100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2012 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Softbrain Co.

Founder Song Wenzhou

1963
Birthplace
China
Message to young people
I have gone through many occasions when I could not choose or go along the path I had hoped. However, life does not always go well even if you choose every path. For example, even if you took a long time to find your partner, you may end up in divorce, while even if you got married in a rush, you may be happily married for a long time. So I don’t want young people to feel down if they cannot make a choice, but to learn the knack of enjoying any given situation.

I had the chance to go to a university after Mao Zedong's death and I majored in mining engineering. Although it actually was not my preferred major, I enjoyed my university life. After that, I passed an exam that allowed me to study abroad. I chose Hokkaido University because it was on the top of a list of Japanese universities, which I thought were listed in descending order. I entered a graduate school of Hokkaido University as a government-sponsored foreign student.

After I finished the doctorate program, I was planning going to go back to China. However, the Tiananmen Square incident made me stay in Japan and I joined a Japanese company. However, after three months, the company went bankrupt. So I decided to start a business by myself, improving upon a civil engineering design and analysis software I developed during graduate school.

I did all the work by myself, from office duties to sales. After I made a sale on the software, I needed human resources. So I hired salespeople from major companies to concentrate on developing the company, but their way of sales was unscientific, such as by giving away the product without charge in the hopes that customers will feel obligated to buy. It turned out that I earned less than before, so I developed Sales Force Automation (SFA), a new system of improving sales and making it a scientific process. I designed it to be usable on mobile phones, which was a first. SFA was praised and in 2000 we were listed on the Mothers (market of the high-growth and emerging stocks) section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 2004 we were listed on the second section and in 2005 on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. We became the leading company for SFA.

I am going to focus on the improving developments in China that we can no longer ignore. I haven’t really thought of being a business manager. After we achieved the listing on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, I was going to quit and start a new life. Now, I watch the company as a founder and I think this comes naturally to me.

Company Profile

Name
Softbrain Co.
Headquarters
Tokyo, Japan
1992
employees
281
business
consulting service for sales
url
http://www.softbrain.co.jp/