How did you come to be in the energy industry?
As a Japanese standard university student in the 20th century, I entered Osaka Gas as soon as I graduated. I wanted to do something important for Japan with poor energy resources. At the time of my graduation, Japanese oil companies and upstream companies were not well known among university students and I chose a utility company which had established close and good relationships with end users.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
From a global viewpoint, it is a challenge whether to be able to supply energy that can balance CO2 suppression and low cost supply with stability at the same time. Regarding Japan, energy companies should expand business in Asian countries including renewables in addition to gas and thermal power projects.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today’s global energy markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
Markets in Southeast and South Asia. We should simplify and adapt the technology and services cultivated in Japan to each local market.
If you could wave a magic wand over our industry, what would you change and why?
Create a global platform where everybody in the world can access abundant and stable energy sources equitably.
What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?
Survival in the liberalized home market and increase overseas investment and LNG trading activities in addition to increase electricity sales in Japan.
What differentiates your company from similar companies working in Asia Pacific?
We may help in a smart and kind way any company who would like to expand their business throughout LNG and gas value chain.
How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
A company that is somewhat cautious, but does not betray trust and we always tackle any difficult issue with a serious and sincere attitude.
What takeaways would you like attendees at our Asia Pacific Assembly to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia Pacific and further afield?
From the upstream to the downstream, I want you to understand that Osaka Gas is a company worthy of having a relationship as a good alliance partner.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
It was the first big gas fired power generation project realized by a Japanese city gas company where I was in charge of completing planning and purchase of highly competitive LNG dedicated to the project.
What one businessman/woman do you most admire and why?
Ms. Kathleen Eisbrenner. She can break ‘the common sense’ in LNG industry and realizes what she believes necessary or her dream with strong will power and belief.
What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
Management is not Science but Art.
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in the energy industry?
It is an industry with a rapid change, but it is indispensable for human life, so it will never disappear. However, it is important to look for and anticipate what will happen during the next 30 years and which business model and company will survive.
All-time favourite book?
Barbarians at the gate, By Burrough and Helyar
All-time favourite film?
A Fish Called Wanda
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
Electric bass, high power amplifier and a nice audio system
About Yasuo Ryoki
Yasuo Ryoki graduated from Kobe University Faculty of Law and joined Osaka Gas in 1979. He has been active in wide areas of businesses in Osaka Gas Group until today. In particular, he led LNG trading (procurement and resale) and investments in upstream assets, LNG tankers and overseas terminals for more than 13 years in total.
In addition to General Managers in LNG, he has served as a manager of corporate planning, capital markets finance, GM of residential sales, and as the CEO of functional chemical subsidiaries. Since 2013, he was appointed as the Senior Executive Officer and Director of the Board and a Head of Commercial and Industrial Marketing Business Unit.
He promoted gas sales businesses in Asian countries in addition to demand development activities in Japan. From April 2016, he gives advice to Osaka Gas Group’s international strategy and managements of upstream companies as an Advisor to Osaka Gas and as a Chairman of Osaka Gas Australia.