Tokyo, November 11, 2013, Ricoh Company, Ltd. has begun a new educational program sending its employees to developing countries, which will serve as part of its training program for nurturing global human resources. The first five members of the program began a five-week, residential program on November 9 in a rural village in the state of Bihar in northeastern India.
In line with its global management policy, Ricoh places emphasis on cultivating and leveraging global human resources, and runs a variety of initiatives that include programs to train top executive candidates for domestic and overseas affiliate companies of the Ricoh Group, and programs to utilize human resources beyond national and organizational frameworks. This latest program serves as part of this drive to develop global human resources, and aims to identify and cultivate Japanese employees capable of adapting to diversity in developing countries that differ greatly from the mother country , as well as resolving difficulties on their own. The program is run in partnership with Drishtee*, with which Ricoh is already collaborating in the base of the pyramid (BOP)project it also runs in India.
*Drishtee: A social enterprise in India dedicated to bringing economic development in rural areas.
Ten members, chosen from among in-house applicants will stay in the Indian state of Bihar for five weeks, five at a time. The second group is due to start next January 18. For the first week, Drishtee will offer essential information and guidance necessary for running the program. From there on, the group will acquire information from the local community, hold discussions with related parties, and use the in-house network to start the main operation of offering solutions that solve issues in the local community in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, and retail businesses. The community has social issues that would be unthinkable in urban areas, and limited products, services and technology commonly used in developed countries. Program members must enter a local community where their own Japanese values do not always translate, attentively listen to people’s true needs, and offer improvement plans and solutions that are achievable and sustainable, from a local perspective. The program aims at developing employees who will acquire problem-solving skills in different cultures, and serve the community. R-Bond stands for Ricoh – Borderless OYAKUDACHI Network Drive, which means the company will run a borderless network based on the traditional Japanese notion of “oyakudachi” (“A passion to serve”). The program also expects members, upon returning, to demonstrate their thinking and mindset developed during the experience and to positively affect those around them at their own organizations. Ricoh also anticipates that members will actually be stationed in emerging economies and demonstrate their skills in running our business there.
The issue-solving plans proposed by members will be taken over by Drishtee to be conducted locally. Aside from this program, Ricoh already runs a BOP project with Drishtee in rural villages in India, and will be seeking collaboration between the two programs. Ricoh will continue to operate this program.
We plan to expand this new program to the entire Ricoh Group, including our overseas affiliates, and run it for training global human resources in the broadest sense, allowing Ricoh Group employees of different nationalities to get together to offer their services and experience the true meaning of customer-centric focus, not only in rural villages in India, but also in Latin America and Africa.