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Acceleration of reform and shift of gears toward the realization of the NEXT 10

For the second year of the new Group structure

More than three years have passed since the global outbreak of COVID-19, but on the whole, our daily lives have finally returned to normal. On the other hand, Russia has invaded Ukraine, with the state of tension still continuing. The unstable energy demand and supply caused by the Ukraine Crisis has disrupted the global supply chain and high crude oil prices and high material costs have significantly affected our businesses and lives.
In November 2022, ChatGPT, which is an interactive AI chatbot, was released and shocked the world. It can be said that with the rapid development of digital technology, we are entering an age where the type of work human beings should be doing and the type of “added value” that humans should create are being questioned anew.
In such an age, we founded a new group structure, INFRONEER Holdings Inc.*1 and two years have passed since the foundation. Through cooperation within the Group, synergy, such as strengthening of the sales structure, has been created. We have realized that a greater advantage can be attained when all group companies cooperate and promote activities in addressing social issues than when our company alone addresses such issues. Actually, in cooperation within the entire INFRONEER Group, we were able to accomplish the “New construction of Minamiboso-shi Private Driving Course (provisional name),” a project without precedent that was completed in March 2023.

*1 Founded in October 2021 as a joint holding company of MAEDA CORPORATION, MAEDA ROAD CONSTRUCTION Co., Ltd. and MAEDA SEISAKUSHO CO., LTD.

Company-wide promotion of “de-construction”*2 business

We have been engaged in the business operations for roads, airports, exhibition halls, industrial water supply and arenas (* Aichi Arena is under construction) as concession projects, and in April 2023, we started the operation of the Miura City Sewerage Concession project. It is the country's first sewerage concession project ranging from maintenance and operation to renewal of all of the treatment plant, pumping station and conduits in one treatment district, and we aim at efficient operation of the facilities using digital technology.
In addition, the nationwide business cooperation system in the entire INFRONEER Group is being established and the number of pipelines we have with municipalities for public-private partnership projects is increasing rapidly.
We will expand the business portfolio to various infrastructure fields and continuously pursue cooperation within the Group toward the realization of an “integrated infrastructure service company” that comprehensively deals with the whole life cycle of infrastructure as a business field.

*2 By “de-construction”, we mean our commitment to going beyond the “construction” business and taking on project risks as a business operator while continuing with the conventional “construction” business. The term also implies the philosophical concept of “deconstruction” proposed by philosopher Jacques Derrida, which means to dismantle and rebuild the existing system. “de-construction” is not simply about creating something, but also about covering the full scope of a project from investment to operation and EXIT, including PPP projects and renewable energy projects.

Response to changes in society

Currently, the issue of labor shortages is becoming increasingly apparent.
I strongly feel that toward the achievement of the goal of the medium- to long-term business plan NEXT 10, our first priority is to take specific measures to secure sustainable and stable high-quality supply capability. The construction industry is characterized as a labor-intensive industry and the focus on investment in human capital is indispensable for responding to the growing labor shortage due to the decrease in population. I also recognize that the investment in human capital is a very important element in sustainability management which aims for both the sustainability of society and continued growth of the company.
To support our cooperating companies, we abolished the conventional electronically recorded monetary claims and adopted full cash payments regarding the terms of payment, and for the Zenyu-kai, which is our cooperating companies’ association, we have worked together to support the training of workers and improve productivity, establishing the “educational subsidy” system and “technological development subsidy” system.
In FY2022, we founded the “Diversity Network” throughout the INFRONEER Group. We will further focus on creating an environment where human resources with various abilities and experiences can actively work.

Thorough securement of safety based on the philosophy “Safety is the conscience of a company”

In FY2022, unfortunately, major accidents occurred. Fire accidents, which we must absolutely prevent from occurring, also occurred multiple times. As a background to the accidents, various environmental changes such as the aging of skilled workers, labor shortages, an increase in foreign workers and a lack of communication under the COVID-19 pandemic are considered, and we must have a strong sense of crisis that the potential safety risk is increasing.
With a strong will to prevent any accident by any means, we will enhance safety awareness, thoroughly conduct KY activities (risk prediction activities), take care to prevent any unsafe acts and continuously aim for zero major accidents.
The occurrence of major accidents or noncompliance could cause a sharp decline in trust in the company. We will promote the enhancement of governance in the entire INFRONEER Group and continue to make improvements so that measures such as a whistle-blowing system can function effectively.
We will strive again to improve communication with each other in our daily work, share “actual sites and states” quickly without hesitation and create “a typical Maeda company” with an open atmosphere where we address “issues” together promptly and with the fully concerted efforts of the organization.

Business results

In FY2022, the entire construction industry was in a severe situation due to the effects of high crude oil prices and a rise in material costs, but we were able to achieve increases in revenue and profit and steadfastly maintain a path of growth. Regarding the profitability of completed construction contracts in particular, we boast the industry's top-class level. We will continuously aim for a high level of profitability by creating added value from the upstream which is uninvolved in competition for orders and thoroughly managing the profit margin of orders received. In addition, the “de-construction” business, which is expected to become one of the pillars of our revenue in the future, has steadily contributed to the improvement of the business performance including last year's sale of one windfarm project.
This year, we have reached a turning point, as it is the second year of the 2nd stage of the NEXT 10 (FY2022 to FY2024), which is the halfway point of the NEXT 10. Now is the time to carefully review past results and issues, carry out specific measures steadily and accelerate reforms.
We will continue to move forward so that the “shift of gears” toward the realization of the NEXT 10 will be achieved in the coming year by strengthening “individual power” and exercising “organizational strength” to the maximum extent through cooperation in the entire INFRONEER Group.

President Soji Maeda

Soji Maeda

Soji Maeda joined MAEDA CORPORATION in 1997. After 2002, he filled various posts such as Director, Managing Officer, Building Division Manager in charge of Sales Promotion, and was appointed as President of the company in April 2016. He assumed the post of Director and the Chairman of INFRONEER Holdings in October 2021.