Saitama, Japan, 354-8577
Sales: $432 million (¥47,942 million) (consolidated).
Major Products: UV offset; UV flexo; UV letterpress; energy saving UV ink; UV waterless ink; conventional offset ink; powder-free conventional offset ink; waterless offset ink.
Key Personnel: Ryuichi Kurimoto, marketing director; Kazuhiko Nakama, technical director; Kazuhiko Shigesu, manager, global business management; Shigetoshi Nishimori, department manager, overseas sales; Ryohei Fujiyoshi, sales representative in charge of America; Hironori Yanagase, sales representative in charge of Europe.
Number of Employees: 1,600.
Comments: T&K TOKA (the T&K in the company’s name stands for Technology and Kindness) is the world’s largest UV ink specialist. The company had a stable year for revenue, with sales of ¥47,942 million ($425 million), flat from 2016.
However, the major news was T&K TOKA’s December 2017 acquisition of Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son, Hilversum, Netherlands, which last year was the 16th largest global ink company in Ink World’s Top International Ink Companies listing, with estimated sales of $130 million. The acquisition includes Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America, its US-based subsidiary. This move expands T&K TOKA’s production and distribution capabilities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Americas.
Kazuhiko Shigesu, manager, global business management for T&K TOKA, sees great opportunities for the addition of Van Son to the T&K TOKA family.
“As one of our business strategies, we acquired 100% share of Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son at the end of 2017, and Van Son has started its business as one of TOKA Group companies since Jan 1, 2018,” Shigesu observed. “Its’ long history, high recognition of the brand and wide sales route of Van Son and TOKA’s technologies will make a huge synergy in the business.”
“Van Son is one of the leading ink manufacturers in Europe,” Ryuichi Kurimoto, managing director of TOKA’s Sales Department, said at the time of the acquisition. “The company is known for its high quality inks with excellent consistency. The acquisition will raise our profile as a full scale ink solution provider to the printing markets, especially in Europe and the US.”
With an eye on growing its presence overseas, T&K TOKA established its new Global Business Management Department from the beginning of its FY2018.
“Our business has been expanding not only in Asia, but also in Europe and America,” said Shigesu. “Each region has its own market, and we cannot ignore the individual market’s situation, and also we cannot grow more if we just do as we have done.”
“But at the same time, if each subsidiary acts just as they want, the efficiency will be lost,” he added. “Therefore, we established our new department for Global Business Management, and its function is to absorb all information and requirement from subsidiaries and to support them to be based on such information and requirement, and also to manage the business of each of our subsidiaries.”
Keeping up with higher raw material costs and concerns over availability are a problem throughout the industry, and T&K TOKA is no exception.
“It is really, really tough for us that the cost of materials has been increasing,” Shigesu pointed out. “We have been trying to absorb it by our own effort, however, it is very difficult now. Therefore, we would have to ask for price increases from our customers. However, at the same time, we are considering group purchasing.”
Being in the energy curing ink field is ideal, as it continues to grow well.
“We are looking that the trend to move to energy curable cannot stop, and from our point of this view, we are also expecting that the market of UV ink will be growing more,” Shigesu said. “We have been asked about our LED curable ink a lot recently.
However, no matter what it is, LED, H-UV or conventional UV, TOKA is always there, and T&K TOKA will be always the best and finest ink manufacturer of energy curable ink in the world. It is the reason that T&K TOKA exists in the market.”
Shigesu said that ultimately, as long as T&K TOKA focuses on its philosophy and listens to its customers, the company will continue to thrive.
“It is very important to listen to the market,” Shigesu concluded. “And it is also important to provide the products which are the most appropriate to the market. We believe that we can do it with our technologies. However, the most important thing is that any things have to be based on our philosophy, T&K (Technology and Kindness). We believe that this is the core and unique identity of us to survive in the market. This is not to some specific market. This is to all markets which we are focusing on.”