Rebuilding Japan after the second world war called for the solidarity of various industries. Cable supplier Senshu Electric, among other new-age pioneers, led the charge towards the reconstruction of the country's power infrastructure - which, in turn, revitalised households, business centres and factories to become among the world's most technologically advanced.
From trading mainly power cables, Senshu has expanded to serving nearly all industries, from electricals and automotives to information and communication technologies. It works closely with about 250 of Japan's 400 cable manufacturers and supplies more than 3,500 clients globally.
"Senshu has grown in parallel - and in collaboration - with many industries including the distinguished Japanese automotive sector," says managing director Motohide Nishimura, whose father established the company in 1949.
"We are committed to continuing this legacy, with a philosophy anchored in just-in-time strategy and value-added original products."
About 20 per cent of the business is based on original products, including Senshu's robot cables developed since the early 1980s in partnership with manufacturers, which needed sturdier, more flexible cables for their state-of-the-art industrial robots and automated machines. Senshu is also dedicated to assembly work and innovation based on clients' specifications.
"Demonstrating Senshu's ingenuity, our robot cables have been diversified to make more than 10,000 products," Nishimura says.
"Their applications are still growing, and we look forward to developing even more to satisfy evolving client requirements."
The robot cables are projected to gain broader use overseas, particularly in China, where rising labour costs are driving manufacturers to invest more heavily in automation. Senshu is looking to expand its presence in the region in addition to its factory in Suzhou and offices in Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen.
Senshu is also eyeing a wider market in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, where it initially ventured in 1998 to support clients that have set up factories in the area. Reinforcing its commitment to its growing customers in Asia, it has launched comprehensive online product catalogues in Japanese, Chinese and English.
In response to the growing demand for alternative energy sources, Senshu is also developing specialised eco-friendly products such as cables optimised for charging and transmitting solar power.
"The next frontier is offering products beyond cables and boosting overseas sales from 5 per cent to 30 per cent of total revenues by 2020," Nishimura says. "We owe it to our shareholders, clients and employees to continue pursuing excellence and a bigger presence - by building additional offices, forging deeper relationships and adding more value through greater innovations."