Human Resource Development and Growth
Opportunities to Expand Globally from Japan

Over its 123-year history, the Suntory Group has continued to "challenge new frontiers of value," thereby growing into the global multifaceted beverage company that it is today.
As a global company originating in Japan, we will continue to provide each and every employee with diverse growth opportunities and deliver new value to consumers around the world.

Business expansion and expansion of employee growth fields

Diverse businesses, regions, and functions as career options

Over the course of its history, the Suntory Group has expanded into a variety of fields, starting from the Western liquor business and growing to encompass beer, soft drinks, health foods, restaurants, and flowers. Today, the Suntory Group offers a diverse value chain and functions as a manufacturer in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

As Suntory grows as a global multifaceted beverage company, each of our 40,000 employees has access to diverse options, continues to take on challenges and grow, and delivers new value to consumers around the world.

Number of Group companies by region (as of December 31, 2022)
Americas: 52 companies; Europe: 88 companies; Asia/Oceania: 63 companies; Japan: 67 companies

Click here for more information on Suntory's business strategy

All-employee talent management

Suntory continues to practice "all-employee talent management" in which importance is placed on the growth of each individual based on his or her career vision.
We aim to appoint the right people to the right positions to accelerate individual growth based on mid- to long-term development plans, as well as business and organizational growth.
The Human Resources Department is committed to dealing directly with each and every employee instead of simply gathering information on the status of employees indirectly from supervisors, and conducts one-on-one interviews with more than 500 employees annually.

Approx. 700 employees take on new work challenges each year under our company-wide personnel transfer system, which mainly takes place in spring and fall, and notably, many of these employees are transferred between businesses, regions, and job categories.

In addition, we are enhancing our ability to also provide overseas employees, originally recruited under different employment practices, with opportunities to take on new challenges by taking advantage of the Suntory Group's diverse range of fields. We are seeing an increasing number of success stories, as in the case of a sales representative recruited in Oceania, who was assigned to the Auditing Department in Japan, and a director in Beam Suntory's Finance and Accounting Department, who was appointed as CFO of Suntory Beverage & Food Europe Limited. Such personnel transfers, which leverage the individual's career vision, support the development of the Suntory Group by helping the employees themselves grow while also stimulating the organization and generating synergy between businesses.

Suntory University, a place for Suntory employees worldwide to learn

Suntory Group believes that "people" are the source of its corporate growth and actively engages in human resource development, including opening a corporate university, Suntory University, in April 2015. Although it is called a "university," there are no campuses or buildings. Rather, it is a generic term for a human resource development program designed to aid the Suntory Group in developing globally.

Suntory University aims to encourage all employees to take the Founding Spirits to heart, continue learning and evolving in line with their aspirations, and contribute to the growth of Suntory Group's businesses through their own personal growth.

Suntory University develops and offers a variety of programs for all employees in the group based on four aspects—cultivating a culture of self-development and continued personal growth, sharing and implementing the founding spirit, leadership development, and skills development for the future.

Suntory University's global efforts won Bronze in the 2022 Learning Elite Awards program, sponsored by Chief Learning Office magazine, published by BetterWork Media Group in the US, which recognizes companies that excel in employee learning and development initiatives.

Spreading the "philosophy" as a common language

The Suntory Group has developed two programs to promote understanding and proliferation of its corporate philosophy and Founding Spirits.

Global Leadership Forum

This program is for senior leaders in Japan and overseas who have newly joined the Suntory Group. It is closely tied to management, with the president and other members of the management team personally serving as instructors.

The program aims to spread our Founding Spirits and corporate culture across national, organizational, and functional boundaries with a view of management across the entire Suntory Group, and to uncover synergistic seeds by sharing expertise and experience through relationships between participants. After attending the program, participants are expected to embody in their own business the Suntory Group DNA with which they have been instilled.

Ambassador Program

This program is to help the employees of overseas group companies become "ambassadors" to promote the Suntory culture in their own organizations. Through dialog with management and international interaction between participants, the program promotes understanding and proliferation of the Suntory Group culture, corporate philosophy, and Founding Spirits.

Strengthening Suntory's unique leadership style worldwide

We operate the following programs, which incorporate a variety of points of contact with others outside the company, both in Japan and overseas, and in different industries, in order to continuously develop global management personnel.

Suntory Harvard Program

An original program developed by Suntory in partnership with Harvard Business School to realize a true Global One Suntory that transcends national borders and to bolster systems for competition in the global market. Through discussions with management executives, participants learn about global business trends and innovations, and develop a global mindset, leadership skills, and a group management network that transcends national borders.

Beyond Borders

A program developed jointly with Wharton Business School with the aim of fostering global leaders to drive the Suntory Group as a whole to expand beyond the boundaries of its businesses. Over the course of the roughly eight-month program, participants improve their leadership skills, deepen their innovative and strategic thinking, and acquire the abilities required of senior leaders on the global stage. The program also fosters global synergy across national borders and businesses by building a network of leaders active in the Suntory Group around the world.

Global Leadership Development Program

A program targeting team leaders selected from across the Suntory Group to continuously produce future global management talent. The roughly eight-month program was designed in partnership with Cambridge University, and participants undergo a total of three group sessions, coaching, and action learning, and make a final presentation directly to management. Participants gain a deep understanding of the nature of leadership in global management by learning about everything from mindset to sustainability and other key issues, while tying it all back to Suntory's leadership behaviors.

Training next-generation managers

A program is for senior general managers and general managers to develop a transformational management team that will create the next generation of the Suntory Group. Participants engage in action learning, tackling their own management issues based on lectures from top leaders from inside and outside the company, and finally make proposals for management concepts in line with specific themes, such as digital technology, sustainability, and global markets, to realize the 2030 Vision.

Rush to the manager next door!

We also work to improve human resource development at the managerial level. As the name implies, the "Rush to the manager next door!" program allows employees at the managerial level and above to share their concerns and knowledge about human resource development and learn best practices from each other.

Participants share expertise on human resource development, which tends to be a highly individualized with concerns such as "I don't even know where to start when it comes to member development" and "I don't know how to help members who are struggling with their careers." We also invite famous sports coaches and others to give lectures on the secrets of management. In the future, we intend to further enhance the training culture company-wide with a view to collaborating with other projects and divisions.

Career ownership among all employees

The Suntory Group engages in a variety of initiatives to support continuous personal growth and maximizing abilities and achievements, with the belief that all employees becoming "strong individuals who set high goals, take on challenges, and carry through (i.e., career owners) will lead to a more competitive and powerful organization and company.

A career vision for each and every employee

Suntory holds career vision interviews once a year as opportunities for each and every employee to think about his or her career with a manager in order to achieve personal growth. The key is to formulate a career vision with a medium-term outlook through two-way communication with the manager. Employees on childcare leave are also encouraged to participate in these interviews as opportunities to think about their careers following reinstatement.

To help employees think about their careers, we have established Career Vision, a website that consolidates reference information on job descriptions for each company and department as well as the type of personnel being sought.

Another purpose of the career vision interviews is to provide training tailored to the individual and aid in ensuring that the right people are in the right positions. Managers at Suntory place so much importance on each individual's vision that it would not be an exaggeration to say that they are aware of every single employee's career vision. Employees, managers, and human resources representatives work in tandem to promote career development.

In April 2023, we established the 100-Year Career Department within Suntory University to help employees acquire the mindset and skill set they need to be able to adapt to the "age of 100-year lifespans" and to think more independently about their own careers.

Department Forum BUSHOFO

Suntory holds Department Forum BUSHOFO, joint briefing sessions where employees introduce their departments to each other, to coincide with the timing of the annual career vision interviews and internal recruitment season. The aim is to broaden each employee's knowledge of the duties of other departments and encourage them to think deeply about their own careers.

Employees introduce their departments using exhibits, and we also plan executive panel discussions, lectures by outside instructors, and briefing sessions on themes such as global activities and digital transformation. In 2022, 75 departments set up exhibits, and there were a total of 5,256 participants. Participants are able to broaden their horizons. It also serves to increase motivation for their current duties and foster a culture within their departments.


In-house recruitment to carve out a career by stepping up

Suntory has been working to make more inter-departmental transfers through in-house recruitment, with the aims of both strengthening each department and developing employees. Recently, more than 200 employees have voluntarily stepped up to take on the challenge of a new career, including overseas posts and various other transfers targeting senior employees. This initiative is truly in the spirit of "Yatte Minahare" by supporting opportunities to take on new challenges as if changing jobs, such as moving from a sales position to a head office staff position, or digital novices taking on the challenge of working in a digital department.

My Suntory University, where employees can learn from anywhere in the world

The Suntory Group provides the learning platform My Suntory University (MySU) in multiple languages around the world.

Employees can learn from more than 18,000 internal and external online courses, videos, and materials at any time, selecting the one that best suits their needs. Available topics range from those related to Suntory's corporate philosophy, such as its Founding Spirits, MVV, and medium- to long-term vision, through to those related to skills useful in business. In addition to Japanese and English, the contents are also made available in multiple other languages, including French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, and Chinese (simplified and traditional) in order to provide equal learning opportunities around the world.

MySU also centrally manages training participation history and learning information, and this is used to prompt communication among training participants and support continued learning.

Suntory Self-Development Program

In order for each individual to work in their own way and in good health and vigor, and to continue to grow, it is necessary for them to take responsibility for their own work life and continue to make positive efforts. To support this, Suntory has introduced the Suntory Self-Development Program (SDP). The program consists of three types of training: volunteer training, in which participants study in real-time; e-learning, which allows participants study when they choose; and distance learning, which allows participants to take their time. A wide range of programs are available to employees of group companies in Japan. In addition to learning from the course itself, voluntary training, which brings participants together at the same time, is a useful means of networking among Group companies.

Terakoya, where employees actively learn from each other

In addition to the self-development program, in 2017 we also opened Terakoya, a learning platform based on the concepts of "learning," "connecting," and "teaching each other," in order to foster a culture of more casual and active learning. It is operated mainly for Suntory Group employees in Japan, and participants can attend lectures on a variety of topics ranging from work-related matters to general education, or conversely, they can give lectures themselves as instructors.

The lectures have been held mainly online since 2020, and more than 30,000 employees participated in 2021. The platform has become a very popular venue for casual learning, where employees can voluntarily interact with each other to gain knowledge. The platform is currently only available in Japan, but we plan to expand it to include other Suntory Group companies around the world in the future.

[2022 results] Number of participants (total): 27,465; Number of events during the year: 342 (including 207 by employee lecturers)

Liberal Arts, to attain extensive, true intelligence

We believe that in order for each and every one of us to grow, it is necessary for us to acquire extensive "true intelligence" in addition to business and language skills.

For this reason, at Suntory, we aim to expand the breadth of our thinking by creating opportunities to come into contact with the world of knowledge that we are rarely exposed to in our daily work.
In collaboration with the Suntory Foundation and the Suntory Foundation for the Arts, we invite lecturers from a variety of fields including culture, arts, and sports. The programs are free to attend from anywhere in Japan via live online streaming, and archived videos are also available for viewing. In addition to learning in advance from the lecturers' publications, participants can also listen to the lectures and even deepen their understanding via Q&A sessions.

Career support

In 2007, Suntory established the Career Support Department (currently renamed the Career Development Promotion Center). The Center supports the autonomous career development of each employee through individual career counseling, career interviews following personnel transfers, generation-specific workshops, and follow-up interviews, all conducted by professional advisors. Of these, the generation-specific workshops are mandatory programs for employees in their 3rd and 10th years of employment, as well as at the ages of 43 and 58. During the workshops, participants deepen their understanding of themselves by verbalizing their strengths and values, and then create a vision for their career moving forward. In addition, for employees in their 40s and 50s who want to think even more deeply, we offer volunteer workshops that can be attended at any time and any number of times. Through these sorts of multi-layered measures, we aim to be a company where employees who take responsibility for their own careers and continue to take positive, proactive action--in other words, employees with "career ownership"--can continue to grow while taking on abroad range of work challenges.

Coaching and mentoring

The Suntory Group has in-house executive coaches who have a deep understanding of our business and organization, as well as extensive professional coaching experience, to support the development of senior executives around the world. The content of the coaching is structured to meet the objectives of each individual, and the coaches draw out the target's thoughts through questions and dialog. In-house coaches also possess a wide variety of assessment certifications, including Leadership Potential Certification, and can support employee growth through feedback based on objective data.

In addition to professional coaches, we also make active use of a mentoring system among employees. We leverage internal networking to help each other grow. For example, when we want to boost knowledge and awareness of supply chain management among future management candidates, we appoint a supply chain executive as a mentor.