Eisai: The First 70 Years - History of Eisai -

  • Corporate Chronology
  • The Story of Eisai
  • Eisai's Founder, Toyoji Naito
  • R&D Archives
  • History Gallery
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 3 Building a Solid Corporate Foundation 1955–1965

With the aim of becoming a world-class pharma company,Eisai creates a plan to triple its monthly sales with a brand-new vision.

Eisai had overcome the chaotic postwar period and achieved rapid growth through the development of successful products such as its Chocola series, but the company's overall sales were still no more impressive than many newer pharmaceutical firms.

In 1956, with the aim of making another dramatic leap forward, Eisai announced its “3-6 Plan,” the company's first mid-term plan. The plan's objective was to triple monthly sales by fiscal 1960. The 3-6 Plan was so named due to Toyoji Naito's monthly sales target of ¥360 million, a figure converted from the US$1 million target he believed was necessary for Eisai to rub shoulders with the global pharmaceutical companies of the future, according to what he had observed on his tours of various major drug makers in Europe and the United States.

During the 3-6 Plan and the following three-year plan, the business nearly doubled in size every three years. Before long, Eisai ascended to the ranks of the top ten Japanese pharmaceutical companies by overall sales and had established itself as a prominent midsize drug maker in the industry. By the end of these two plans, Eisai had created for itself a robust corporate infrastructure equipped with the talent development, facility expansion, departmental organization and other strengths it needed as a significant player in Japan's increasingly modernized pharmaceutical industry. The company also became a publicly held company and listed itself on both the Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges.

Internal banner illustrating the company's pledge that each department would be functioning autonomously going forward. The “Top P, Q, R, M” slogan indicates each department's dedication to becoming the best in the industry.

Eisai officially introduces its founding ethos and a new management charter,based on a philosophy of autonomy for each department across the Group.

With the 3-6 Plan successfully completed, Toyoji shifted the company's management structure away from top-down leadership to one with more departmental autonomy. Specifically, the company released a new management charter, the Eisai Management Code, in 1960. The Management Code contained The Spirit of Eisai, which forms the backbone of the company and its employees as a whole:

“Good research results in good products; good products in turn ensure good profits when well promoted. Good profits ensure good corporate growth, which in turn rewards employees with the means to earn a good living. A strong line of good, high-quality medicines promoted honestly and skillfully helps more people in more countries around the world enjoy better health and wellbeing. This is the Spirit that we at Eisai bring to our work.”

In 1962, an in-house logo was designed to visually represent this Spirit. The internal logo symbolized a management structure under which individual departments—“P” (promotion and sales), “Q” (quality and manufacturing), “R” (research), and “M” (management)—could function autonomously. Eisai also introduced a “Top P, Q, R, M” slogan to indicate that each department was welcoming in a significant period of change aimed not only at long-term, sustainable growth but at becoming top-tier leaders in the industry within their respective fields.

Kawashima Plant opening ceremony in 1966 attended by some 600 people. The ceremony was held at the 400,000 m2 industrial park location where the plant was constructed, which was later named the Kawashima Industrial Complex.

Aiming to bolster its production capacity to a whole new level,Eisai opens its industrial park in Gifu, central Japan.

It was at this time that Eisai began pushing ahead with initiatives to bolster production capacity and enhance quality management in order to expand its operations onto the world stage. The company knew that its Honjo Plant in Saitama would soon also run out of space to expand operations, but as the immediate area was developing rapidly, the search began to find a suitable plot of land elsewhere for the construction of a new manufacturing plant.

In order to refine his ideas on the plant's design, Toyoji had traveled to the United States and Europe, visiting the pharmaceutical plants of major global contemporaries. Of all the places he went to, the industrial parks in the United States left him with the strongest impression. On his return he talked about his fascination with these parks, which featured expansive lawns and groves of trees dotted with neat, clean laboratories and brightly lit plants. Finally, Toyoji decided on a location in the town of Kawashima in Gifu, central Japan. Eisai's Kawashima Plant was completed there soon after, in 1966.


Traditional Japanese-style garden complete with pine trees and a pond at the Kawashima Industrial Complex

Keeping Kawashima rich in natural greenery

Since commencing operations, the Kawashima Industrial Complex has consistently recognized and acted on its responsibility to carry out the purification and return to nature of the vast quantities of water it uses in its production processes in order to protect the rich natural environment around it. Wastewater produced at the complex is consistently purified to less than one tenth of the Japanese national standard for wastewater disposal and is returned to the Kiso River via a pond located in a traditional Japanese garden located on site. At the same time, there have also been initiatives to further enrich the park complex with natural greenery. Passing on the teachings of Eisai's founder, Toyoji Naito—“Cut one down, plant three more.”—we continue to plant Japanese black pine saplings by hand at the park today. Furthermore, we consistently carry on the ideas of Eisai's founder through promoting environmental consideration in regard to various issues, including the abolition of incinerators on site, effective use of timber resources, and the introduction of a “co-generation system” that contributes to environmental burden reduction and energy conservation.