100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Netyear Group Corp.

CEO Fujiyo Ishiguro

Aichi Prefecture
Message to young people
First, try to continue the work you’re doing until you understand it completely. Give it 120 percent and give yourself relentlessly to the job you love most.

When I was in elementary school, I was very quiet and did well in the school. However, my parents’ approach to my education was a little unusual, and from the first grade I was expected to take responsibility and make my own decisions. Whenever I consulted my parents about difficult decisions, the only thing they said was: “It's your life. Do whatever you like.” Since I had to decide everything for myself, the quiet child turned into a strong one. Even if there was time when I didn't study at all, they never told me what to do. I later realized that I cannot blame anyone for my poor performances and I am solely responsible for my life.

When I graduated from college, it was a difficult time and female university graduates were unlikely to be hired for high-profile jobs with promising career paths. After about a year of working a part-time job I had reluctantly accepted, leading companies slowly began opening their doors to women and I saw the beginning of a new age coming. It was then that I joined a company in Nagoya. I came to be highly valued by the company and was entrusted with marketing and creating an overseas distribution network. I was treated very well there and became a department manager at a young age. However, the differences between the work that I was good at and that at which I was poor was significant; there were some jobs I couldn’t do at all.

After getting married, I joined a foreign company, but balancing work with child-rearing was extremely difficult in Japan at that time. This was one of my motivations to travel to the U.S. and get my MBA. Thanks to that, I was exposed to the Silicon Valley business model of the late 90s and I remember it as a very happy period.

Upon completing graduate school, I was torn between becoming an entrepreneur and working for someone else. When I considered how difficult it was to work at a large company and raise a child in Japan and inspired by the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, I decided it would be better to become an entrepreneur because I would have more control and less risk. The Silicon Valley culture allowed for mistakes and believed in second chances and I thought it was valuable to have experiences that would teach me something.

My participation in Netyear Group came as the U.S. Netyear Group was going through a management buyout that I joined with some American partners from my previous company as I agreed with their business concept.

Marketing in Japan is very vaguely defined, making it somewhat hard for people to understand. However, digital marketing is easy for Japanese to understand because it has a clear purpose.

People often focus only on advertising and promotion, but sales and customer support are significant strategies to retain customers. Marketing enhances the relationships with customers to allow the chance for companies to increase its base. And because I think it will also enhance the value of Japanese economy, Netyear will change Japan.

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Netyear Group Corp.
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