Hiroki Iwasa
Case study

Hiroki Iwasa

Representative Director & CEO
Born 1977 in the town of Yamamoto in Miyagi Prefecture, Hiroki Iwasa is an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of GRA Inc. He now runs six different businesses in Japan and India.
Hiroki began his career as an entrepreneur while in university and, in 2002, founded IT-focused consulting firm, ZUNOU Inc. He founded the non-profit organization GRA and the agricultural production corporation GRA Inc. to restore his hometown greatly damaged from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. With his company’s cutting-edge horticulture at its center, his life’s mission has become the recreation of Tohoku, the northern part of Japan. He transformed the strawberry business to create the MIGAKI-ICHIGO brand which retails for up to 1000 yen (approx. US$8) per piece. In November 2012 the company constructed a strawberry house in Talegaon, Maharashtra, India, to work on IT-enabled advanced research and production of strawberry. In the same year, he earned his MBA from the Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University.
He received the Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Award at the 2014 Japan Venture Awards. He has written several books, including『99%の絶望の中に「1%のチャンス」は実る(Almost No Hope Means There’s Still a Chance)』(Diamond),『甘酸っぱい経営(Sweet and Sour Business)』(Book Walker), and『絶対にギブアップしたくない人のための成功する農業(Successful Agriculture for Those Who Won’t Give Up)』(Asahi Shimbun Publications).
The theme of his life is “Life is a Journey.”
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Friday, 14 February, 2020 / 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM JST
Case Study: A Successful Model of Agricultural Vertical Integration (*Japanese only)

The agricultural production corporation GRA has increased its competitive advantage by vertically integrating the whole value chain of R&D, cultivation, processing and retailing (cafes) of strawberries. This session will explore GRA’s strategies and tactics, taking the MIGAKI-ICHIGO brand which retails for 1000 yen (US$9) per piece for an example.

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