Alumni Voice: Shingo Yuhara (Class of 2020)

Becoming an Entrepreneur: Self-reflection and Taking a Bird’s Eye View of the World

Shingo Yuhara (Class of 2020)


Can you give us a brief introduction of your current job?


I established forest Inc. in July 2021 and work as its representative.

We are in the business of acquiring Japanese e-commerce brands that design and sell high-quality products through M&A, and leveraging the power of business and technology to achieve further growth for these brands. In order to promote our business, we raised approximately 900 million yen in seed funding from UTEC (University of Tokyo Edge Capital) and NORDSTAR (UK-based global VC) in October 2021, and additional 2.8 billion yen in sereia A funding last year.


What kind of work did you do before?


Prior to establishing forest Inc., I worked at CITIC Capital, a foreign private equity firm, where I invested in small and medium-sized Japanese companies with good technologies and brands, and supported their growth, mainly in Asian markets. Prior to that, I worked in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley, mainly in cross-border M&A advisory, and as a CPA at EY Shin Nihon & Co.


What changes have you seen in your work and career since graduation?


My daily life, including my work, has changed a lot. I went from being self-centered to being others-centered (in my case, especially my family and employees), and through others, I feel that my happiness has been increasing.


In terms of the impact on my career, I have always been, and will continue to be, a migratory bird, competing as an individual without belonging to an organization or relying on titles, so the vector of my career has not changed significantly. However, for each job I am involved in at any given time, I always think about whether the job is truly meaningful to society and what impact my actions will have on the world today.


How do you look back on your studies at Shizenkan?


For me, Shizenkan was a place where I could reflect on myself. Through classes such as sociology, religion, and performing arts, I gained more perspectives to view the world objectively, and I was able to absorb and reflect on multilayered information. I also reconsidered the meaning of my own existence in the world. Those were the big takeaways.


In addition, because students from diverse backgrounds gathered at Shizenkan, I learned a lot through discussions with people who had various experiences and ways of thinking. It was refreshing for me, since I have mostly dealt with people from the business world in the past, and what I learned and felt at that time was useful when I started my own business.


What would you say to someone who is thinking of studying at Shizenkan?


The standard of attitude toward learning required by Shizenkan is high. It is not easy to go to school while working or having a family. I myself had to take about half a year off for family reasons (I am grateful to the staff of Shizenkan for their warm support during that time).

What I gained from my time at Shizenkan far outweighed that time and the financial burden and hardships I had to endure. You will gain a multi-layered perspective, a diverse group of friends, and discover the meaning of your life. I encourage you to be brave and take the first step.


LinkedIn Profile of Shingo Yuhara

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