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How Kyocera’s Kazuo Inamori Inspired Tech Innovators to Build TATERU and e-Guardian Into Successful, Purpose-Driven H.E.R.O. Businesses

A Purpose endures. Embracing a Purpose to serve others can provide the determination, inner strength, and courage we need to survive obstacles that might otherwise shatter our spirit.

Sometimes, we need guidance in defining our Purpose. Just like Daisaku Furuki who shared last week in HeartWare Issue 3 how he convinced himself to persevere in the face of deep troubles and anxieties to build the innovative apartment management platform TATERU (TSE: 1435) no matter how matter how painful it is when he read the book by Kazuo Inamori, the billionaire founder of Kyocera and KDDI, who elucidated the important idea of ‘Why start a business?’ – discovering what kind of value we want to create and contribute, finding and committing to a Purpose to serve. Today, TATERU has scaled up to a market cap of US$1.67bn and Daisaku’s 46.7% equity stake is worth over US$700m. This week in HeartWare Issue 4, Takatani Yasuhisa also shared how Kazuo Inamori’s book changed his life as he changed job from J&J to Kyocera after reading the book. Takatani later went on to undertake a MBO in one of Kyocera’s businesses to transform e-Guardian (TSE: 6050) into a successful cyber-security company with the ability to monetize its cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology via a recurring subscription-based revenue model to win and retain sticky customers in multiple industries.

Inamori-san also influenced my investment philosophy over the years in the relentless search to invest in honorable entrepreneurs when I first came across his quote: “If your goal is to be a rich and beautiful celebrity, or if you are not willing to sacrifice yourself for the world and other people, do not try to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have heavy responsibilities and must share the fruits of their labor with employees and shareholders. We must always have criteria in our hearts that can help us answer the question, ‘What is the right thing to do as a human being?’ and guide us to do what is good for society and humanity in our daily work.” This philosophy has also led us to our Big Why in doing up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Tech Fund, why we believe and care deeply in H.E.R.O. – to never stop exploring and learning in discovering and investing in the evergreen stories of emerging innovators who are willing to sacrifice to make significant contributions to others through the unique products and services they offer.

This week in H.E.R.O. HeartWare: Weekly Asia Tech News (Click to Download PDF) with brief highlights of the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of tech leaders in Asia whom we have been monitoring over the past decade in our broader watchlist of around 200 listed Asian tech companies and our focused portfolio of 40 HERO Innovators, we have:

(1) Takatani Yasuhisa 高谷康久, CEO of e-Guardian (TSE: 6050, market cap US$302m), the largest domestic cyber-security business in monitoring of posts on the internet with deep AI capabilities;

(2) Wang Shih-chung 王世忠, founder and CEO of AirTAC International Group (TSEC: 1590, market cap US$3.3bn), one of the global leaders in pneumatic components & equipment and the second largest in China, who shared how he endured seven consecutive years of losses to build AirTAC;

(3) Ian Black, CEO of Gentrack (NZSE: GTK, market cap US$414m) which provides billing and customer management software to utility companies and airports around the world;

(4) Hiroya Achiha and Kenjiro Kikuchi of NSK (TSE: 6471, market cap US$6.2bn), the world’s largest maker of ball screws, which are used to move objects back and forth with a high degree of precision, who shared how the 102-year old manufacturer is now undergoing a major shift as it supplies components critical to digital products and services and sales of components for chip-making machines and robot parts and the 3D NAND memory structural trend are helping to fuel earnings growth.

The H.E.R.O. HeartWare Weekly highlights interesting tech news and listed Asian emerging tech innovators with unique and scalable wide-moat business models to keep yourself well-informed about disruptive forces and innovation, new technologies and new business models coming up, and the companies that ride on and benefit from them in some of the most promising areas of the economy in Asia as part of our thought leadership for our ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Tech Fund, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry, to add value to our clients and the community.

Some of the HERO Innovators in the focused portfolio include the largest online-to-offline pet insurance company in Japan with over 60% domestic share of the growing pet insurance market with over 636,000 policies in force generating over 98% sticky recurring revenue income & cashflow (Japanese households own 20m pets and only 1.3m or 6.3% were insured vs 22% of the 15m pets were insured in UK), and is a tech innovator with services that include allowing insurance claims to be made via LINE in just three minutes, an industry first, enabled by its powerful database & analytical prowess of more than 10 million insurance claims tied to illnesses and accident that allow the company to propose preventive measures by examining how animals become sick and how accidents occur. This highly profitable online pet insurance with a healthy net-cash balance sheet founded by an inspiring and down-to-earth entrepreneur with an agricultural economics background who started his career at a top insurance company is an archetypal H.E.R.O. Innovator – H.E.R.O. stands for “Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization.” and is operationalized into a unique, systematic 4-step investment process to identify the winners at the ARCHEA H.E.R.O. Innovators Tech Fund.

Hope you find the weekly report to be useful and insightful. Please give us your candid feedback and harshest criticisms so that we can improve further to serve you better. Besides the BATTSS (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Softbank, Samsung), do also tell us which Asian tech entrepreneurs & CEOs whom you admire and respect and why – we will endeavor to do up profiles of them for sharing with the community. Please email kb@heroinnovator.com on your thoughts, thank you very much. Have a beautiful week ahead.

Warm regards,

KB

The ARCHEA Asia H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com) is the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. H.E.R.O. stands for “Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization.” and is operationalized into a unique, systematic 4-step investment process to identify the winners. The investment objective seeks to capture long-term investment returns created by disruptive forces and innovation by focusing on high-quality and liquid listed equities in the Asia-Pacific region that ride on and benefit from them. Through our cross-sector and in-depth fundamental research process, the Fund aim to provide access to companies whom we believe are run by high-integrity, honorable and far-sighted owner-operators with a higher sense of purpose in solving High-Value Problems for their target customers and society, and have unique, scalable and wide-moat business models with sustainable competitive advantages and innovative products, services, and processes to create, expand and service their total addressable market, including the resiliency and balance sheet strength to maintain or grow profitability, pricing power and market positions through up/downturns in the economy.

The ARCHEA H.E.R.O. Innovators Tech Fund is a UCITS V fund domiciled in Luxembourg, and is available to both retail and accredited investors in Europe (including Switzerland, Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg) and qualified offshore investors worldwide. UCITS stands for the Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities and is a regulatory framework of the European Commission that creates a harmonized regime throughout Europe for the management and sale of mutual funds. UCITS funds can be registered in Europe and sold to investors worldwide using unified regulatory and investor protection requirements. The ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund is now in the pre-launch stage, subject to regulatory approval. We will also be registering the funds under MAS CISNET for distribution in Singapore. Our target fund launch date for the Founders’ Series is in September 2018.

Together with my highly experienced business partner Mr. Loo Cheng Guan, we are progressing in our partnership with our Swiss partner Dr. Alain Würgler’s Bellatrix Asset Management to launch the HERO Innovators Fund under their UCITS V umbrella fund structure domiciled in Luxembourg for distribution to retail & qualified investors in Europe, and qualified non-Europe investors worldwide. We have secured capital commitments from several institutional and high net-worth investors. Once we have gotten our ticker code and approval from the regulator for our UCITS fund, interested long-term partners can simply buy or sell units in the fund, just like the buying or selling of listed shares, by approaching any bank of your choice with the ticker code and wire the funds into an independent custodian bank. As a strictly regulated UCITS fund, there is daily liquidity to buy or sell, and we have zero exit fees. If you are interested to participate in the exponential growth of the H.E.R.O. Innovators who are solving real-world high-value problems and have helped create what the world around you looks like today and tomorrow, please contact KB by email or whatsapp.

How to Know If We are Right for Each Other? 

You are an intelligent high net-worth investor, business owner, family office, institutional investor, allocator, or financial advisor who want to:

  • You want to learn and be well-informed about disruptive forces and innovation, new technologies and new business models coming up, and the companies that ride on and benefit from them in some of the most promising areas of the economy, and feel more confident in your knowledge in how these innovators are indispensable in the well-being of your daily life.
  • Yet, you do not wish to follow the crowd like everyone else to herd in the highly popular mega-cap tech stocks.
  • And you definitely do not want to fall for the Next-Big-Thing trap by investing in fads, me-too imitators, cash-burning tech companies, or even in seemingly cutting-edge technologies without the ability to monetize and generate recurring revenue with a sustainable and scalable business model, and you want to know how to distinguish between the true innovators and the swarming imitators.
  • You want to be proud of the entrepreneurs and owner-operators running the companies whom you invest in to generate sustainable returns, that they are honorable, high-integrity, far-sighted, and have a higher sense of purpose in solving High-Value Problems for their target customers and society, and have unique, scalable and wide-moat business models with sustainable competitive advantages and innovative products, services, and processes to grow profitably through up/downturns in the economy.

Ready to find out more about H.E.R.O.?

To make an appointment with KB to find out more about the H.E.R.O. investment and business model innovation framework, investment strategy & process, please click here or email kb@heroinnovator.com or whatsapp +65 9695 1860.

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About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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