7 2 | S U P E R B R A N D S V O L U M E I X MARKET Pilot Pen (S) Pte Ltd (”Pilot”) is part of an international network of 18 subsidiaries under the Pilot Corporation that is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company is a respected name in the writing instrument industry with a reputation for designing and manufacturing world-class products. It continues to be the leading brand of disposable writing instruments in Singapore. Pilot’s wide range of products cater to the different writing needs of customers, who range from students to professional draughtsmen. The company has maintained its popularity and strong market share by offering competitive pricing, creative original designs and innovative ink products. ACHIEVEMENTS The company has continued to grow rapidly and is recognised as a forward-looking, innovative company. It has been acknowledged multiple times as a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand at both the Platinum and Gold levels. The company has also actively sponsored the National Inter-School Badminton Cham- pionships, also known as the Pilot Pen Cup, for primary and secondary schools for the past 18 years, and was a sponsor of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010. This year, Pilot Pen gets in on the sporting action as the Official Writing Instruments Partner of SEA Games 2015. The sponsorship is a key milestone in Pilot’s ongoing community efforts and steadfast commitment in cultivating young sports talent. HISTORY The founder of Pilot Corporation, mechanical engineer Ryosuke Namiki, was an alumni and professor of the Tokyo Merchant Marine College in Japan. While at the college, he identified a need to improve the quality of pens used for drawing. Upon successfully designing a gold writing tip for fountain pens, Namiki entered a partnership with colleague, Masao Wada, to form the Namiki Manufacturing Company in 1918. Within just eight years of its establishment, Pilot had set up offices in London, New York, Shanghai and Singapore. These milestones were quickly followed with the launch of its first mechani- cal pencils, oil-based ink markers, and the manufacture and sale of its innovative ballpoint pens. Pilot also created a niche for itself in the mar- ket of ink cartridges, pencil leads, stationery and computer supplies. The company was renamed The Pilot Pen Co Ltd in 1938. Years later in 1961, Pilot was listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and the following year it was listed on the first section of both the Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges. During the 1960s, Pilot moved forward with expansion into Europe and the set up offices in Italy and France. In 1989, the company was renamed Pilot Corporation, and today, the organisation has 18 subsidiaries and five affiliates across the United States, Europe and Asia. PRODUCT Although Pilot’s roots lie in fountain pens, the company plays a leading role in the development of other forms of writing technology. While competitors will often outsource the manufacture of various writing components, Pilot makes its own components, under strict quality control, in its plants in Japan, the United States, France and Brazil. Committed to quality, Pilot invests heavily in research and development, and state- of-the-art facilities, to ensure that it is always at the forefront of innovation. Pilot’s top-of-the-line fountain pens showcase the level of expertise the company has achieved over the years. The fountain pen’s hallmark is its distinctive Japanese lacquer polish that never fades. Pilot’s world-class collection of fountain pens feature hand-painted maki-e, a centuries- old art that transforms gold, silver, colour pigments and lacquer into artistic expressions.