47 Junichiro Ikeda, Mitsui OSK Lines
Under the leadership of Junichiro Ikeda, MOL was able to overcome the huge losses due to teething problems at its Ocean Network Express integrated containership business venture and was the first among the three Japanese lines to return to the black this year
Despite coming from a liner background, the chief executive has boldly led the group into the offshore business
WHILE the turmoil roiling the global economy in the past year has had detrimental effects on Mitsui OSK Lines, president and chief executive Junichiro Ikeda adroitly led the group into the third year of its 10-year rolling plan strategy, which he first adopted for the group in 2017.
And Mr Ikeda managed to achieve results that were close to forecasts.
Under his leadership, MOL was able to overcome the huge losses due to teething problems at its Ocean Network Express integrated containership business venture.
In doing so, MOL fell back on the steady accumulation of profits from medium- to long-term contracts in the dry bulk business, energy transport business, and other businesses, as well as benefiting from relatively steady market conditions.
Indeed, MOL was the first of the main Japanese lines to return to profit in 2019 after the initial hit of the ONE venture.
Mr Ikeda remains focused on the long-term vision of becoming a group of business units with the highest competitiveness in their respective areas in 10 years.
He plans to do this by gaining a thorough understanding of stakeholder needs and of fields in which the group has room for expansion, investing in areas where it has a competitive advantage.
“With this in mind, we have adopted three core strategies with the aim of realising this vision: concentrated investment of management resources in business fields where MOL has strengths, which will mainly be offshore businesses; provision of 'stress-free services' which MOL will offer from the customer's perspective; and promotion of environmental strategies and development of the emission-free business into a core business,” Mr Ikeda said.
Despite coming from a liner background, he has boldly led MOL into the offshore business, seeing it as a field where the group can leverage its strengths.
Mr Ikeda said the huge demand for energy — especially in emerging markets — is an area in which MOL can draw on the expertise and technologies that it has cultivated in the energy transport business.
Other areas in which it will pursue future growth include LNG carriers, where MOL expects to develop high-value-added projects, based on its track record in operating ice-breaking vessels and supervising shipbuilding in China; and chemical tankers, where it aims to realise comprehensive chemical logistics business.
“Since its establishment, MOL has anticipated the needs of its customers and future demand,” said Mr Ikeda.
“Going forward, we will continue to promote highly transparent management and rigorously carry out safe operations, leveraging the strengths of each division as we do so,” he added.