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FujiFilm Holdings: Not Another Dinosaur

May 28, 2012

Many great companies are now only memories. Bethlehem Steel is an example often used of a company which did not keep up with the times. Wang Computers came and went. Kodak went the way of the photographic film-down and out.

Just like Kodak there is another company that was purposely put up in 1934 to produce photographic film.  It was able to do so before the start of WW II and also produced-motion picture films, and X-ray films. In perhaps a sign of its ability to diversify it entered the optical glasses, lenses and equipment market in the 1940s. This company was Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.

After the war the company went beyond photo film getting into medical, printing, electronic imaging and magnetic materials disciplines.  In the early 1960s the company entered into a joint venture with Rank Xerox to form Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.

The birth and market acceptance of the digital camera dealt a painful body blow to Fujifilm as it severely affected its photo film business. It was not fatal as the company was also involved in other enterprises.

By 2006, the company announced plans to establish a holding company Fujifilm Holdings Corporation. This was its answer to the changing environment.  In fact the company considers this current period as their “Second Foundation”.  Fujifilm Holdings has three operating companies.

Fujifilm Corporation is in the Imaging Solutions business. This includes color films, digital cameras, and photofinishing equipment. Also under this company is the Information Solution business which includes medical diagnostics and life science equipments.

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd and its companies are into the Documentation Solutions business. This includes copy machines, printers, and production systems and services.

The third operating company is Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. It is into the pharmaceutical business. It’s focusing research and development in “anti-infective area”, “central nervous system and cardiology area”, and “anti-inflammatory area”. It already owns existing drugs.

From a company that was purely intent on producing photographic film it has managed to diversify and its existence did not die out with the demise of photographic film. The company now stands on three “legs” to keep it going.

 

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