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

Softhouse Corp.

CEO Shinji Okayama

1962
Birthplace
Nagasaki Prefecture
Message to young people
The key to making your life easier in your 40s and 50s is simply to keep doing your best at what you are facing now, such as your work. If you do that, you will certainly be comfortable in the future, even if you are having a tough time now.

My parents’ family business was carpentry. I grew up experiencing both good and tough times. The amount of food at mealtimes changed depending on how business was going. As a child, I could tell when business was going well when there were many dishes, as well as the other way around.
When I was young, I didn’t want to be a carpenter, as I liked the mechanical field better than carpentry.

I studied civil engineering and construction in high school. Although I wanted to study mechanics, the people around me greatly influenced what I studied.
After graduating high school, I chose to work for a company involved in sewerage construction. It was a job that my teacher recommended and I also wanted to stay in town rather than working in rural areas.
Someone told me that if I get a job related to dam construction in the rural areas, I would not be able to come back to town at least five years. I felt that I didn’t want to put myself in such a situation. As sewer construction work only exists in towns, it seemed like a good match.

When I was 24 years old, I was needed at my father's construction company. Although I graduated from the civil engineering and construction department, I was an amateur when it came to building houses. I was very busy learning the skills necessary for my work. During that period of my life, I hardly had any holidays. I went to vocational school on weekends, and worked during the week. I was determined to acquire the knowledge and skill to show everyone that I was a skilled carpenter.
It was five years later that I felt it might be a good time to move on. I wanted to live the way I wanted to live, not in a way predetermined by others. So I set out on the new phase of my life in Fukuoka, with little more than \300,000 and a washing machine to my name.

I worked in sales of a company that sold condominiums. Once, the owner of some condominiums in Nagasaki went bankrupt a month before the completion of the building. With 34 units sold, I visited each of those customers one by one, as they had already paid ¥2 million for their down payments, I felt that I had to explain the situation.
Fortunately, this project was able to continue and I received an offer from the building construction company to become independent and continue selling the units. This was the beginning of Softhouse Corp. I was very emotional when, in the end, I was able to sell all of the condominiums.

I try to support customers as an expert. The importance of behind the scenes items such as insulation could be difficult for the customers to understand. I try my best to help them to enjoy comfortable lives. I also work to keep up with state-of-art technologies. Everything is for customers’ satisfaction, and providing it to them is my task as an expert.

Company Profile

Name
Softhouse Corp.
Headquarters
Nagasaki
1998
employees
2
business
design, construction and sales of houses and condominiums
url
http://www.n-softhouse.jp/concept.php