The Basic Business Philosophy of the Panasonic Group

5. The Basic Business Philosophy of the Panasonic Group

The Panasonic Group's Basic Business Philosophy is defined as the practice of, and mindset associated with, the Basic Management Objective, Company Creed, and Seven Principles. Arataro Takahashi, former Chairman of Matsushita Electric, who supported the founder during the pre- and post-war reconstruction and expansion periods, had the following to say about the practice of the Basic Business Philosophy.

Amid stiff competition, we must be unrivalled in our work. If our work delivers products which consumers are delighted to use, then we are sure to see rewards. If, however, we fail to reap these rewards, it will be proof that our work is not up to that standard. Therefore, we must analyze and solve any issues that arise.

Our goal is not to chase profits or expand our company, but to be unrivalled in our work, so that consumers choose us even after careful consideration. If we continue to create products that enrich people's lives and improve lifestyles, we are certain to be rewarded.

If we are not valued by our customers, something is fundamentally wrong. If we understand that, we can carry out any reforms that are required. If we make excuses and blame others, such as insisting that business conditions are bad or the market is in confusion because competitors are dumping, our management will lose its bearings.

As these words indicate, to aim for the ideal society and contribute to society's development, we must be unrivalled in quality, cost, and service so that customers choose us. Therefore, we must tirelessly innovate and improve to achieve that outcome.

If the products do not sell well, we are not contributing to the development of society through our products, and we cannot say we are fulfilling our duty as an enterprise. In such a case, it is not acceptable to simply lower the selling price to sell the product. It is important first to work so as to rationalize costs, improve quality and performance, and provide unparalleled service.

In other words, as long as we proceed in accordance with the Basic Business Philosophy, we cannot fail to address problems like high costs and poor quality and performance, and we must endeavor to rationalize and improve the situation.

Of course, it is not easy to reduce costs or improve quality and performance, but where there is determination to follow and practice the Basic Business Philosophy thoroughly, surely innovation will follow, and we will be able to continue tirelessly making proper efforts to achieve progress.

We must also recognize that, regardless of how our business expands and our organization grows, our business has the same origin and essence as a privately owned store: no business can exist without customers.

In 1935, when Matsushita Electric was transitioning to a joint-stock company organization, the founder established the Basic Internal Rules, which said in part:

No matter how large Matsushita Electric might become in the future, maintain the attitude of being a humble merchant. Think of yourself to be employed in a small shop. Be simple, frugal and humble as you carry out your work.

The founder further stated the following three fundamental requirements for being a merchant.

  • Understanding the meaning of commerce
  • Reading others' hearts
  • Being fully humble before others

Each of us must understand fully why our business exists, be second to none in our sensitivity to what customers are thinking, and always remember to be humble and grateful.