Choosing Servcorp as an office provider: An Entrepreneur's Challenge to Transform Dental Culture in Japan

Serviced Office client at Tri-Seven Roppongi


In recent years demand for shared offices has grown as remote work continues to become more common. When looking for an office to grow her business, Ayako Murakami, CEO of HATHOR JAPAN K.K., also looked into a variety of shared office options available in Tokyo. We asked her why she chose Servcorp along with her thoughts on taking on the challenge of changing the dentistry culture in Japan.

“To make teeth cleaning a part of Japanese culture, we’ve developed an orthodontic mouthpiece called ‘oriental line’ as a way to expand and develop new business in dentistry”

Ms. Ayako Murakami
Tri-Seven Roppongi Building
Serviced Office client

Overall wellness and beauty cannot be achieved without good dental health

Tell us about your company…

We are a business in the oral health and beauty industry, and our corporate concept is ‘Health and Beauty.’ I’ve been in the dental industry for about 20 years and have always felt that information on dental health has not been accurately handled in Japan.

In April 2019, I started a dental business to create change and to make teeth cleaning a part of Japanese culture, and we’ve developed an orthodontic mouthpiece called ‘oriental line’ to expand and develop a new business in dentistry.

Is there a relation between dental hygiene, beauty, and health?

Yes, you cannot achieve total wellness and beauty if you neglect your oral health. Among the medically advanced countries, Japan is behind in terms of periodontal disease and preventing tooth decay. Treatment has become the focus instead of prevention. The health care system unique to Japan provides people with universal health insurance. This may be one of the reasons why preventive dentistry is not common because many seem to think it’s more affordable to treat after getting the disease.

Is it too late to treat tooth decay after you get a cavity?

The tooth will need to be shaved and once it’s been shaved it cannot regrow. Fillings covered by insurance only last for around three years so each time they are refilled, parts of the tooth that are not decayed will also be shaved. If this continues, you’ll eventually lose your teeth. We need to ask ourselves “Why did I get a cavity in the first place?” instead of the repeated process of treatment. Patients need to be more conscious about protecting their teeth.

"I would first like to spread the awareness of preventive dentistry in Japan. Most dental hygienists are working more as a supportive role for dentists, so I started this company with the idea of doing more of the work that we’re supposed to be doing.”

Between the developing countries, Japan is behind in periodontal disease and preventing tooth decay

What is the difference between Japan and other countries?

For example, in the U.S. treatment costs may not be covered by insurance, so it can cost up to tens of thousands of yen just for a treatment. This makes people try to avoid getting any cavities altogether. Also in other countries, a Dental Hygienist is considered someone who prevents diseases, and the position is highly respected. On the other hand, dental hygienists in Japan are seen as simply assistants or just cleaners and many of them may be unmotivated and therefore unable to make proper use of their knowledge and skills.

So, you would like to bridge the gaps between Japan and other countries?

That’s right. I would first like to spread the awareness of preventive dentistry in Japan. Most dental hygienists are working more as a supportive role for dentists, so I started this company with the idea of doing more of the work that we’re supposed to be doing.

Can you tell me how orthodontic treatment is related to dental health?

It is said that bacteria in the mouth can impact diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Misaligned teeth cannot be brushed properly and are more likely to cause tooth decay and gum disease. It can also worsen symptoms of headaches and stiff shoulders. In other words, dental health and physical health are very closely connected.

Is the mouthpiece "Oriental Line" a treatment method for bite correction and teeth alignment?

Yes. Oriental Line is a transparent mouthpiece which is used to digitally correct teeth alignment using AI technology. It doesn’t damage the oral cavity and does not stand out like conventional wired braces so it’s gaining popularity.

How is AI technology used in teeth correction?

There are cases where patients who had wired braces in their teens have to repeat the same orthodontic treatment years later. One of the core issues is the design. Oriental Line uses AI to measure the moving distance between the teeth and calculates how many mouthpieces should be used to align your teeth into the desired position.

Dentists who have corrected the alignment of thousands of people's teeth create a treatment plan based on their past calculations and treatments. Rather than comparing it with other past similar cases like they do, we create a customized treatment plan catering to each patient with the help of a skilled specialist, making the treatment very precise.

There are many companies that provide services for teeth correction, but I’m proud to say that our system uses the safest technology, as there have been almost no errors in the planning, and the treatment period is almost always on schedule.

"The atmosphere of Servcorp was the perfect fit for me. It was an obvious choice seeing the difference in the hospitality of the staff, the office interior and security.”

The reason for choosing Servcorp: To motivate my employees

What made you decide you wanted to change from virtual office to a serviced office client?

Back in April 2019, we decided to start as a Virtual Office client since we had just started our business. As our business began to grow and the number of employees also increased, we decided it was time to upgrade to a Serviced Office in March 2021.

To be honest, it was over my budget, but there happened to be a really nice office available, so I decided to take a leap and sign the contract. Now that we have a permanent and private office, the staff can concentrate on their work.

Out of all shared office providers, why did you choose Servcorp?

I went around and checked out a lot of different office providers. There was a wide variety to choose from, some offices were more casual with lots of chatter and looked like cafés, and others were member only facilities usually on the top floor. The atmosphere of Servcorp was the perfect fit for me. It was an obvious choice seeing the difference in the hospitality of the staff, and of course the office interior and security.

Can you tell me in detail about the differences?

The difference was in the welcoming presence and professional conduct of the reception team. Servcorp’s receptionists are always the first to greet our visitors, and a bad first impression really affects our company’s image. It is great that I don’t have to worry about how our guests will be treated, because of the high-quality service Servcorp provides.

What do you think about the costs?

I can’t say that the prices are cheap, but I know that my staff has the best space to work in. I believe that if they work in a high-quality environment, motivation will increase which makes them aim much higher for their goals. Due to the nature of our work, we have a lot of female staff, and some of them have actually improved how they conduct themselves and maintain their appearance after seeing how Servcorp’s secretaries present themselves.

Was the fact that there are bilingual staff one of the reasons why you chose Servcorp?

Yes, I’m currently not working with any companies overseas, but I’m certainly looking into it. When the time comes, I would like to ask for their support in translating and interpreting.

Also, many Servcorp clients are in foreign-affiliated companies, or they seem to have a calm demeanor, so that’s a plus for me. Being able to have an environment where I can concentrate on work is one of the most important things.

There are 16 locations in Tokyo, why did you decide on our Roppongi location?

At Servcorp, the atmosphere of the floor and staff differs depending on each location. Marunouchi and Nijubashi are the most convenient locations for me in terms of access, however, as soon as I stepped in the Roppongi office I knew it was perfect for me. Furthermore, the quiet atmosphere of its location just outside the busy center of Roppongi was another key factor in making my decision. If you are looking to use Servcorp, make sure you tour around to find the location that suits you.

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