I alway find the rankings published each year by various organisations in Japan of which companies are most favoured by university graduates fascinating reading, giving insights into how the economy and societal trends have impacted the reputation of Japan’s blue chips.
The Nikkei Business magazine has focused on the rankings produced by Rakuten’s social networking site for graduates, the biggest of its type in Japan, this year.
Travel companies seem to have done particularly well this year overall – All Nippon Airways is top of the rankings (up from #2) Japan Travel Bureau at #3 (up from 8) and JAL resurgent after its successful restructuring in at #4 from no rank last year. Maybe this is due to the high profile activities of these companies in trying to get more tourists to Japan, especially in light of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Advertising agencies are also back in favour – Number 2 is Dentsu, the mammoth advertising agency (up from #3), Hakuhodo is at #6 up from #14 and ADK has risen from 112 to 78.
Banks have lost ground – Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has dropped to #5 from #1, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp slipped from #6 to #9 and Mizuho is down to #13 from #9 but insurance companies seem to be popular again – Sompo Japan is up to #65 from 128 and Sumitomo Life also rising from 151 to 68.
Other big fallers are Ajinomoto (down to #23 from #11), Mitsubishi Corporation (down to #26 from #13), P&G Japan (down from 10 to #39, whereas domestic rival Kao has improved from #23 to #11) and Canon (down at 94 from 54, presumably following some disappointing financial results in 2013), Lotte (down to 89 from 56), NTT Docomo (86 down from 52).
Graduates from the top ten universities heavily favoured trading companies (Mitsui, Mitsubishi Corp, Itochu, Marubeni and Sumitomo Corp all in their top 10) and advertising agencies (Dentsu and Hakuhodo)
Reasons for favouring certain companies:
I could become President, have authority to make decisions – trading companies ranked highest
I can become a specialist in a certain field and lead projects – Toyota, Kawasaki Heavy Industries
My seniors recommended it – Tokio Marine Insurance, Yokohama Bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ
My parents/teachers recommended it – All Nippon Airways, Japan Rail, Mitsubishi Corp, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ
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