Interviews with pioneers@Tokyo CASE 02

CASE 02 "Our target is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

PRG K.K. President
Mr. Tsuneo Imai

PRG has expanded into the Tokyo market, after drafting its clear, concrete business plan geared toward Tokyo's "now and future". Its target: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As a member of PRG Global and a world-class event business group that has been involved with London, Sochi, and other previous Olympics, PRG cannot miss out on this business opportunity.

「"Our target is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."」

PRG has its corporate headquarters in the U.S., in New York. The firm has handled everything from Broadway stage productions to Super Bowl halftime shows; from lighting and stage construction for the London and Sochi opening & closing ceremonies to world concerts for such noted artists as U2 and Madonna.

Even in Japan, PRG has been involved in a wide range of live events, including concerts from Hiromi Gō and famous J-Pop artists, stage performances such as "The Blue Man Group in Tokyo" and "Le Noir," and the light-up event of the Tokyo Tower in 2012. The firm boasts a team of production experts with experience in numerous popular large-scale stage shows.

However, PRG's expansion into the Tokyo market is not geared only to the Olympic market. The firm's CEO, Tsuneo Imai, has set its goals beyond that. Leveraging the strengths of PRG, which also manufactures stage equipment for lighting and other uses, Mr. Imai hopes to establish a research & development center in Tokyo's Special Zone for Asian Headquarters.

A number of world-class event service firms have gathered in Tokyo, and PRG plans to foster business-to-business cooperation while developing effective live event production methods and event operations that are originated in Tokyo. It plans to bring the live events from Tokyo to the world, and from the world to Tokyo ― making use of Japanese attention to fine detail and the highly reliable Japanese punctuality. Tokyo's Special Zone for Asian Headquarters is equipped to facilitate that goal.

The zone's central Tokyo location makes it close to a number of event sites, and the fact that bullet train stations (Tokyo, Shinagawa) and domestic air route hub Haneda Airport are nearby, is also an advantage for access to shows outside of the Capital. Furthermore, the recent trend toward shifting air routes connecting Japan with other cities in Asia to Haneda will serve as a tailwind for the realization of PRG's Asia R&D headquarters.

PRG is creating a development center in Tokyo for its show technology services. The company is also hoping that the development of a sort of business park in the Special Zone might be favorable for its local partners, who work in an industry where collaboration between firms is indispensable. By linking Japanese promoters and partners who own Japanese cultural content that is already popular overseas with the PRG global network, PRG hopes not only to achieve a synergistic effect with these firms and hone PRG's own skills, but also to provide increased access to global markets, including Asia. The support offered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government played a big part in proposing this ambitious plan to the U.S. head office.

PRG was able to obtain the investment capital needed to establish an R&D center through operational cost reductions facilitated by the extensive support of free consulting that has been extremely effective for their smaller-scale enterprise, where sufficient preparation via internal talent would be difficult.

Once a company has a firm grasp of its roadmap for business development in Asia and the issues it needs to resolve, by taking advantage of government's support program, "you can achieve your desired results in a short time," Mr. Imai now says confidently. From Tokyo to Asia, and then to the world: the roadmap before PRG is clear.

(Tami Kawasaki)

Interviews with pioneers@Tokyo

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