Masayuki Umemura: Reshaping The Hospitality Cleanliness Management

Masayuki Umemura: Reshaping The Hospitality Cleanliness Management

Masayuki Umemura , CEO

Masayuki Umemura


Great leaders emerging from the top universities and institutes have one thing in common: vision, skills, and adaptability. They are groomed in a way to shape the future of tomorrow. One of the dynamic entrepreneurs from Kyushu University is Masayuki Umemura, CEO of Global Gates. Masayuki Umemura is on a mission to revolutionize the business world revolving around hotel house keeping management and trading energy-saving products for hotels.

Established in May 2007 in Fukuoka, Japan, Global Gates is a general trading company that deals in products and services that are friendly to people and the environment. In 2008, the company reached a sizable milestone by becoming the primary business enterprise in Japan to pioneer the improvement of tube-shaped LED lighting fixtures. It outsourced its manufacturing, set up a nationwide wholesale network, and successfully provided those LED lights to various industries, inclusive of a first-rate railroad business enterprise. In April 2013, Global Gates embarked on its journey, commencing the sales of cleaning products. This marked the initial step in their commitment to hygiene solutions.

In this interview with the CEO Insights Asia, Masayuki Umemura shares his thoughts on professional experience and the journey ahead.

Can you provide an overview of your professional journey and the milestones that have led you to your current position as CEO of Global Gates?

I began my career in hotel and restaurant management at New York University. Shortly after graduating with a master's degree from NYU, I joined 'JAL Pack' travel agency owned by the Japan Airline located in New York City. In this agency, I was in charge of identifying some excellent hotels and restaurants and adjusting their offers to match those preferred by Japanese travelers. Finding the best lodging and dining spots that fit the Japanese visitors was a vital function of my job, which later led to a yearly Japan Airline package. The brochures containing various tour programs were eagerly expected by many individuals in Japan who would choose the packages that pleased them most. I worked in this capacity, acting as part of tour control operations, which is a part of Japan Airlines’ full package services, which also encompasses the highly esteemed Nikko Hotel Chain.

Though I had a Master's degree in hotel management, I intentionally followed a different path by not opting for a hotel firm. Eventually, I moved to my present venture Global Gates. Our focus is on the dynamic trading of products that support a pure, eco-friendly environment and human beings’ wellness at its core.

The vision for Global Gates involves expanding its reach to hire 5 million people across seven continents, focusing not only on cleaning but also infection control & superior hospitality

How did your academic experiences shape your professional journey?

My academic background in hotel and restaurant management laid the foundation for understanding customer needs and hospitality. It taught me the significance of catering to diverse preferences and needs, a crucial aspect in my role of curating services for Japanese travelers. Later, my MBA from Kyushu University imparted the value of quick decision-making, logical thinking, and the importance of building friendships and fostering networks that are vital in the business world.

I understood the fundamental link between hotels and travel agents. To that effect, I sought out the Intercontinental Hotel, which was the first in Japan, located in Yokohama as travel agencies were my key clients. Having 594 rooms, and numerous restaurants besides expansive convention centers, this establishment was a major landmark of the city. As such, I was involved in several tasks starting with the front desk operations to managing reservations, and finally managing sales across Asia and the Pacific including major destinations like India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, China, Australia, and Thailand. It was a great milestone that left me overly happy when I was appointed the sales manager at the age of 28 for these regions.

Could you elaborate on your leadership style and the strategies you implement for business growth?

A leader should be multi-faceted, including compassion, a good vision, and flexibility. It entails motivating, and encouraging others, promoting teams, as well as innovation. My leadership style is primarily focused on quick decision-making. I believe it's crucial to make decisions promptly, not dwelling on indecision for prolonged periods. This direct approach is essential, especially at a time when the digital landscape is constantly evolving. Learning and staying updated on trends are vital for relevance. My strategies revolve around making friends and network connections, emphasizing logical thinking and quick decision-making.

Can we consider this as advice for emerging leaders in this industry?

These suggestions, however, do not limit their applicability to only certain industries—it is universal to all aspiring leaders. A leader ought to be a decision-maker, a position that requires prompt decisions. This approach extends decision making which is prevalent in the Japanese culture may lead to several lost opportunities. Today’s internet reach makes it necessary for swift decision-making with regard to using such platforms as Facebook, LinkedIn, and other online sources to obtain information. If a company does not act at the correct time, it may miss out on some valuable chances.

What are your aspirations for the future, say in the next five to ten years?

For the road ahead, my goal is to help Global Gates reach new heights at the global level, with the employment of five million people on seven continents. We shall concentrate on cleanliness, tidy-up, infection control, and high-quality customer service. Containment of infection became valuable during the pandemic, and we will improve on this aspect as part of our business.

Masayuki Umemura, CEO, Global Gates

Masayuki Umemura is a highly experienced entrepreneur in the travel and hospitality markets. He graduated from New York University (NYU) with a Master of Art in Hotel & Food Service Administration. After graduating, he worked at Japan Airlines JALPAK’s New York Office before returning to Japan and joining Saison Group Intercontinental Hotels. He worked at Yokohama Grand InterContinental Hotel in the Startup Operations Office and day-to-day operations.

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