KAI Vietnam’s factory, where Tam works, is a 30- minute drive from Hanoi. KAI Vietnam opened nine years ago.
Upon arriving at KAI Vietnam, we discovered employees hard at work producing KAI merchandise.
They are the key to bringing Vietnamese craftsmanship to the next level. What are their beliefs about craftsmanship?
The stuffing process for double bladed razors. Workers carefully check to see if there are any tiny scratches. (above) Carefully polishing stainless nail clippers. (below)
Almost half of the eyebrow razor ‘CAN ML’ is made in Vietnam. Heat processors are imported from Japan for kitchen knive and scissor production.
The last steps in the creation of stainless nail clippers are to check for any scratches, the cutting ability of the blade, and the angle of the grip. The sub-leader is focused
The Japanese spirit of craftsman manifested in Vietnam
From right: Takeo Tsutui, Yoshinari Kawai, and Shinichi Okuda, in front of KAI Vietnam factory KAI Vietnam began operating in 2006 and since then they have sent several candidates for leadership positions to a yearlong training at KAI factory in Gifu Prefecture. Chuong went to this training six years ago and says that he learned how to think like a craftsman. KAI’s soul is the spirit of the blacksmith. This philosophy forces one to consider the consumer’s physique and purpose in order to create the best product possible. It is important to imagine when and for what purpose the product will be used. KAI Vietnam’s business has been growing steadily and number of employees has grown from 60 to 774. One can imagine how difficult it must be to manage everyone. Nevertheless, factory manager Yoshinari Kawai is relieved that the future leaders of the company, like Chuong, convey the spirit of the craftsmanship to their colleagues. KAI’s production manager, Takeo Tsutsui, says fewer than 0.1% of its output is defective. KAI’s vision of craftsmanship has survived in Japan for more than 100 years. Now, that seed has spread to Vietnam where it is growing nicely.
‘Our cafeteria serves quality fried chicken that is tasty enough to compete with some of the major restaurants in Hanoi,’ boasted a factory manager who is familiar with Vietnamese cuisine. We stand in line in the cafeteria, receive a lunch plate, and bite delicious chicken. It is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with lots of tasty gravy. He is right! The quality is the same as some of the most popular fried chicken restaurants in Hanoi!