[Case Study] Octagon’s Personal Approach Enables Japanese Innovators in Mobility Aid to Grow their Commercial Operations in Europe

In the ever-growing and increasingly mobile age that we live in today, the Japanese firm WHILL works tirelessly to ensure that nobody gets left behind. Through top-of-the-line technology and an innovative design, WHILL personal electronic vehicles provide those with mobility issues better means to be mobile.

WHILL was founded in Japan back in 2012 with the mission to provide fun and innovation to people requiring mobility aid. After experiencing massive, rapid growth in the Japanese market, WHILL leadership decided to take the next step in bringing their innovation to the world stage: penetrating the European market.

President of WHILL Europe, Shogo Koda, explains that moving to the Netherlands was of great strategic importance in order to achieve their global goals. Shogo Koda states that their short-term goal was to promote their flagship product, the Model C, in Europe and sought to grow in the region as quickly as possible.

In 2018, Octagon Professionals was hired to help WHILL establish their European Headquarters in Amsterdam. Shogo Koda explains that, at the start, WHILL prioritized hiring Business Development and After-Sales Professionals. These professionals were essential in enabling WHILL to establish a local network, and provide support to European-based clients and contacts.

“Octagon Professionals came highly recommended by my network,” explains Shogo Koda. He mentions that he was particularly impressed when he first connected with one of our senior recruitment specialists. “I really appreciated her personal approach. It’s very unique. (Octagon) seemed prime to understand our needs, rather than feel inclined to make a ‘deal’. This approach is what made me decide that Octagon is the right recruitment partner for WHILL.”

The WHILL European division has been seeing steady growth since it first opened its doors in 2018.  To enable WHILL to continue growing, Octagon Professionals has been at their side helping them find the people they need.

“Octagon has enabled us to work seriously and find the right candidates,” explains Shogo Koda. “They are serious about finding the right cultural match: one of the most important aspects for a relatively small team like us.”

Shogo Koda also explains that the Octagon team is consulted for advice during negotiations with clients. Octagon’s diverse team provides an in-depth understanding of both cultures, which helps during these talks.

“Growing companies know how important it is to hire people who have the right cultural fit,” explains Shogo Koda. “That’s why the Octagon team is great for any growing team, or company trying to grow quickly.”