100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2017-2018 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

KOEI science laboratory

CEO Kimihide Murata

Yamaguchi Prefecture
Message to young people
This is a time when there is a great deal of depressing news in the world. I remember a more positive atmosphere in society when I was young. However, it is very important to move forward instead of stagnating and worrying about bad times. Please believe in a better future ahead even when it is hard to be optimistic. Don’t forget that believing is the most important thing.

In 1940, I was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture. I think my mother was a huge influence on my profession. She was a health food salesperson selling lactic acid bacteria producing beverages. My mother told me to drink such drinks almost every day because she believed it was good for my health. So, I was familiar with lactic acid bacteria from an early age. Although I wanted to study electronic engineering when I went to college, my mother strongly recommended that I study under Kazuyoshi Masagaki, a leading expert in lactic acid bacteria research, so I followed her advice.

Masagaki was a pioneer in the industry of lactobacillus producers in Japan, and I was thoroughly educated under his unique philosophy. "Because lactic acid bacteria is the boss of us, we must treat it with respect," was one of his philosophies that he left me with. The base of this philosophy is the fact that lactic acid bacteria existed before the birth of human beings. I devoted myself to the research with the belief that the world will be a better place if we can spread the fact that lactic acid bacteria is amazing.

However, there was no market to accept the research results immediately. I guess it was because our laboratory was researching something a bit too ahead of its time. This fact put serious pressure on me financially, but I kept researching. Because my research was something I dedicated my life to, I just could not imagine giving up. Around that time, the former president of the company entrusted me with the rights of research results and sales, so I started the business in 1969. Starting my business was not a fast track to financial success, so I worked for a radio company that I had been interested in since I was young and used my salary to continue my research. I was engaged in both jobs for 25 years. It was indeed a long period of time, but I was determined to never give up. Then, an encounter with the president of a health food manufacturing company changed the entire situation. The day after I visited his company with samples, I got a call from him saying, "Because your samples were so good, I want you to make products for us." He even offered to build a manufacturing factory for me because I was just a company employee at the time with no manufacturing facilities. After going through 25 years of hardship, I was able to establish a factory in 1994 and privatize my business.

We try to make products so our customers can feel benefits. The strength of our company is the excellent quality of the products that are the result of preserving the commitment of the previous president. We truly appreciate the positive feedback from the customers that spread the news of our company through word of mouth. Our company could not grow to this point without the support from our customers. I would like to keep working with the passion and determination to contribute to the good health of our customers.

Company Profile

KOEI science laboratory
Manufacturing and selling lactic acid production material. Culture of lactic acid bacterium.