Honda DNA January 8th, 2021

Getting To Know Mr. Toichi Ishiyama, Honda Malaysia’s CEO

5 mins read

What a day in his life is like, his hidden talent, and more.

Mr. Toichi Ishiyama has over 20 years of experience in researching markets and product planning and has held roles in several countries including the US, China, Pakistan and Thailand. He clinched the role of CEO in Honda Malaysia in 2017. Business aside, we got Mr. Ishiyama to reveal a little more about himself as well as his aspirations for
Honda Malaysia.

What is the day in your life like as a CEO?
I sleep late, around 2.30am every night and get about 4 ½ hours of sleep daily. I don’t sleep much as I think sleeping is a waste of time. Breakfast is important to me and I can’t work without it. I also meditate every night and it helps me relax.

Have you ever imagined being where you would be today?
No. Growing up, I wanted to be a pilot. I interviewed with an airline company because I love travelling. Then I read a manga and was impressed by Soichiro Honda’s lifestyle, the way he works and his challenging spirit, which gave me the inspiration to join Honda. I felt like everything is possible and achievable in Honda.

What do you like most about Malaysia?
The people and the weather. I love being in hot weather because I grew up in a cold area in my hometown in Japan. I dislike cold weather and even left my hometown when I enrolled for university. At Honda Malaysia, I feel welcomed because the staff are supportive, dedicated and some of the most talented people I’ve worked with.

What do you like best about what you do now?
I enjoy what I’m doing now. When I joined Honda 30 years ago, I always wanted to become a CEO. It was my dream. During my induction ceremony, the president at the time, Mr. Kawamoto, asked who would want to be the president. I raised my hand.

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
I can sleep in three seconds! And I can cook if I don’t have to do the dishes. When I was serving as CEO in Honda Pakistan, I cooked for myself every day.

How do you overcome difficulties?
I ask everyone’s opinion because I want everyone to work together with me. When I have difficulties, meditation helps me obtain new ideas. And I always think positively. I believe being positive helps with overcoming difficulties faced in life.

Describe Honda in three words.
Open, unique, optimistic.

What were the goals Honda achieved in 2020, despite these challenging times?
It has always been tough since I assumed my position in 2017. My main goal that I achieved last year was to successfully launch the Honda City and the sales expansion of the Honda City. It was my first big launch.

With the presence of COVID-19, there appears to be a ‘new normal.’ How has Honda adapted to this?
In essence, we want to move towards making everything virtual for Honda to follow the new norm, in support of the Malaysian Government to combat COVID-19.

What have been your proudest achievements?
Removing the wall between our Petaling Jaya office and Melaka management to create a more open environment for all associates based on our suggestion box and internal survey results. I also improved the policy and infrastructure of Honda Malaysia because I want an open environment for Honda Malaysia.

A Day In The Life,
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Honda 2020,
Toichi Ishiyama,
Power of Dreams,
CEO Profile,
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