Mitsubishi Corporation

Since 1954 vol.2 Laying the Foundations for Success by Expanding the Company's Global Network

Our Roots A history of rising to the challenge

vol.2 Laying the Foundations for Success by Expanding the Company's Global Network

We focus on the development of the company's global network during the six-year tenure of President Katsujiro Takagaki.

MIC's head office was located on the 10th floor of the Equitable Building in New York. On the day the office was opened, a banner with words of encouragement was hung from the window of the adjacent Chase Manhattan Bank building.

In July 1954, the new Mitsubishi Shoji established its head office in the Marunouchi district. After beginning with capital of 650 million yen, the company soon increased its capital to 2.5 billion yen, and in October 1956, raised it again to 5 billion yen. In 1958, the head office was moved to a new building in the Marunouchi district, which was built by Mitsubishi Estate at the same location as today's Mitsubishi Shoji Building.

President Takagaki strove to expand the company's global network. At the time the company was launched, liaison representatives were established at 14 locations across Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia; meanwhile, Mitsubishi International Corporation (MIC) was established in the U.S. with its head office in New York and a branch office in San Francisco.

In an effort to revitalize the Japanese economy, Mitsubishi Shoji sought to stimulate export business, and while overcoming various obstacles, proceeded to establish the foundations for cultivating business around the world. In March 1955, the total number of overseas offices (including regional subsidiaries) reached 23. By March 1960, this number grew to 51, with 24 of these being either regional subsidiaries or branch offices of these subsidiaries; this figure also included the company's first liaison representative offices in Africa. By 1961, MIC had some 200 employees at its head office and a nationwide workforce of 320 employees.

While expanding the company's global network, President Takagaki also focused efforts on promoting exports. He sought to gain a firm grasp of conditions in countries around the world as he visited Southeast Asia in 1954, the U.S. and Canada in 1956, and Europe and the Middle East in 1957. President Takagaki was intrigued by the potential of India. He decided the company should bolster its provision of technological assistance in the region. As a result, the Mitsubishi Engineering Agency in Southeastern Asia was established in September 1955, inside the company's Calcutta Branch (today's Kolkata Branch). The agency was staffed with technical experts through cooperation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Kasei (now Mitsubishi Chemical). In this way, President Takagaki paved the way for the development of the Mitsubishi Group's business in India.

Note: We use MC to refer to Mitsubishi Corporation after 1971, when the company adopted Mitsubishi Corporation as its English name. We use Mitsubishi Shoji when writing about the company before 1971.