO. Furthermore, your spending plan must be fully linked to your strategy. (Days Sales Outstanding – DSO. A measure of the average number of days that a company takes to collect revenue after a sale has been made). 



Q 2. キャッシュコントロールについてどのような戦略があげられますか?




次に、持続的な成長は信頼のおける顧客あってこそ、つまり自社のクレジットポリシー(クレジット取扱いにおける基本方針)が極めて重要であるということです。DSO (Days Sales Outstanding)の厳格なコントロールと構成が不可欠です。さらに支出計画もキャッシュフロー戦略と完全に連結していなければなりません。 (Days Sales Outstanding: 売掛債務回転日数 – 商品やサービスを掛売りして現金を回収するまでの平均日数の算定)


Q 3. In Japan what policies are used to sustain profitability? 


Unfortunately cost cutting is often seen in Japan, as many companies are struggling to generate sustainable revenue growth. Everyone knows growth does not come from cost cutting measures, although it may be necessary if there is a real need to trim the cost base.


This could be as a consequence of changing market conditions or poor strategy. However, a long term perspective on your strategy is much more efficient in driving profitability. You constantly need to search for ways to innovate and expand your business, if you want to survive and hopefully win the race. 



Q 3. 日本では、収益維持のためにどのような方針を立てていますか?






Q 4. How do you see Japan in comparison to the rest of Asia? 


I have worked in Korea, Singapore and Japan, including numerous business trips to most countries in Asia. This together with my Danish background has provided me with a good deal of experience and insights into different cultures.


Japan is definitely unique compared to most other countries. One of the areas where I see the biggest difference is the attention to detail. I also see Japan as a relatively closed society with less business exposure to the rest of the world compared to, for example, China. Japan has so much to offer and there is so much innovation going on here, which deserves to be shared with more people. This would be a win-win situation for Japan and its counterparties. 



Q 4. 他のアジアの国と比べて日本をどのように評価しますか?






Q5. In what way can consultants and recruiters really help prior to and during corporate expansion mode? 


As I mentioned earlier, people are the foundation of success. In order for recruiters to add value they need to understand the culture and business of the hiring organisation, as well as short and long term needs.


Basically, they need to understand the strategy of a company. Without this understanding it will be challenging to find suitable candidates and you are likely to end up in a slow and inefficient hiring process. Ultimately this could lead to frustrations for both the candidate and the organisation, resulting in low performance. 



Q 5. 企業の拡張期、または成長に先立ち、コンサルタントやリクルーターにどのようなサポートを期待しますか? 





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