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Omotenashi: Elevating Hospitality to an Art in Japanese Corporate Culture



Omotenashi is a Japanese word that roughly translates to hospitality. From an etymological point of view, Omotenashi is a compound word. It derives from the word "Omote", which means public face, alluding to a fake personality one shows people, and "Nashi" with means without. We can therefore deduce that Omotenashi is the genuine desire for one's guests to be content and comfortable without any hidden agendas.


Alas! In the corporate world Omotenashi receives quite a different definition than plain old hospitality. In this context, Omotenashi means providing your clients with everything they could possibly need, prioritizing their comfort and creating a lasting impression. Thus, the supplier heeds to the ancient law of supply and demand, making sure to give the clients an unforgettable experience. In fact, that means that the needs of the clients have to be catered for before they even get the chance to vocalize them.


If we take a deeper dive, Omotenashi is very focused on the details. That means that during meetings, not only will the presentations and materials offered be very thoughtful but they will also be chosen meticulously. Furthermore, the concept of Omotenashi entails the respectful treatment of customers. After all, according to the saying the customer is always right.


Last but not least, the goal of Omotenashi is building the foundation of a long-term relationship with the clients, which will turn into a fruitful partnership. Of course, building such a relationship is challenging. Businesses are required to use every technological tool available in order to optimize the experience of their clients, while still maintaining the human touch that makes a relationship so special.


In a world where business transactions can often seem dull and impersonal, the spirit of Omotenashi stands as a beacon of authenticity and connection. It beckons us to embrace the fundamental essence of hospitality, where the well-being of our guests and partners takes precedence over all else.


By Maria Zoi Michailidou - Corporate Culture Correspondent at YNBC

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