2024/06/13 16:16

Interview to the President of Pado

Job is a tool. It is not a goal.
I am happy that I can meet different people.
President Kurahashi

the President of Pado

Thank you very much for taking time to cooperate with us.

I would like to hear President Kurahashi’s story starting from his early childhood.

You say that the experience of changing schools during elementary school has helped you in your future. Why is that?

President Kurahashi:
It’s because I learned the technique to get into the loop of conversation of friends and teachers.

By learning these techniques, I was able to sharpen the necessary communication ability in the society.


(I heard that you did not study seriously during your schooldays. Is that true?)

Yes, indeed. I hardly ever studied during my high school days.
At that time, student movements were in active.
The school I attended was high education school, but we rebelled against being forced to study for entrance exams.
But when I was in the third year of high school, I thought this is not good, and started to study. However, I did not want to be seen studying, so I played basketball and other things until late afternoon, and after that I studied till three in the morning.

(You admirably passed the exam to enter the University of Kyoto. How was your campus life?)

In those days, the student movements were so active that it was not possible to attend classes in a normal way. Therefore club activities were my mainly life
I was into Rallying, so I joined the Automobile club, and I continued to run the car everyday.

I went into grad school, but study did not become the center of my life.

(I see.Now, would you tell me the background of founding the free-paper business?)

After graduating grad school, I got employed to a company called Ebara Corporation and resided in United States for about two years. The experience during that time became the basis of founding the business.
At that time, more than 70% of the families in Japan subscribed the newspaper, but in United States, people did not subscribe newspapers. It was more common to buy it only on Wednesdays and Thursdays which included many coupons.

In those days, there was a trend that things which became popular in USA would also become popular in Japan after 5 or 10 years, so I thought Japanese newspaper situation will be similar in the near future.
This will be in 2005, but the market of advertisements were 5900 billion yen over all, and out of that, newspapers were 1 trillion yen, magazines were 390 billion yen, and fliers were
470 billion yen.

If the newspapers were gone, what will happen to this 1 trillion yen?
At that time, the only infrastructure to give out fliers were the newspapers, but if I could make the infrastructure which cost less than the newspaper, and which can limit the area to advertise, I thought it can replace newspapers.

And, that is the free-paper.

I had an idea that IT will develop rapidly, so there was an expectation that I will be able to do the editing by using computers instead of hands.

In other words, I had an insight that making free-papers will become easy.

(So, that’s the background of issuing “Pado” in 1987. What troubled you in those days?)

I broke down the areas to issue, and made a good media, but I couldn’t get the advertisements.

Free papers were still rare, so it was not easy to be trusted. That was painful.

(Recently, overseas deployment of Japanese companies stands out. Does your company have similar plan?)

"Pado"'s circulation is 12.6 million in Japan now, and this is also registered to Guinness. I am planning to expand the issue regions, and to increase the number of copies without satisfying with the current state. Therefore I will certainly determine to expand overseas in the process.

(What kind of information is published in “Pado?”)

Mostly information which is useful in the daily life for the people who lives in the issue area. We publish information on local restaurants, hair salons, job opportunities, and all sorts of information on living area.

We hand out to families, so the target is mainly on house wives.