110 years of making products that have changed lives is indeed a milestone! And Sharp Corporation has reached that. This year, the company is marking its 110th year anniversary. And how do they celebrate? Read more about what Sharp Corporation is up to in the age of digital and modernization.
110 Years of Sharp Corporation
Sharp Corporation has introduced a new management system to realize transformation while giving emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). The system will raise the company’s social value and revitalize the brand for sustainable growth. The introduction of the ESG system shows the company’s vision of providing better health, a sustainable environment, and innovative solutions for the people.
On the exact date of September 15, Sharp commemorated its 110th anniversary.
It started when Sharp Founder Tokuji Hayakawa established a metalworking shop in Tokyo on September 15, 1912–110 years ago. Later he invented the “Ever Ready Sharp Pencil,” a twist-type mechanical pencil that would later become the origin of the corporate brand.
The Rest Became History
Eventually, Sharp became a household name. It came to be known as a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics. Sharp sets its business vision as “Changing the World with 8K+5G and AIoT”.
Its 8K technology creates images that reveal a world beyond our everyday reality and gives birth to thrilling new discoveries. Meanwhile, 5G is the next generation of mobile data transmission. With its significant advances in data transmission, speed, and capacity, it delivers ultra-low latency and multi-terminal connectivity. Also, 5G expands communication potential to facilitate all-around connectivity between users and all manner of devices.
On the other hand, AIoT is Sharp’s unique synthesis of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things). It is a tactile and intuitive approach created through the application of cloud connectivity and AI to a full suite of familiar everyday appliances. Its application is transforming devices from useful tools to active partners in addressing the needs of individual households and society as a whole.
To achieve its vision, Sharp uses its three core brand businesses, Smart Life, 8K Ecosystem, and ICT, along with two device businesses, Display Devices, and Electronic Devices that support them, in an integrated fashion in pursuit of “One Sharp” business.
Based on Sharp’s business creed of “Sincerity and Creativity,” and founder Tokuji Hayakawa’s ideal to “Make products that other companies want to imitate,” Sharp has continued to introduce unique products and solutions including world-firsts and Japan-firsts to contribute to the development of society.
Sharp has reached many milestones over its history of 110 years with its products and solutions. These include:
- Introduction of AQUOS LCD TVs from 2001 and shipping of 500 million units by end of September 2020
- Develops photovoltaic power generation (Solar power) since 1959
- Introduced Plasmacluster air purifying technology on October 2000 which incorporates also to their other products and already achieved 100 million units shipped worldwide by October 2021
- Developed the world’s first all-transistor calculator in 1964
- Developed mobile phones since 1994 and delivered many featured products such as the industry-first camera-equipped mobile phone in 2000
- Developed convection microwave ovens in 1961 and introduced Japan’s first mass production model in 1962
- Introduction of its first multi-copier in 1972
- Most recently, produced face masks from February 2020 and reached of total 300 million pieces shipped by November 2021.
Such activities over all these years have been recognized by various worldwide institutes, including IEEE(The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world’s largest academic society for electrical, electronics, information, and telecommunications engineering, recognizing three individual developments by Sharp as IEEE Milestones including “Pioneering Work on Electronic Calculators”, “Commercialization and Industrialization of Solar Cells”, and “Sharp 14-inch Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid-Crystal Display (TFT-LCD) for TV”.
Footsteps to an Electronics Manufacturer: Development of Radio and TV
In 1923, the founder experienced the Great Kanto Earthquake and transferred to Osaka. Searching for new opportunities, he set his eyes on the start of radio broadcast in Japan and succeeded in assembling the Japan-first crystal radio set in April 1925. Later, in 1953, upon the start of TV broadcasting, Sharp started Japan-first mass production of TV sets, leading it to develop into a comprehensive electronics company.
Foundation of New Business Pillars: Calculator and LCD
Seeking a new pillar of its business, Sharp promoted the development of calculators applying technologies for computers. Calculators continued to evolve seeking smaller sizes and lighter weights with technological innovation in transistors and the adoption of LCD display. This was when Sharp set its corporate strategy to develop key devices for featured products inside the company. Especially the development of LCD continued to evolve into a key device for various applications in display technology and other areas, becoming its main business pillar up to today.
Basis of Environment-Conscious Development: Photovoltaic Power Generation
Based on the idea of the founder “If we could find a way of generating electricity from limitless solar heat and light that would benefit humankind to an extent we can scarcely imagine.” Sharp began research of solar cells. After succeeding in the production of a prototype in 1959, mass production started in 1963. Ever since Sharp has led the photovoltaic power generation market with the development and sales of PV systems for homes, facilities, EPC(Engineering, Procurement, and Construction), and contributed to the expansion of renewable energy in the last 60 years.
Developing Featured Technology for Contribution to Healthcare
When Sharp started to focus on developing air purifying technology, its researchers came up with a unique idea later named Plasmacluster to purify the air. Plasmacluster ions are the same type of positive and negative ions that occur in nature. This proprietary Sharp technology purifies the air, and it has been proven safe for humans no matter the ion concentration. Highly concentrated levels of Plasmacluster ions have been proven to purify the air, eliminate odors, moisten facial skin, and reduce static electricity.
Plasmacluster technology is then adopted to Business to Busines products and facilities in addition to Business to Customer products in over 100 countries and areas throughout the world. The efficacy of Plasmacluster ions has been approved by various institutes worldwide, including Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, etc.
Sharp has created a 110th-anniversary logo as a commemoration and a sign of gratitude toward the support from our stakeholders over these 110 years. The gently changing colors express transformation to green and blue colors representing the image of ESG business.
Business Transformation to Re-emphasize ESG
In its 110th anniversary year, Sharp has introduced a new management system to realize transformation to re-emphasize ESG and raise its social value and revitalize its brand for sustainable growth.
Management emphasizing ESG will be carried out under four major policies: 1) Further strengthen healthcare-related business, 2) Contribution to carbon neutral, 3) Management based on HITO (people), and 4) True global company.
(1) Further strengthen healthcare-related business
Sharp will introduce products, services, and solutions centering on preventive care, such as by strengthening sensing functions installed in its home appliances, TVs, and mobile devices, developing unique healthcare-related sensors, and creating new healthcare-related devices, along with carrying out partnership and M&A(Mergers & Acquisition) aggressively. This way, a system will be formed that measures people’s health-related data naturally in various scenes and provide a solution optimum for each individual. Eventually, Sharp aims to realize people to lead a self-directing healthy living.
(2) Contribution to carbon neutral
Sharp will contribute to carbon neutrality by reducing its GHG(Greenhouse Gas) emission and expanding renewable energy in society. Under its long-term environmental vision “Sharp Eco Vision 2050”, Sharp declares to realize net zero emission of GHG emissions through its activities. As a mid-term target, Sharp aims to reduce 60% GHG emission by 2035. To realize this target, Sharp will further expand its energy solution business by developing business in the aerospace and automotive appliances, expand PPA(Power Purchase Agreement) business, and accelerating research of the latest technology solar cells such as perovskite for practical use. By such means, by 2030, Sharp expects to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions equal to approximately 12 times the emission of its in-house activity and contribute to the carbon neutrality of society.
(3) Management based on HITO (people)
The Personnel system will be further innovated based on four perspectives: Hybrid personnel with multiple professions, an Innovation-cultivating environment, Talent-based optimum personnel stationing, and Opportunities for growth provided to excellent members. The initials spell out HITO, meaning “people” in Japanese.
Specifically, a performance-based personnel system to support young talents, an attractive work treatment system to gather professional personnel, fulfilled structure to support the growth of personnel, and rejuvenating and speed-up of the decision process will be executed to cultivate and young and spirited corporate culture.
(4) True Global Company
Sharp aims to expand global business by strengthening sales strategy in each region and promoting management innovation. While already being recognized as a strong electronics brand in Japan, it seeks to further develop its brand worldwide to contribute to society with its featured products, solutions, services, and technology.
Specifically, the development of global personnel and acceleration of partnership and M&A with global companies will be promoted, while introducing new products with the latest technology simultaneously worldwide, and strengthening local-adapting products and services to raise the brand on a global scale.
Truly, many lives have been changed by the trusted presence of Sharp in their homes through the years. Sharp will continue to stay as your stable and assuring companion wherein our products are designed to meet the daily needs and desires of its consumers providing a breath of satisfaction with its advanced technology, revolutionary designs, and overall solution. Sharp will continue to transform the lives of the people as it serves as your friend through the years. Just like how friendship serves as a lifetime commitment, Sharp intends to keep it that way for years to come.
In celebration of Sharp Corporation’s 110th anniversary, Sharp Philippines will conduct various activities and promotions to express its gratitude to its customers for their support of the company over the years. These include CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Activities in Public schools, B2B (Business to Business) exhibit this coming September 22-24 at SMX Convention Center, Manila, and Special promotion and giveaways on all of their Koten events for the month of September and October as well as other exhibits where 110th Sharp merchandise will be given away.