Member Focus - Niall Keegan
1. Could you give us an overview of your company?
KeyCom Associates provides Business Development services to clients wishing to develop new or expand existing business in Japan. We do this by understanding the challenges the client faces growing their business in the market and then develop solutions with them to overcome these challenges. We work as an extension of our client’s organization as the local team “on the ground”.
2. What is your connection to Ireland?
I was born & raised in Ireland.I moved to Japan in 1987 as a participant in the Government sponsored “FAS” program aimed at building bridges between Ireland and Japanese enterprises.
3. How did your company first become involved in the IJCC?
It was suggested to me by Enterprise Ireland some years ago as a good forum to meet Irish people and companies operating in Japan.
4. What changes have you noticed in Ireland Japan relations over recent times?
When I came to Japan, Ireland was very unknown for most people here.As Ireland became established over the years as a key location for many multinational companies (MNCs) the country became much more recognized in Japan. Initially it was seen as a European production location but then as a source of technology and innovation.
In recent years I have noticed an increase in the number of Irish companies who grew up servicing MNCs in Ireland and who are now looking to develop new business in Japan.Typically, they will have started with one or two projects with an MNC, then move to similar projects with the same MNC in other locations such as the UK/Europe, the US, the middle East, Singapore etc.
Most recently Japan appears to be a new target location for many of these companies.This is an encouraging trend and should result in many more Irish companies looking to Japan as a place to do business.
5. What areas of growth do you see for your company (or sector) in the next 12 to 24 months?
Ironically business in 2020 was quite good for us despite the Covid-19 pandemic as companies realized they could not physically travel to Japan and they needed alternative “eyes and ears” in the market.
In 2021 with the Covid-19 vaccine for sure some travel will return but we believe the pandemic has changed the way people do business and we will see a continued demand for an in-market presence in Japan that can be efficient and easy to establish.
In terms of products and technologies we work with companies who have a focus in areas such as Wireless Communications (5G/4G), Med-tech and Renewable Energy.Fortunately, these are all growth areas where Japan is keen to adopt and deploy new products and services.