With over thousands of Honda bike dealers and an average annual net income ranging from billions to trillions of Japanese Yen, it would seem a bit perplexing to know that this multinational automobile manufacturing company has had its humble start in the simple town of Iwata-gun in Japan. More so, it is equally surprising that the founder of the Honda Motor Company, Ltd. has not had a formal education, yet managed to work his way to the top of the world’s highly competitive business arena. With his unwavering trust in his crafts and unmatched determination to succeed, Mr. Soichiro Honda has been the epitome of the “Rags-to-Riches” mantra. Undeniably, his overwhelmingly successful story has warmed the hearts of many people in Japan, and even of those beyond the Asia Pacific region.
Helping his blacksmith father in their little bicycle business back in their neighbourhood until the age of fifteen, Honda had acquired his interest in automobiles, which he pursued later on in life. In the hope of finding a decent job despite his lack of educational background, Honda moved to Tokyo. In 1922, Honda found himself working as a car mechanic in a certain garage in the Japanese capital. Using the knowledge he had acquired in his six years of working as an apprentice mechanic, Honda decided to move back to his hometown and put up his own automobile repair shop.
Subsequently, Honda organized the Tokai Seiki Company Ltd, which longed to manufacture piston rings. However, Honda had unfortunately hit a wall: he did not have the sufficient knowledge to make his piston rings business successful.
Being as persevering and hardworking as he was, Honda enrolled in a technical school in 1935 for the sole purpose of discovering how to produce piston rings properly. And there the tides of his life started to turn.
Tides Had Started to Turn
Utilizing the more profound knowledge he had acquired from school, Honda began to produce piston rings for motorcycles and airplanes. This business made him realize the shortage of motorcycles supply. Hence, with just thirteen employees, Honda had founded his Honda Motor Company in Hammatsu. Later on, they were able to manufacture high-quality motorcycles, which, fortunately, were hugely accepted in the market.
Furthermore, although it took them a hard time at first to market customers in the United States, they were able to put up a good competition with other companies in America and even managed to multiply their number of Honda bike dealers in a matter of years.
At the end of the day, hard work really pays off in the end, just like how hard work brought Mr. Soichiro Honda from rags to riches.