Originally from Bavaria, it was not coincidental that Chris and I shared "German" beers at the new and increasingly popular beer restaurant Schmatz for this conversation. Chris Thoma is an amazing guy with amazing stories, and he loves to tell them. Chris first came to Japan as a professional at age 25 working for the German hair care company Wella. Between then and 2018 when he retired, he held the position of President Japan for both Triumph (Ladies underwear not the motorcycle) and Le Creuset (French Cookware). We down some Wizen, Pale Ales, and even a Pilsner as Chris shares his experiences of doing business in Japan for nearly 40 years. Some highlights include:
- Divulges the background of how he accomplished his famous PR stunts at Triumph
- Answers the question "how many sqM is a pile of 250,000 bras and panties"
- What he would do different if he where to go back 40 years
- Why he has turned down numerous book offers
- How extreme proactiveness led to his first job in Japan
- The difference between Japanese and foreigners when memorizing "Kanji"
- Restaurant in Tokyo he most recommends (It's not German)
- How his favorite Japanese word is closely linked to his Prussian background
- His ability to keep business "passion" while working for companies which sell ladies underwear and pink cooking pots
- Explains his proudest achievement in 40 years working in Japan
This episode is sponsored by the gugu sleep company http://gugu.jp
Chris Thoma https://www.linkedin.com/in/christianthoma/