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Yoshitsugu Tamakoshi
Renesas Electronics Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Renesas Electronics Singapore Pte. Ltd., generally known as RTSP, covers a very wide geographic region that includes the ASEAN countries, Australia, and India. RTSP is strengthening its capacity to accommodate the buoyant demand for semiconductors. Simultaneously, bolstered by a stronger lineup of key ASIC and MCU products, RTSP is accelerating a shift towards a demand-generating business strategy through the pursuit of design wins. We interviewed RTSP President Yoshitsugu Tamakoshi for this article.
What is the state of the market for semiconductors in Singapore?
Mr. Tamakoshi: Like elsewhere in Asia, demand for semiconductors has remained strong in the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), South Pacific, and Indian regions for which RTSP is responsible. In fact, there is a shortage of supply and we are doing all we can to satisfy the needs of our customers. The total value of the semiconductor market in 2003 was estimated to be 5.5 billion US dollars in Singapore, 6.4 billion US dollars in Malaysia, and 6.4 billion US dollars in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

What is your reputation with customers?
Mr. Tamakoshi: Renesas is well recognized as a major global supplier of semiconductors in the regions we cover. After the merger of the two companies, our customers are expecting even better support in the form of lower prices, shorter lead times, and a more flexible response. RTSP was immediately recognized as a "best partner" able to deliver high-quality support and customer satisfaction. We are working hard to realize the synergies created by the merger.

What are your product strategies and key categories?
Mr. Tamakoshi: At RTSP, we are aiming to broaden our range in the key product categories of microcomputers and ASICs. The flash memory and MCP sectors are currently suffering from supply shortages, so we are striving to increase our production capacity. We are also looking to increase sales of general-purpose components such as transistors and diodes, especially those products produced locally by Renesas Semiconductor (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (RSM).

The primary market sectors we serve are data processing, which is dominated by American companies, and home appliances and consumer electronics products, which are dominated by Japanese companies. In these markets, it’s essential that Renesas maintains a close working relationship between facilities and customers in Japan, America, and the ASEAN countries. Another market sector we are planning to focus on is automotive products, particularly in Thailand.

Offices of RTSP
Tell us about RTSP’s market strategy.
Mr. Tamakoshi: RTSP covers a large number of countries including India, Australia, and New Zealand, in addition to the ASEAN countries, and there are a significant number of Japanese companies active in this region. Considering the ASEAN area alone, the characteristics and status of the markets differ between countries. Therefore, we must develop and implement individual strategies optimized for the specific current and future needs of each country, region, or market.

In addition to supporting the agency business (order and fulfillment), which is our principal activity at present, I believe we must transform RTSP into a business that can build value with customers (demand creation). We will do this by providing customers with solutions and, in particular, by more actively pursuing design wins. By emphasizing design wins, we aim to change RTSP from a company that satisfies demand, to a proactive one that creates demand. Fortunately, our customers, including Japanese companies, are increasingly strengthening their R&D presence in the regions we serve.

What is the most important activity for achieving your goals?
Mr. Tamakoshi: To achieve our goals, I believe, first of all, that is important for us at RTSP to obtain deeper understandings of our customers and business opportunities, then establish strategies optimized by region and market. We can become a more important Renesas sales base by implementing those tailored strategies in ways that achieve maximum sales and the best possible marketing performance. I also want to strengthen our engineering support in conjunction with Renesas System Solutions Asia Pte. Ltd. (RSS).

In terms of our organization in Singapore, based on my analysis and evaluation of the state of RTSP, I aim to restructure it to improve our operation and performance, while taking full advantage of the resources we already have. For countries outside Singapore, after talking to the people working in each of the regions we serve, I want to establish a better structure that supports our customers in ways that are more locally focused.

Overall, the current RTSP objective is to increase Renesas’ market ranking in the ASEAN region to number three, matching the overall international ranking of our global corporation. This is a good goal, an attainable one.

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