Shimano is a Japanese company operating in the Leisure Products industry. The company is renowned for its high quality products, which can be divided in 3 segments. The bicycle segment is the largest segment and accounts for products such as drive, brake and other bike related components. The fishing segment accounts for products such as reels, rods and other recreational fishing gear. Finally the Rowing segment accounts for rowing-related equipment. Shozaburo Shimano founded the company in 1921 to produce bicycle freewheels, which at the time required the highest level of technology. Over the years, the company kept on strengthening its market position through the continuous improvement of its superior technological capabilities. Today Shimano has 12,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Sakai, Japan.
The company's positive impact comes from its strength of providing high quality products, which positions it as an essential contributor to the development of the bicycle market. Reuters estimates that the company holds roughly 70% of the mid- to high-end market for key components like derailleurs or breaks. By fostering the development of the bicycle market, Shimano provides solutions to multiple problems. On the one hand, it provides an alternative to traditional transportation. It is estimated that road transport vehicles are responsible for about 15% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. According to the European Cyclist Federation, riding a bike is more than ten times less GHG intensive than driving an average car. Furthermore, bikes are also smaller than cars. Biking instead of riding a car can therefore significantly decrease total GHG emissions, while at the same time allowing for less congested cities. On the other hand, Shimano provides solutions to increase the quality of life and improve health conditions. Riding a bike on a regular basis implies exercising, which has been proven to directly help fighting the increasing concerns related to sickness such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, etc.