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

Key of Life

CEO Masashi Hato

Hyogo Prefecture
Message to young people
Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your wishes. Ask yourself what you really want to achieve and pursue that. You really need to think hard about what you want to become since your power will depend on that. You are the only one who can decide your goal. What I have thought about when I was in my junior year at university has become true. It all depends on how much you can visualize so you should think carefully and ask yourself what you want to achieve.

During my junior year at university, I was sick and had an opportunity to read a lot of books and think about my future. That was when I began to think that I wanted to start my own business. I decided to join Keyence to acquire the skills needed to become an entrepreneur.

Keyence is a manufacturing company specializing in factory automation focusing on product planning and development, with a surprising 50 percent profit margin. I started in sales and became the No.1 salesperson and eventually moved on to corporate planning, reporting directly to the president. This is the company’s core department with only 20 members and I was able to meet the chairman, who built Keyence from scratch, once every three months. He is like a god in the company.

When I felt that I had covered all the things that I intended to learn there, I was introduced to someone who started his own company when he was a university student. The meeting reminded me of what I had originally wanted to do.

Upon starting my business, I had three main factors in mind. First, to do something I enjoy. Second, my past experience should be meaningful to my business. Third, there needs to be high added value and usefulness for others. The financial business fulfilled all three criteria. Unless others find this business valuable and beneficial, it will only lead to self-satisfaction. I felt the potential to introduce financial product information that people are unaware of, such as products not available in Japan or overseas real estate.

Initially I became interested in this industry, since I felt there must be a big gap between information that I know and information that those with tens of billions of yen have access to. I wanted to find out about that information and share it with people around me.

My future goal is to make Key of Life become Keyence’s successor company. I named the company Key of Life out of respect for Keyence, which was named after key of science. I hope to go see the legendary Keyence chairman in two years to report my accomplishments at Key of Life.

I want to create freedom in terms of both money and time. Having money allows people to become free, enabling opportunities to experience things they find interesting. Our team will achieve results for those people interested in our specialized know-how. The financial business is only the foundation for Key of Life and I want to deliver further added value such as introducing luxurious resorts around the world.

Regarding my future dreams, I want to have freedom. To have the discretion so that I can do what I want to do when I want to do it. If I see something interesting on TV, I want to be able to visit the place and experience it. If there is something exciting, I could start a business with someone. I would like to have such freedom and power.

Company Profile

Key of Life
Financial planning, information for asset management, life creation