17 Aug 2020 19:44 IST

‘Nihonophile’ Goyal says Japanese perfection is a great influencer

At a virtual lecture to IIMB students, he spoke of the Japanese way of life and thinking

Sandeep Goyal, well-known author and ad-man, in his keynote address on ‘Sekai ga Odoroku Nippon! The Japan That Surprises the World,’ said: “The people of Japan are unique with their sense of authenticity, perfection and personal morality,” in a virtual seminar organised by the India-Japan Study Centre (IJSC) at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, as part of IJSC’s seminar series ‘Tatsujin – Speak,’ says a press release from the B-school.




‘Tatsujin – Speak’ or ‘Expert-Speak’ aims to bring high-quality information and insights about select areas of India-Japan interactions to the informed and interested members of the public. This, the centre hopes, will lead to sharing of the key indications and developments in the fields of management, technology and culture.

After a brief introduction by the IJSC’s Chief Operating Officer, Saideep Rathnam, Goyal expressed his appreciation for IIMB’s initiative in setting up the India-Japan Study Centre to further strengthen India-Japan relations.

Sense of pride

In an engaging hour-long session, he shared numerous stories about how the Japanese way of life and thinking showcase its people’s profound sense of pride in their work. “Their quest for perfection and their morality continues to influence my own personal and professional life,” he added.

Goyal observed that, over the years, the ingenuity in Japanese innovations and technology had enhanced its citizens’ lives in significant ways. He cited some interesting examples such as wearable air conditioners, which reduce a person’s body temperature from 36 degrees to 23 degrees within minutes, and multi-purpose seat-cum-emergency toilets in Japanese elevators equipped with toilet rolls and deodorants. He also referred to the detailing that had gone into designing manholes or maintaining drainage systems, which, he reported,were so clean that fish thrived in these drains.“In Japan, beauty can be seen in different places. And the beauty of Japan is supplemented by Japanese people,” he said.

Sense of discipline

Drawing attention to the sense of discipline ingrained in the Japanese psyche, Goyal talked about how every child is taught and made to keep school premises clean. “This sense of discipline, along with a deep respect for their fellow beings, practised through different social habits including ojigi (greeting by bowing) helped them cope with the Covid-19 pandemic without a nationwide lockdown, which is in contrast with other countries,” he observed.

Goyal’s talk concluded with a Q&A session with industry leaders, faculty, and students from engineering and business schools from India and Japan.

Goyal is a self-confessed Nihonophile, who first visited Japan in 1994 and fell in love with the country and its people. Goyal was the India (and Middle East) joint-venture partner of Dentsu Inc., a former Group CEO of Zee Telefilms and is the current Chairman of the India Advisory Board of Snapchat. Goyal is an MBA and a PhD from FMS-Delhi, besides being an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s prestigious OPM program. He has published six books; two of which are well acclaimed books on Japan: ’Konjo – The Fighting Spirit’ and ’Japan Made Easy’.

India-Japan study centre

The India Japan Study Centre (IJSC) was set up as a Centre of Excellence at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore to serve as a facilitator for many collaborative initiatives among academia, industry, and the government agencies between India and Japan on various areas of mutual interest.