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Part 16: Business Creation Trading Company GSI Creos Brazil

The entrance to a clinic in Brazil where the company is involved

In the 16th installment of this series, we spoke with Issei Kawamura, director of GSI Creos Brazil.

Currently, the majority of the company's business is the sale of medical and chemical products. In particular, through a long-standing partnership with Toray Medical Co., Ltd., the company sells high-performance hemodialysis equipment and related materials imported from Japan throughout South America, and is also committed to investing in and providing technical support to clinics that provide hemodialysis treatment using these equipment.

A clinic in Brazil where the company is involved

A "business creation trading company" centered on textiles and industrial products

GSI Creos Brazil was established in 1973 as the Brazilian representative office of Gunze Sangyo Co., Ltd., with a silk production factory that started out exporting raw silk and twisted silk yarn produced in Brazil to Japan, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Since changing into a trading company in 1988, it has expanded its business globally as one of 23 overseas bases of GSI Creos, making use of its network as a "business creation trading company" focusing on textiles and industrial products.

After changing into a trading company, one of the businesses was the import of crab sticks, which were part of the Japanese food boom, but in 2000, an affiliated company, MGS Food Industries, was established and local production began. After that, a former employee of the company became independent and continued the business.

GSI Creos originated in 1931 when Hayashi Daisaku Shoten was founded and began exporting raw silk and twisted silk yarn to the United States. In 1942, it was renamed Gunze Sangyo, and after a local subsidiary was established in New York in the 1950s, it began handling women's socks and textile-related dyes and auxiliary agents, laying the foundation for today's industrial products business.

It was later renamed Gunze Sangyo in 1971 and GSI Creos in 2001. The company name is an acronym of "Global Sophisticated Intelligence," with "Creos" being a combination of the three words "Create," "Reorient," and "Eos," representing the idea that, just as the goddess of dawn carries the light of dawn, global, sophisticated, professional talent will create new products and businesses and turn dreams into reality.

Responding to the needs of each era, the company exports high-quality products made in Japan to China and other parts of Asia, as well as Europe and the United States, and currently overseas sales account for 63.5% of its sales.

Promoting ESG management in the health sector in South America

Toward the realization of a "sustainable society," GSI Creos Brazil is promoting ESG management, particularly in the health field. The need for dialysis treatment has long been growing in South America, including Brazil. In response to this, the company has been selling the highest quality dialysis machines, as well as peripheral equipment and consumables, throughout South America since 2015, and is also involved in the management of artificial dialysis clinics in São Paulo and Santos, Brazil.

At a clinic in Brazil that the company is involved in, patients can undergo dialysis while enjoying beautiful ocean views.

The company also supplies dialysis equipment to the Japanese Hospital Santa Cruz, which provides more patients with access to cutting-edge, advanced treatment, and is working toward achieving the SDGs of "ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages."

During the pandemic, the company also focused on providing cloth masks made from fabric treated with anti-viral technology from Swiss company Livingard, as well as other hygiene consumables and medical and health supplies, such as masks that utilize the production know-how and supply chain it has cultivated in the textile business.

In front of the Santa Cruz Japanese Hospital when the company's agents from South American countries visited Brazil

Flexibility is Brazil's strength

Kawamura Issei, Director

"We have fewer employees in Brazil than we do in Japan or other countries, but we have the flexibility to sell any product to the industry," says Kawamura, explaining the company's strengths. Due to the size of the trading company and the position of the business it is engaged in, the company name is not yet in the spotlight in Brazil, but in order to develop its business in the future, it is necessary for the company's brand to be more widely recognized through tie-up events with other companies.

In recent years, the younger generation in Japan has been described as introverted, but Kawamura, 29, was assigned to Brazil in October 2022. In fact, people of his generation tend to be more introverted than those abroad for various reasons, but he grew up in Chiba Prefecture, spent his junior high school years in Sweden, and took a year off from university to work for a company in the United States.

Life in São Paulo was better than he expected, with help from the people around him. "When I said my name was Issei, people would jokingly say, 'My wife is a second-generation Japanese,' and I'd never had such a lively conversation about my name until I came to Brazil," he said, humorously sharing an episode unique to São Paulo, which has been influenced by the Japanese community.

Overview of GSI Creos Brazil
Legal name: GSI Creos do Brasil Ltda.
Location: Sao Roque, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo
Established: July 1973
Number of employees: 6
Business description: Import and sale of medical and chemical products


*This article is reprinted from the Brazil Nippo (November 18, 2023).


© 2023 Tomoko Oura

Brazil clinics community health services health facilities import businesses Japanese business enterprises medical care sales
About this series

Japanese companies in Brazil have continued to operate even amid the harsh conditions of the pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to calm down and new values ​​aimed at sustainability are required, this series will introduce the current status of Japanese companies active in Brazil. This is a project sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brazil. Reprinted from the Newspaper Brasil Nippou.

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About the Author

Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1979, he grew up in Kobe until graduating from high school. After graduating from university, he has been living in Sao Paulo, Brazil since 2001. He is currently working as a freelance reporter and writer for local media outlets aimed at Japanese people, as well as engaged in editing work.

(Updated September 2023)

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