On May 24th, a seminar “Success Stories of the Automotive Industry and e-Mobility from Germany/NRW & Japan” was organized by NRW.INVEST and NRW Japan K.K. in Yokohama. The first presentation after the greeting and introduction was by Dr. Fabian Schmidt, CTO of Street Scooter – one of the most famous automotive start-ups in Germany.
Following presentations had been given by Japanese companies in Germany, describing their business and the advantages of having a branch in Germany and in particular North Rhine – Westphalia (NRW). Interestingly, in the closing Q&A session with all presenters, one more important topic was raised: cultural differences and how to overcome them. As a matter of fact, work style, business custom and workplace relationships in general are different in both countries. For example, Japanese consider the workplace as part of the “home” and have a much more intensive relationship with their colleagues, whereas Germans like to separate quite decisively between work and private life. Other remarkable differences appear in working hours and vacation days.
At the end, the presenters agreed that cultural gaps have to be recognized, accepted and balanced in order to achieve a successful business in Germany (and vice versa). San-Ten Consulting is specialized in establishing cross-border business and will always guide and advice companies in business strategy and co-operation projects to master these difficulties.