Up&Ap: Takashi Seimiya on expanding CASIO’s brand presence via new retail outlets in East Africa

He joined the CASIO in early 2016 as the head of Global Marketing after a 10-year stint at SONY. He was later made GM before becoming the timepiece brand’s MD for Africa and the Middle East region towards the end of 2020. His new role now has him focus on expanding the CASIO brand presence into new markets and explore new business opportunities. The expansion drive has led CASIO to partner with retail outlets to boost the brand’s presence and attract new consumers to the CASIO brand. In the second quarter of this year, CASIO set up at a new retail outlet in Nairobi through a deal with Top Time, a timepieces dealer. And on the ground to be part of this milestone was CASIO’s regional boss Takashi Seimiya(pictured) who took the opportunity to do Q&A. Below are excerpts. 

QUESTION: Why has Casio decided to expand its retail presence to East Africa at this particular time?

TAKASHI SEIMIYA:  To tap into emerging markets, capitalize on growing consumer demand, and explore new business opportunities. East Africa, with its increasing population, rising disposable incomes, and evolving retail sector, may present a favorable market for Casio’s products and services.

QUESTION: How does this expansion align with Casio’s global business strategy? 

TS: Casio’s global business strategy likely focuses on market diversification and expansion, aiming to reach new customers and increase market share. Expanding to East Africa aligns with this strategy by entering an untapped market and establishing a presence in a region with growth potential.

QUESTION: How do you plan to adapt your products or strategies to suit the unique cultural, economic, and consumer preferences in East Africa? 

TS: To adapt to the unique cultural, economic, and consumer preferences in East Africa, Casio may undertake various strategies. This could include conducting market research to understand local preferences, introducing region-specific product variations, providing localized customer support, and implementing marketing campaigns tailored to the East African audience.

QUESTION: How does Casio plan to contribute to the local economy? Are there plans to create job opportunities or engage in corporate social responsibility activities? 

TS: Companies expanding into new regions often aim to contribute to the local economy. Casio could create job opportunities through recruitment and training of local employees for their stores or distribution networks. Additionally, Casio may engage in corporate social responsibility activities such as supporting local educational initiatives, environmental conservation efforts, or community development programs.

QUESTION: Are there any unique offerings or strategies that Casio will implement in its East African stores? 

TS: Casio may implement unique offerings or strategies in its East African stores to cater to the preferences and demands of local consumers. This could include showcasing culturally relevant product designs, providing localized product support or warranties, offering pricing strategies that align with the local market, and incorporating local languages into marketing materials.

QUESTION: Are there going to be more stores launched in the near future? If there are, please indicate when? 

TS: We are eager to explore other regions and areas where we can have our products ready for our loyal fans. This is an important step and we are exploring more opportunities


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