Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of Prema Inc.
This year, in 2010, Prema Inc. has it’s 10th year anniversary. Thanks to all of you we have gone from 0 to 220.000 customers in these 10 years. 10 years I ago I had almost nothing. I remember having only 800.000 yen (from selling my car), two kids, and the will to do something for someone else. Now we have more than 240 business partners, and I feel more and more everyday that our role of creating bonds is growing ever clearer.
I mentioned “creating bonds”, but I would like to look a bit closer at this subject. The other day we invited our business partners, and held our 10 year anniversary party. I wrote on the invitation that I would hold a speech about my future plans for Prema, but for 3 weeks before the event I was in great doubt about what I should say in front of these people who all had completely different backgrounds. What can I say to make more than 100 people who have gathered from all over the country to go home thinking that they are happy they came? To blow things up beforehand, and then in some way pull it off with my limited knowledge is the way I usually end up doing tings. This time was no different, and the night before I somehow got something together. When I think about it, I realize that that way of doing things is the only thing that hasn’t changed these 10 years, and that optimistic thought that as long as I work hard enough just before time runs out it will be fine, is one of my abilities.
Just as I was about to get on stage, I realized two things. First of all that the things we do exist as a single determination and that we in this way participate in the process of binding together an endless amount of common points. And also that it seems that all the progress we make is intricately intertwined by the progress that our customers and all those related to them make.
What is between us:
If you look at things from a micro perspective there are cells inside us, which are again composed of atoms. In an atom there are electrons spinning around a nucleus, and in between them there is open space. On the other hand, if you look at it from a macro perspective the planets of the solar systems orbit around the sun in the center, and in between all these bodies there is also open space. The Milky Way is again a galaxy containing solar systems, but most of this vastness is compromised of open space. So what does really create this connection between atoms and electrons, suns and planets, and all stars of the universe? If you answer “Positive/negative charges”, “simple gravity”, it only gets you so far. I have a feeling that if you starting pondering why these two elements hold this specific relationship that you will end up at something close to some meant to be “bond”.
The true meaning of progress and growth
The Buddha said that “bonds are not something you create yourself, it is something you receive”. From my personal experience through these 10 years I have strongly felt the reality of not being ably to simply create bonds. If you say that it’s something you’ve done all by yourself you are arrogant. How should this “I” who can receive these bonds try to be? It seems like it is impossible to separate this answer from the process of progress and growth. Parents watch over and encourage the progress and growth of their children. Children observe the progress and growth of their parents through various means. In this way children and parents alike learn from help each other grow. Society develops in the same way. On a small time scale it might seem like it is getting worse, but on a bigger scale you can say that it is progressing. Even Europe who is taking the lead on human rights issues was the battlefield of vast and bloody conflicts up until only half a century ago. People develop a mutual understanding that war should be avoided as much as possible through these bitter experiences. All the professionals who have brought on great developments in world of products are surely found among our business partners too. And the customers who actively look for and buy these products also grow. I discovered that the “I” and “We” are all complemented by each other as we progress together in a wonderful relationship.
Where is the border in our relationships?
This might seem extremely complicated, and I guess you might be slightly confused now. But the reality is that this is indeed very simple. What looks difficult is where the border between “I”, “We”, “You”, “They” etc. is drawn. But the conclusion to this story is that I believe that there is no border between these. Where can you draw the line between us who are tied together by bonds, and progress and grow influenced by each other? Where are the borders between me, the customers, the staff and our business partners? Me and that person, you and that other person, we are all equally growing sharing important bonds. I think we met and obtained this precious relationship through these bonds, the common growth, and an endless amount of connections. I know that there are no companies in the financial world that talk about the meaning of enterprise in these words. But after continuing to search for the essentials all through this economical recession I realized that these borders don’t exist. Only my wish to be able to help somebody out there tied the elements together through the empty space that was once between us. And the reality that we are loved by our customers, trusted by our partners, and that we all grow and progress together encourages me and fills me with a strong gratitude. For me, to be able give something back to the ones that have blessed me with their presence has made me grow tremendously. I wish to always remain loyal in front of the reality that my happiness comes from the progress I see in everybody, and that there are no boundaries between us. And I wish to support the progress towards that space where all our destinies intertwine.
Prema Inc. CEO Nobuo Nakagawa