Exclusive Interview with Mr. Kazuhiro Kashio, President of CASIO Company.

09 Feb, 2017
In May 2015, the second generation of the family took the lead of CASIO Computer Co. which was founded by the Kashio Brothers in 1957. Kazuhiro Kashio is now the president of this company which is renowned for the G-Shock Watches that invaded the World’ markets and have been the best digital watches for long years. 
 “Arabian Watches & Jewellery Magazine” had the opportunity to meet Kazuhiro Kashio in Dubai, where he landed in a business travel to the region, and did an interview with him. Kashio did not deny the intention of the powerful manufacturer, given the chance, to invest in any Swiss watch company, but he denied in the same time the intention of the Company to enter the industry of manufacturing mechanical watches similar to the Swiss watches. Kashio also referred to many significant incentives still maintained in the markets of the Arab region, including the MENA region, declaring that the Company intends to develop and extent its presence there.  

How do you see the future of digital and high-technology watches? 
CASIO has been working for ages in manufacturing and developing digital watches and it is still a leading company in this industry. We use the technology we develop in our watches and compete in this field. Such technology allows determining the time with high accuracy and provides the necessary functions the watch owner needs.  

What about smart watches which have become a powerful and fast-growing trend? 
CASIO has managed to create its own smart watch that is different from other watches bearing the names of other brands which apply the concept of putting a smartphone around the wrist. Our smart watches benefit from our experience in digital technology and smart technology as well. 

How do you describe the integrated digital watches?
I’d rather not use the word “integrated”. When we develop and manufacture our watches, we focus on the advantages providing comfort when the watch is put around the wrist. We also focus on using advanced technologies to achieve the highest accuracy in determining the time comprehensively in addition to all the functions catering the several needs of the watch owner. We always try to take the lead in any new technological trend.  

In the first time, CASIO tested the watch in a limited edition. Do you intend to repeat it again?  
G-Shock MR-G Limited Edition “Hammer Tone” combines the advanced technology which represents CASIO and the original handicraft tradition. We made only 300 pieces of this watch which was appreciated by CASIO enthusiasts. We will try to repeat this trial annually. 

Luxury watches industry focuses on the mechanical mechanisms. Does CASIO intend to enter such field? 
We develop ourselves by the high-quality technology we master which is introduced in the watches we manufacture. I can say that we do not intend to enter this field in watch industry yet. 

Does CASIO want to invest in a Swiss watch company like other Japanese watch manufacturers?
I cannot say that we never thought of this before.  We are very powerful in the industry of men and youth watches and we think that we can develop women watches more.  

Do you think that there are serious incentives for CASIO to grow more with respect to women watches? 
Yes, CASIO is thinking seriously to extend the women watches series. We have Baby G that occupies a good position in the market as it is an extension for the G shock Line. We might develop a practical watch in the future. 

What are the plans CASIO has with respect to the Middle East markets? What are the incentives provided by the market? Are you happy with your achievements to date?
Middle East market is important and promising market according to the size of their economies, GDP, natural and human resources and other positive indications. The size of our business in the region is moderate as compared to the other international markets, but we do our best to develop it. For the past three years, we have taken a qualitative leap in this field by extending the distribution and increasing the sale points. CASIO-connected products and G-shock line attract the youth. And yes, we have to do a lot of things. 
As for the smart watches, we launched these watches in Japan and USA to test them and it was a success. We will offer them in other markets soon.  

How have the competition in the market and the unstable circumstances from which many watch companies are suffering affected Casio?   
We work according to the philosophy upon which the Company was based represented in sharing and innovation. We manufacture a new product with no parallel in the market and G-shock Watches are a good example as they have no real competitor in the market. Customers come to our stores and ask for them. In addition, we develop these watches by increasing the services that will benefit our customers.  And finally, we have offered special watches showing the prayers times according to sunrise and sunset and the Holy Kaaba direction in order to cater the market’s need to such watches.