Sharp dedicates its total resources to the development and manufacture of electronic equipment. It can claim one of the widest ranges of business and lifestyle product portfolios under a single brand name in the world.
In 1912 Sharp's founder, Tokuji Hayakawa, was awarded a patent for the "Tokubijo" snap buckle (he was 18 years old at the time). On September 15, 1912, he established a small metalworking shop in Tokyo. The company began with three employees and initial capital of just under 50 yen.
During 1915 Mr. Hayakawa continued to research and improve techniques to manufacture a metal writing instrument which, at the time, had not yet been developed. In 1915, he invented a mechanical pencil named the "Ever-Sharp Pencil" that took the world by storm. The name of the company today and its trademark are derived from this product.
Today the Corporation employs 56,800 staff, of which nearly half are employed outside Japan. It operates from 64 bases in 30 countries and its products are distributed to 164 countries worldwide.
The Corporation reported £11,249m net sales for the financial year ending March 31 2006.