`From An Apprentice In A Bicycle Shop To National & Panasonic Brands`
Born in a rural village in 1894, Konosuke Matsushita became one of the world`s pre-eminent industrialists as well as prominent thinker on social and philosophical questions. Apprenticed at the age of nine, young Konosuke worked in a bicycle shop and then the Osaka Electric Light Company, where his wiring skills won him rapid promotion. His confidence in the virtues of a light socket he had designed led Matsushita to found his own company in 1917, at the age of 22. Although the going was very tough at first, Matsushita Electric began to grow rapidly by the next year, with the employee rolls swelling to 20. In 1925, the company began to use the `National trademark of its appliances as it began to reach out for the mass market by lowering prices to drive up sales volume, as Henry Ford had done. The rest of Konosuke Matsushita`s career contained many notable highlights and examples of leadership under fire: his decision, during the 1930 economic crisis, not to fire factory employees but to send them out to sell the backlog of unsold inventory; his founding of the PHP (Peace, Happiness, Prosperity) Institute in 1947 and countless other incidents.