“PPE Wars” with Tomo Hasegawa, CEO Medline Japan

Posted By on Jan 23, 2021 in Events | 0 comments


LOCATION CHANGE For better social distancing due to a bigger than expected turnout, we are moving to a large private room in the Andaz Hotel Toranomon Hills. If you have already clicked yes, you do not need to do so again.

“PPE Wars” with Tomo Hasegawa, CEO Medline Japan

December 17, 8am – 930am.

Location: private room (Kitchen Table, a private room inside the Tavern Grill & Lounge, 51F Andaz Hotel, Toranomon.)

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/7sLHx5wCv91emm2x5

The cost will be 5,000 yen for a breakfast of Japanese fruits and fresh juices, French cheeses, Swiss muesli, French croissants, butter and jams; and local charcuterie. Strong coffee and tea will be on hand to help alertness. You will be billed by Paypal after the event.

6 months ago, as Corona started to spread, governments found themselves caught between heavy media expectations to keep their populations safe, and the reality that they had either not prepared at all, or for the wrong threat.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns) became the focus of these shortages, as without them, essential nurses and doctors were in danger of becoming victims themselves.

Politicians and civil servants reacted to the crisis with un-bureaucratic violence, short-termism and extravagance. Instead of going through the usual channels, they tried to circumvent the supply chain and go straight to the factories. France, Canada, the UK – few national leaderships resisted the temptation to get their hands on kit as quickly as possible. Inevitably and predictably, the result was delay, less and more unequal supply, and soaring prices.

One of the most egregious displays came from President Trump. He naturally followed an “America First” policy, pressurizing companies like 3M to jeopardize relationships with non-Americans, and even flouting humanitarian concerns by capturing masks destined for front-line workers outside the US.

Today, the focus has shifted from masks to gloves. The epicenter of the current shortage lies in Malaysia, which is the world’s foremost manufacturer of latex gloves. Companies there went over to the ‘dark side’ and abandoned decency almost completely for financial gain, estimates our speaker. While masks went up 2-3 times in prices despite 40x increase in the raw materials; gloves have gone up 10x and more, with much weaker growth in raw materials prices.

Ironically, one of the leading Malaysian glove suppliers has been closed down as a result of thousands of its workers falling ill with Covid 19. Another maker is being investigated for atrocious labour conditions. Merited though these sanctions are, they have made supply even tighter.

DN member Tomo Hasegawa, a fluent and thoughtful speaker, was at the centre of these developments. He will share his and his company’s dramatic and unique experiences during the pandemic, and draw out his leadership learnings.

Any CEO interested in one of the most significant case studies of global capitalism emerging from Covid 19 should attend this event.

Please note the meeting will be held according to Chatham House Rules and that guests are expected to take all the usual Covid 19 precautions.