DISCO ICON SETS OUT TO CONQUER NURSING CARE:
Former Club Producer Ventures into New Territory
June 30, 2000
After turning down a commission upon graduation from the National Defense Academy of Japan, Masahiro Origuchi, 38, joined a trading company, where he produced a disco club, Juliana's Tokyo, which became an immense success. He later left the company to launch Velfarre, another club that became wildly popular, earning him the title "emperor of discos." Afterward, Origuchi founded a temporary employment agency and, most recently, has ventured into the home nursing care business, looking to become a leader in businesses targeting Japan's rapidly growing elderly population.
Unique Formula for Success
Lately, Origuchi has been concentrating his efforts on Goodwill Group, Inc., a human services company of which he is president. With the start of Long-Term Care Insurance in April 2000, Goodwill, through its subsidiary company Comsn Co., has launched a full-scale initiative into the home health care services business. Investors seem to approve. Goodwill Group's market value has appreciated considerably since its stock was offered on the over-the-counter market in July 1999.
After the bubble's collapse, Origuchi left the trading company and started Velfarre. Though labeled a trend setter for the youth market, he founded Goodwill in 1995 and ventured into a whole new range of businesses, including temporary employment services, outsourcing, and health care. Known for having a keen nose for new trends, Origuchi created a stir when he announced plans in 1999 to enter the nursing care business, leaving people to wonder, "Will the emperor of discos become the god of heath care?"
New Opportunities in an Aging Society
Origuchi believes that having helpers assigned to families' homes opens the way to offering a whole host of related products and services, such as delivery of health care products, home remodeling, and making travel arrangements for people in need of nursing care.
The biggest obstacle facing Origuchi's venture is the need to rapidly increase the number of workers for his service bases and customers' homes. Origuchi has responded with a large-scale recruitment campaign through newspaper and other advertising, but he must still contend with the all-important issue of how to maintain and improve the quality of this growing labor force.
Though Japan is the second country following Germany to introduce a public system of nursing care insurance, there are still a variety of problems surrounding its implementation. The nursing care industry may not be immune from the effects of these difficult problems. On the plus side, however, nursing care could be an industry ripe for the picking for young entrepreneurs bubbling with new ideas.
Copyright (c) 2000 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.