Managing Partner, Asia
Kentaro is based out of SBIA’s Tokyo office, where he focuses on investment opportunities in Asia. Prior to his current role, Kentaro worked for Mizuho Securities, where he advised on SoftBank’s major investments in companies including Vodafone Japan, Sprint, and ARM.
If you could only achieve one thing in your work here, what would it be?
I think it would be helping the founders we work with fully realize their potential, and we do that by connecting them to each other and by being their partners and champions. It’s not just about our capital, it’s our ecosystem. That’s what lets founders benefit from each other’s strengths and share successful strategies for addressing the challenges that come with disruption and growth. We’ve already seen incredible things happen with that, and this is still just the beginning.
I see the founders we work with making similarly bold moves, and it reminds me again and again that conventional wisdom has never disrupted anything.
What’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned in your career?
I’ve seen a number of instances where conventional wisdom was completely wrong. There have been times in the past when we have made investments when everyone on the outside thought we were being reckless. But our team deeply examines deals before they happen and that allows us to feel confident in the opportunities in front of us. I see the founders we work with making similarly bold moves, and it reminds me again and again that conventional wisdom has never disrupted anything.
What do you hope to accomplish at the Vision Fund?
I think it’s my job to help prepare everyone on my team to ensure that we’re fully and effectively supporting the founders we work with. That means helping my team become sharper and more focused in their work, and helping them build their networks. So, the biggest thing I’d like to accomplish is really about nurturing my team and helping our founders succeed.
Setting aside my mission as an MP of SoftBank Investment Advisers to commit to achieving good results for the LPs of the Fund, it is also my duty to build up my team, SBIAJ, to become a well-r
What values do you bring to your work?
The most important thing for me is to be fair, open minded, transparent and diligent. This is an extremely competitive world, so those values are put to the test all the time, but continuity is a father of success, so I keep at it. I strongly believe that at the end of the day, building trust with stakeholders is what matters as an investor.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love to travel. I think that if I had a lot of time, or maybe when I retire, I’d like to travel on my own for a while. Without my family, even. Just explore places and cultures and really experience them. Also, I would probably spend more time bouldering or venture into rock climbing around the world. Standing in front of a climbing wall, concentrating on your weight, balance and fingertips is the best way for me to clear my mind – my “routine” to get ready for yet another tough week ahead!!