A New Era for the Sake Industry in Japan & Beyond: The Case of Award-Winning Dassai & Asahi Shuzo
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 | 6:00 - 7:15 PM (Reception to follow)
Room 820, Kravis Hall, Columbia Business School (Map)
(665 West 130th Street, New York, NY 10027)
Asahi Shuzo Co.,.
David E. Weinstein
Director, CJEB; Carl S. Shoup Professor of the Japanese Economy, Columbia University
Topics to be covered:
The difficulties of continuing a family business
How to overcome geographic challenges
Shifting from a red ocean market to a blue ocean market
Coexisting with farmers & others (to create profit together)
The pursuit of high-quality products
The necessity & importance of Japanese time-honored, artisanal, & meticulous processes
Dassai in NY & DASSAI BLUE
About the Speaker:
Hiroshi Sakurai is Chairman of Asahi Shuzo Co.,. He was born in 1950 in Shuto-cho (Currently Iwakuni city), Yamaguchi Prefecture. After graduating from Matsuyama University of Commerce (Currently Matsuyama University) in 1973 & training at Nishinomiya Shuzo Co.,. (Currently Nihonsakari Co.,.), he joined his family's company Asahi Shuzo in 1976 but left after a conflict with his father. In 1984, Mr. Sakurai returned to the family business after his father's sudden passing & rebuilt the company by pivoting to focus on the development of Junmai Daiginjo "Dassai." He has been in his current position since 2016. Mr. Sakurai continues to lead the company's growth by breaking with industry norms through innovative ideas such as four-season brewing by regular employees rather than traditional sake brewers as he persists in his pursuit to produce tasty sake. In April 2018, he opened a joint store with Jol Robuchon in Paris, & a brewery in Hyde Park, New York is under construction (scheduled for completion in Spring 2023). Mr. Sakurai is an internationally recognized business leader, having won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Japan award in 2021.
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