QCIC’s President talks business
by Ulara Nakagawa
Raymond Gasu has an idiom he will never forget. During his college days, there was a certain inspiring director who always reminded his students; “Don’t do things wrong when you think there’s no one watching. Do the right thing… even if there is no one there.”
Mr. Gasu has carried this philosophy with him since then, harnessing it to his own life and career. Now, as President and Representative Director of QCIC Consulting, he applies it to his own business; “Often consultants are accused of just living in their own world and imposing their own stuff on the customer, but we want to say that we work with the client. We establish a relationship and will seek to protect our customers, helping them to achieve their goals. But at the same time we are not the gods, and we are not the final authority so we submit to the rules and regulations both in Japan, and the outside world in doing our job. You can bring it down to one word which would be ‘transparency’ if you like.”
Hence the company name, QCIC Consultants. QCIC is an abbreviation of the Latin philosophical phrase Quis CustodietIpsos Custondes? which in English literally means Who watches the watchmen?’ Mr. Gasu goes on to explain that he and his team like to think of themselves as the watchmen, protecting the business of their clients, while ensuring that their own operations are in full compliance with domestic and international rules and regulations.
QCIC Consultants is a business solutions based consulting firm located in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. They are a one-stop service point that aims to help foreign companies integrate and manage their operations smoothly in Japan. The primary mission is to help these companies take care of their various secondary or surrounding matters so they can concentrate their energies and manpower on their core competencies, and optimize their return on investment.
The company offers clients both Business Advisory and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services. The first includes consulting which covers various aspects of a business organization and processes specific to Japan, including analysis, development, management and system processes. These services include business review, internal audit and assurance, outsourcing decision analysis, industry research, trends analysis, and more. BPO includes a broad range of business process operations including areas of accounting, financial management and taxes, HR administration including payroll, and back office administration such as inventory management.
QCIC applies three key assets to create cost-effective and suitable business solutions for each client. These are insight, knowledge, and expertise. Insight has been gained from Mr. Gasu and his colleagues’ years of experience in Japan. Knowledge refers to the specific, local knowledge they bring to the table. Expertise is garnered from a team of various local experts including CPAs, EAs, Licensed Tax Accountants, and FSA/ FFAJ Certified Compliance Auditors.
Mr. Gasu believes that the advantages of QCIC include comprehensive industry coverage, a network of Japanese specialists, and bi-lingual staff. He is also quick to point out that it is their personal touch that makes them different from the larger consulting companies in Tokyo; “If you are a small or a medium scale company coming on your own, from the US, let us say Ohio or somewhere else in the world, you probably don’t know where to start while in Japan. You know the big four companies are here (KPMG, PWC, EY and Deloitte) and you know they can do all you want to do. But, to get that meeting could take you weeks and they want to charge you a large sum to tell you what you should do. We can meet you. If you say you are coming tomorrow, we can come to Narita if you want. It’s just a matter of a phone call. We attach importance to any business, new or old, and we make sure we are there when you need us. Personal means that if you need to see any of the directors, you can get access.”
And certainly, Mr. Gasu himself does seem to be someone who can live up to such promises of a personal touch. As our conversation strays to other topics, he patiently explains to me—in layman’s terms—the intricacies of the large financial scandals that have rocked the business world over the past decade. He also explains the need to keep up-to-date in his line of work, in a highly relatable metaphor; “when you play video games, if you are static you get whacked down. You must keep moving to avoid getting overtaken or knocked down! Video games teach kids never to be stationary and in business you can say that (as well!). So the concept is; keep going, keep doing something that is new and which adds value.” This is the concept behind the company’s logo which shows huge wave in motion.
Mr. Gasu keeps his own knowledge up-to-date by attending relevant meetings and functions, including some recent ones at the American Chamber of Commerce. He has years of experience in BPO with a focus on finance and administration and has led a number of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance projects. Mr. Gasu has an MBA, Masters in Policy Analysis, and is a Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) of the UK.
Further information can be found at the QCIC website at www.qcic.jp or by contacting them at 03-3505-5565.