I promise that this program
could change your mind and future.
Daisuke Maeda, 2008-2009 Corporate Affiliates fellow, embraced the opportunity of being at Stanford University in order to actively engage with students, scholars, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Connecting in person in an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship informed Maeda's thinking about his work with the Sumitomo Corporation, both retrospectively and for the future.
Established in 1919 but with business roots extending back into
the 17th century, Sumitomo Corporation is a Tokyo-based general trading company
with approximately 200 offices and 800 subsidiaries worldwide, including such
major global cities as Beijing, London, Madrid, Istanbul, Casablanca, Sao Paulo, and New
York City. Sumitomo is divided into seven business units based on its wide
diversification: metal products;
and construction systems; infrastructure; media, network, and lifestyle; mineral resources,
energy, chemical, and electronics; general product and real estate; and financial and
logistics. Some of its subsidiary companies include Discovery Japan, Inc.;
Barneys Japan; and Pacific Summit Energy, LLC. The corporation's mission statement
expresses a strong focus on social responsibility.
Before coming to Stanford, Maeda had the responsibility for overseeing the marketing strategy of one of Sumitomo's e-commerce companies and while at Stanford he then conducted research about the "long tail" statistical theory which emphasizes the strength of a vendor, such as Amazon, selling a wide array of specialty goods. Maeda looked at arguments for and against this theory and spoke with Stanford students and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs on this subject. In addition to his research, Maeda met with local startup companies and offered advice on marketing their products in Japan.
Maeda is now a director in the mobile and internet department of Sumitomo's media, network, and lifestyle business unit, which is home to Japan's largest cable television provider, the biggest home shopping television channel, and a major households goods e-commerce website. His current work involves developing a Japan-focused online marketing strategy for Sumitomo's healthcare business offerings.
Maeda urges current fellows to seize the opportunity of being at Stanford, saying, "Don't hesitate. Time is limited." He explains that he actively sought out opportunities to enrich his own knowledge and potential, including meeting and talking with people. "I promise that this program could change your mind and future," he concludes.