CSR

Staff Interview

IBJ Marriage & Life Design Support Company

Interview staff profile‚Äč

Name: Tsuchiya Kazuhiro

Job/Post: General Manager, Affiliate Business

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Over 4,000 marriage counseling agencies

Utsumi: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. First of all, could you tell us briefly about your work, Mr. Tsuchiya?

Tsuchiya: We operate a federation business that connects marriage agencies throughout Japan through the IBJ system. Currently, the number of member agencies has exceeded 4,000.

Utsumi: 4,000 companies! That's pretty amazing to hear... Are the marriage agencies that work with IBJ so-called franchisees?

Tsuchiya: This is often misunderstood. IBJ's main business is to provide a database of members, so unlike most franchises, the matchmakers who operate the agencies nationwide operate their agencies as independent businesses. Therefore, while IBJ provides guidance on basic rules and operational advice, the management of the business is left to the individual agencies to make their own decisions. However, they are all working toward the same common goal of creating successful marriages.

Utsumi: I see, so you are saying that you respect the autonomy of the matchmaker.

Tsuchiya: Yes, people who use marriage counseling services have a wide variety of needs, including concerns about marriage activity and compatible types of people, and I believe that the individuality of each member agency in this regard is a great advantage.

IBJ Matchmakers

Utsumi: What is a matchmaker in IBJ?

Tsuchiya: I believe that the matchmaker at IBJ plays a very strong role as a supporter. Members may experience various anxieties and worries during the process of marriage activity, and IBJ's matchmakers are responsible for dealing with these worries one by one. In addition, this is a job that requires a delicate skill to verbalize and organize feelings and thoughts through interviews. As part of this process, IBJ matchmakers also provide guidance on how to review the content of dates, fashion, and how to make conversation lively, and work together with the couple until marriage.

Utsumi: Rather than leading, you are accompanying and supporting.

What is the business model of a marriage agency?

Utsumi: I'm going to change the subject a bit, but I think that many IBJ marriage agencies are doing this as a business, What do you think are the advantages of running a dating agency as a new business?

Tsuchiya: The monthly fee is for the duration of the member's activity, and the risk of the fee suddenly decreasing to zero next month is very low, so it is a stock-type profit. Furthermore, IBJ places emphasis on the marriage fee (performance-based fee) among the above-mentioned three points, so the matchmaker can make a profit by getting the member married quickly, and the client can achieve his/her goal of marriage quickly, which I think is an important point that benefits both parties.

Utsumi: So the goal for both the matchmaker and the marriage member is to "get married".

Tsuchiya: The important thing is that the most profitable way for us to do this is to have you get married. I think it is very healthy that profits and objectives are aligned. Also, even if you are newly entering the marriage agency business, you can quickly get on track as a marriage agency business because you can generate revenue by activating the activities of your members. However, our priority is the happiness of our members, so please be assured that we do not force you to get married. Hospitality comes first.

Utsumi: For new marriage counselors, IBJ has many advantages besides its commercial products!

The Future of the Marriage Agency Business

Utsumi: I am very happy to see the number of franchisees increase, but are there any challenges?

Tsuchiya: Since the increase in the number of merchants has made it difficult to reach the opinions of each merchant, I would like to introduce a "branch system".

Utsumi: What is the system like?

Tsuchiya: This is an initiative to solve the problems and issues of each region with the same awareness of the issues at IBJ headquarters, similar to the way that nationwide consultation offices are grouped by prefecture and assigned a leader.

Utsumi: I think this means that IBJ's circle of marriage counselors is expanding, and I look forward to working more closely with our member agencies next year to further develop IBJ's business! Thank you very much for your time today!