The 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of GLOBIS

Glancing at the calendar, it suddenly occurred to me that today was the first day of August. It was 15 years ago to the day (August 1, 1992) that GLOBIS was officially launched. In short, today is the 15th anniversary of the establishment of GLOBIS.

Let me provide a little more background detail. I left Sumitomo Corporation 15 years ago yesterday (July 31, 1992), and GLOBIS was officially launched the next day as a start-up enterprise. Since then, GLOBIS has celebrated August 1 as the anniversary of its establishment. So today marks the 15th time this date has come around, and it certainly evokes deep emotion.

Looking back, I left Sumitomo Corporation 15 years ago yesterday, when I was 30 years old. That evening my friends all got together at a disco in Ginza, and held a party to celebrate my setting out into the world of start-up enterprises. My wife, to whom I was then engaged, also came along. My friends nonchalantly popped open bottles of champagne and raised their glasses to me as I began my new journey as an entrepreneur. That moment of time was at the tail-end of the economic bubble.

The next day was August 1. At this point, GLOBIS had no office, and we were using one of the rooms in my apartment as a base, so I didn't have to commute to work. I woke up, walked into the room next door, and I was in my office.

After leaving Sumitomo Corporation, I had an unwavering resolve to commit myself to a start-up business, and since then, I have always acted quickly. In a stroke, I increased our capital stock of 800,000 yen into 20,000,000 yen. On August 20, we moved into our one-floor, 20 tsubo (65 m2) office in Kojimachi. We were able to rent it for the knock-down price of 15,000 yen per 1 tsubo (3.3 m2) unit, and without paying any deposit or key money. I invited a number of friends and supporters to a humble office opening. I clearly remember looking out of the window and saying, "From this window I can see the world. Today marks the first step forward of the GLOBIS advance."

We recruited employees, gathered students, invited the faculty, and then scored a huge client, NTT. Sometime after that, we were able to move the classroom from the rented space in Dogenzaka to the upper floor of our Kojimachi office. Then, somewhat recklessly, one year after the company's founding, we started our Osaka campus. It was all so crazy. The office at that time was the very picture of a start-up enterprise, with part-time workers constantly coming and going with the radio switched on all the time.

Since then, we've been at it non-stop for 15 years. Here are just a few of the images that stick out in my memory.

August 1, 1992
GLOBIS established.

January 1993
Undertake large-scale training job for NTT.
In order to fulfill this job, I bought a sleeping bag and spent 3–4 days a week in the office, working all night in between short naps.

April 1993
Upon setting up the Osaka Campus, there wasn't even enough money to stay in a hotel, so I crashed on the floor of a friend's office. 
There was no shower in the office, so I had to wipe myself down with a wet towel. That seems unthinkable now.

September 1993
Returning from my honeymoon, I turned pale to hear we were falling short of funds. I boldly took out a 1/3 page advertisement in The Nikkei Shimbun, and somehow sailed through this turbulent patch. We still advertise in The Nikkei to this day.

1995
Publication of MBA Management Book. With this, the GLOBIS name became increasingly well-known. Quite honestly, I never expected it to sell so well; in fact it ended up generating an entire series of books.

1996
Moved to our newly built 250m2 floor office. Felt that I had moved up a little in the world.

Initiated joint MBA Program with University of Leicester in England. 
As a result, GLOBIS courses were recognized for credit at a British university. 
November 1996
Formulated First venture capital fund. It was a small sum of 540 million yen, but this was the beginning of the history of Globis Capital Partners (GCP).

1997
Initiated joint MBA Program with University of Leicester in England. 
As a result, GLOBIS courses were recognized for credit at a British university.

April 1998
Flew to the U.S. to do a presentation for Apax. 
Met Alan Patricof for the first time, and at that moment had a hunch that we would become lifetime partners.

January 1999
Headed for New York from London to sign a deal with Apax. This capital tie-up paved the way for forming the venture capital Fund No. 2, at a scale of 20 billion yen.

1999
Around this same time, Globis Management Bank (GMB) was launched and the GLOBIS infrastructure of human, capital and knowledge was complete.

April 2003
Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA), a society-recognized business school, opened in Tokyo, forming the foundation of the GLOBIS MBA curriculum.

October 2003
Opened Nagoya Campus. 
Passionate leaders of change and creativity assembled in the three major Japanese centers of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

April 2004
GDBA commenced courses at the Osaka Campus, and the Osaka Office moved to Mido-suji Avenue, in front of the Nanba Shrine. I had a kind of premonition that things were going very well.

April 2005
The Japanese version of the Davos meeting, the Aska meeting, began. 
Students, faculty, staff and guest speakers all got together for an overnight conference.

April 2006
The Graduate School of Management, Globis University was launched. I was inaugurated as Dean. We are officially able to issue MBAs.

August 2006
GLOBIS Group Fund No. 3 independently launched. Now it stands at an impressive scale of 18 billion yen.

August 1, 2007
Today marks our 15th anniversary.

GLOBIS is now operating what is acclaimed as the No. 3 business school/graduate school in Japan, and furthermore has under its umbrella venture capital funds of some 40 billion yen. GLOBIS has also grown into a substantial group that delivers training programs to more than 250 major Japanese corporations, runs an executive search firm and has published a total of over a million books in the MBA series.

Throughout all these activities and accomplishments, I myself have tied the knot, brought five children into the world, and have steadily aged 15 years.

Incidentally, at GLOBIS, we don't celebrate on the actual day of establishment. The first Sunday and Monday of August each year are set aside for a company trip to celebrate our establishment. When we first started this tradition it occurred to me that the anniversary of establishment merited a day off from work, so on the Monday of the company trip I decided to leave a message on the answer phone saying, "Today we are on holiday to celebrate the day of our establishment." :-)

I decided to coin this year's trip as "15th Anniversary: Expression of Gratitude to Staff Families @ Karuizawa," and I plan to invite all family members of the GLOBIS staff on an all-expense-paid trip to Karuizawa, this weekend. Finish classes on Saturday, on the next Sunday we will all head to Karuizawa, where I will hold a BBQ lunch at my mountain lodge, followed by a party in the evening, with a Japanese-themed dress code. Everyone will have time on Monday to enjoy tennis or golf. Actually, I was initially thinking of going overseas on this occasion, but eventually I came to the decision that rather than going afar I would express my gratitude to my dearest stakeholders, the family members of GLOBIS staff. With this in mind, I organized the event in Karuizawa, where I could play the role of host and personally welcome everyone. I am really looking forward to it. :-)

Crossing the 15-year milestone means the first half of my 30-year plan has been completed. When I first launched GLOBIS, I planned ahead 30 years. Half of this plan has now been done. Regarding the latter half of this plan, I intend to go forward with a more global scope and focus on becoming the No. 1 Business School in Asia and the No.1 Venture Capital Firm in Asia. If we've managed to come this far in 15 years, I think it is not at all out of the question to set off on the pathway toward becoming No.1 in Asia.

The last Nagano bullet train is drawing near to its destination, Karuizawa. I have to get ready to receive all the staff and their family this weekend. At the same time, I express my thanks to each of them, I also intend to celebrate with all my colleagues 15 years of sound development. Looking out the window, it's pitch black. The train is slowing down as it emerges from a long tunnel and approaches Karuizawa. I have to quickly shut down my PC.

August 1, 2007
Began writing at the GLOBIS office 
(finished on the bullet train bound for Karuizawa on August 3)
Yoshito Hori

Mr. Yoshito Hori established GLOBIS Management School in 1992 and GLOBIS Capital Partners in 1996. In 2003, GLOBIS started its original MBA program which, in 2006, received accreditation from the Japanese Ministry of Education and gained “university” status. GLOBIS started a part-time MBA program in English in 2009 and a full-time MBA program in English in 2012.

A Harvard MBA graduate and former Sumitomo Corporation employee, Mr. Hori founded the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Japan Chapter in 1995 and became the first board member from Asia in charge of Asia Pacific region in 1996. He also served on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s New Asian Leaders Executive Committee and Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, as well as the Harvard Business School Alumni Board from 2005 to 2008. Currently, Mr. Hori is a board member of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), and serves as co-chair of WEF’s Global Growth Companies.

In 2008, he launched the G1 Summit – a Japanese version of the WEF’s annual Davos forum. This led to the foundation of G1 Summit Institute in 2013, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

Just days after a huge earthquake struck northeast Japan in March 2011, Mr. Hori launched Project KIBOW to support the rebuilding of the disaster-affected areas. The following year Project KIBOW was incorporated as the KIBOW Foundation, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

An avid enthusiast of the Japanese game Go since age 40, Mr. Hori has been Director of the Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association) since June 2013.

Since October 2013, Mr. Hori has hosted a weekly TV program in Japan called Nippon Mirai Kaigi (Japan Future Conference). He has authored several books including Visionary Leaders who Create and Innovate Societies, Six Dimensions of Life, and My Personal Mission Statement.

Mr. Hori received his BS in Engineering from Kyoto University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

He is an avid swimmer and enjoys spending time with his family, especially his five sons.

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