What do Ancient Japan, the IT Industry, and Sustainable Skincare have in common? They are the foundations of Kenichi Arakawa’s business, EDOBIO

Kenichi Arakawa Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand EDOBIO… At the beginning of my journey, I started software and robotics development in the [...]
Kenichi Arakawa

Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand EDOBIO…

At the beginning of my journey, I started software and robotics development in the IT industry. Later, I entered the bio industry in hopes to merge IT and bio, and thus started our research on lactic bacterial acid. While efficiency and productivity is of utmost importance in IT development, I felt that it was important to pursue functionality instead.

Culturing lactic bacterial acid uses a fermentation method from ancient Japan as its foundation. People even bathed themselves in rice bran during the Edo period. Using rice bran as part of a beauty method was the key in founding EDOBIO. Fermentation methods, like ones that have been around since ancient Japan, are being used in today’s bio industry, such as food, enzymes, and antibiotics. EDOBIO is a skincare brand that hopes to advocate Japanese wellness, with its foundation in fermentation methods, incorporated with the latest biotechnology to the rest of the world.

Japanese skincare is all the rage at the moment, why do you think this is the case?

I think it’s because the fundamentals of sustainability and minimalism that were cultivated by Japanese people during the Edo period also affects the skincare industry, and I believe that this meets the potential needs of modern people around the world.

As well as skincare products Edobio make tea, why did you decide to include tea alongside skincare?

EDOBIO advocates for being “Biotiful Inside Out.” The phrase “Beautiful Inside Out” is widely understood as being beautiful with your looks as well as your heart or inner body. By adjusting it to “Biotiful Inside Out,” we advocate for the use of biotechnology (Bio) to “create new things that are useful to the world,” which will draw out the natural beauty in your skin, becoming beautiful inside out in a natural way.

It is believed that the teas that have been widely enjoyed since ancient times in Japan also have beauty essentials, which help maintain the beauty of our skin from the inside.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Bio industry requires time, research funding, and facility investment. A business model that requires a large amount of R&D [Research & Development] investment upfront will directly affect the company’s overall cash flow, if it does not produce results. In order to maintain funding, it’s important for banks and investors to understand the company’s work and potential growth. By conducting collaborative research with universities and research organisations, and collaborating with specialists, we are able to use research facilities and utilise public funding. As a group company as a whole, we are entering into new businesses through M&As [Mergers & Acquisitions), diversifying their businesses, and expanding the businesses of all group companies.

EDOBIO


If you were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?

I make sure to follow the next 3 points daily:

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
No matter the hurdles you come across, through bold decisions and unwavering determination, you will find a way.

“Take the lead”
No matter the task, be accountable for it and own it. Over time, this will grow and develop initiatives, while giving it your all. When you are too receptive, you won’t be satisfied with your work, which impacts you but also the people around you.

“Work in modesty”
If you are not getting the results you want, it’s not any person or any environment’s fault but your own. You need to maintain this modesty when you work.

I keep these three points close to my heart as I tackle the day.

What advice would you offer anyone interested in venturing into the world of skincare?

When you’re entering a new industry, I would advise you to seek an external advisor or build a partnership, rather than stepping into this new world alone.

Talk us through an average business day in your life…

The most important thing is to have a clear work-life balance. I believe fundamentals are important, so I stick to a routine by starting my day at 8:30 and leaving the office at 17:30 sharp.

Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?

I go to the sea and spend a day on my boat on my days off. I also cook everyday.

What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

I tell myself, “No mountain is insurmountable,” and tackle my next task.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

Social media enables us to target an audience, spread brand recognition, and connect with people all over the world, no matter where you are. Also considering the pandemic, social media has become the biggest tool to share product information for EDOBIO.

The biggest benefit of social media and influencer marketing within the beauty industry is you have the ability to shape the brand’s image and narrative and share them.

When a brand utilises social media and able to connect with their audience, that brand can share use-case scenarios or information, lead sales, and increase revenue. EDOBIO is constantly collaborating with the world’s top influencers through social media. We are strengthening EDOBIO’s beauty identity by utilising media and through important relationships and sponsor systems.

How do you want people to feel when they first try one of the EDOBIO skincare products?

We are committed to essential beauty, starting from the packaging to the quality of our products. I hope people can feel the professionalism as well as a sense of comfort that our products bring.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list and which of your products would you take on your travels?

Switzerland is on my bucket list, and my favorite product is Moisturizing Souffle Soap (10g). It’s the perfect size for when you’re traveling.

What’s next for you and your brand?

As the president of the company, I hope to continue M&A [Mergers & Aquisitions] while entering new fields. I want to expand our academic-industrial collaborations and develop relationships with new universities and research facilities. As for the brand, I want to continue to steadily expand while creating one-of-a-kind products. We’re hoping to increase our SKU’s next year, as well as strengthening the shipping and export system to other countries. I hope more people will get the opportunity to enjoy EDOBIO.
  
Where can people find out more about EDOBIO?

Since launching in 2018, EDOBIO has established a global brand presence. The products are beloved by both male and female customers and available internationally. Currently customers can find Edobio in shops in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States or the products can be purchased online at edobio.com and shipped worldwide.

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