Last week I had the pleasure to participate in an innovation workshop in South Africa with one of our global Telco customers and a global consulting partner. From our side we were able to bring in 5 different entities from Hitachi to make our one Hitachi story real - and it resonated very well with our customer. It was not only the know-how and the experience that made a great impression to our customers. It was the diversity of the cultures from many different countries and regions that underlined the capability from Hitachi to act and think globally.
For me personally it was a great experience to learn about the real challenges of the fast growing African society.
Just to give a small example: Telcos are offering their customers in some scenarios additional "airtime" to "pay" them. Airtime as a new currency! I never thought about that; think what this could mean in a next step for the transaction consumer business.
Suddenly I I understood why it is challenging to try to deliver innovation from one country/region to another when the basic needs (see below picture ) and requirements are different - Like in our discussions the key needs were around: Power, Water, Security.
So being with our customers and really understand what is relevant to them is key if you want to create innovative solutions. Innovation does not need to be super fancy per se it just needs to solve a problem or address a need. Maybe an "Evolution" sometimes is better than a "Revolution".
In any case I can say that Hitachi is well positioned to respond to the different challenges and work with our clients to deliver customized solutions to them. And I can confirm we do have the right culture within the company to make it a success.