Japan General Manager - Business Development Director - Kim Christian Botho Pedersen

Achievement - Japanese export of furniture to Europe


In 2005, I had to return to Denmark as consequense of being devorced from my Japanese wife, which resulted in I lost my working permit and VISA to Japan. Fortunately, I was introduced to JETROs office in Denmark, where they have been running a project trying to establish export of Japanese furniture to Denmark / Europe for two years. They needed a local coordinator with knowledge of furniture as well as the Danish culture and business and marketing, why I was the perfect candidate for the job.
When I was introduced to the projects achievements so far at the time, I was really surpriced, as there were no results other than all parties involved were starting to be annoyed of the whole project. So I used a couple of months to achieve the trust of the Japanese side, and then suggested to close the whole project. The reason was that the whole projects goal could be reached with one or two weeks intense sales promotion rather than a three years project with meaningless receptions, meetings and exhibitions.
The chief of JETRO understood my points very well, so the project was closed down in a Japanese manner, which by the way meant that I lost my income from JETRO. But it was important for me, that I did not support and pushed a project that would waste Japanese taxpayers money for absolutely no results and earnings in return.
So the project was closed down and I used one week only, to visit Danish importers, furniture stores etc. to find out whether any of the Japanese furniture were of interest to the Danish market. The result was extremely limited, as the Japanese westernized furniture (generally speaking) doesnt appeal to the broad Danish customers. Only one company and one designer turned out to be of interest to Danish companies. The company was Karimoku Mokko, one of Japans absolutely largest furniture manufacturer. Their top design series "Finezza" showed to be interesting for a Danish importer. THey concluded a contract immediately.

I went on working with those two projects.

The actual achievements:


How was it possible?

If you want to know the rest of the story, you will have to hire me :-) Much of the rest of the story is confidential and I cannot reveal it publickly.