Capitalising on new opportunities in the Japanese Market

Monday, 11 November 2013  Features
Director of AGSM Careers Services Robyn Gleeson, Managing
Director of JETRO Sydney Takashi Tsuchiya and AGSM
alumnus Yoshinori Sakuno.
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Cross-cultural marketing expert and AGSM Alumnus Yoshinori Sakuno (EMBA 2011) and his Sydney-based consultancy doq® recently joined forces with the Government of Japan and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to coordinate an official government symposium on the future of the Japanese economy. The symposium titled Japan: The Awakening - Capitalising on New Opportunities in the Japanese Market saw over one hundred guests including Japanese Government representatives, business leaders and AGSM alumni participate in presentations and a panel discussion about capitalising on opportunities with the new Japanese Government. The focus of discussion was around the new Abenomics economic policies - named after Japan's current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe as well as plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Yoshi says the Symposium and partnership with JETRO was an opportunity for his company to showcase its expertise in cross cultural brand marketing for a global market and attracted guest speakers from both domestic and international companies including Austrade, Mitsubishi Australia, Brant Solutions and The Australian-Japan Business Cooperation Committee.

Yoshi attributes the success of doq® to being able to take business concepts from the AGSM MBA (Executive) program and apply these to his startup.

"The best way to learn is to apply classroom knowledge to real life business challenges", says Yoshi.

"For example, I worked on an ASEAN/APAC business challenge immediately after completing 'International Business Strategy in Asia', one of the elective courses at AGSM that involves a trip to India and Singapore.

"During the MBA I identified opportunities and a need for cross-cultural marketing while I was also faced with the challenges of starting up a new life, in a new country after moving from Sydney to Chicago.

"I discovered an unmet need for a business that can deliver truly borderless marketing solutions across a diversity of cultures. Hence the birth of my company, doq®, which originates from the word dock - a hub where ships come in and out and bring with them new cultures and ideas from all over the world."

With a 'borderless' approach, doq® has built a client base from government organisations such as Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan Foundation, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Japan External Trade Organization, Council of Local Authorities for International Relations to well-known brands like Unilever, Bausch+Lomb, Japan Airlines. He has also been able to work with clients that are startups founded by AGSM alumni such as Triple Jump and Vimily.

Yoshi recently presented doq®'s business case at the AGSM Spring in to Careers event and shared his story as well as internship opportunities to current AGSM students. His key message? "Don't limit your thinking. Job opportunities are not just ones that you apply for. You can create your own ideal job."

On a personal level, Yoshi's life has also been filled with challenges. As a survivor of the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, living for the present and doing what's important to him has been his life philosophy. He has travelled and lived in different countries and these experiences were formative to the way he runs his business today.

For more information about doq® please visit and for Yoshi Sakuno's profile.