Kazuhiko Toyama

Kazuhiko Toyama

Managing Partner IGPI, Industrial Growth Platform Inc, Tokyo, Japan
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The driving force behind Japan’s most forward-looking consulting firm helped Japan Airlines, Tepco and many more to become part of New Japan


Japan shares many similarities with Switzerland: an organized and courteous society, a large talented workforce trained in engineering and advanced technology, and conservatively managed industries that are long overdue transformation.

Part of the Japanese government’s efforts to propel the nation towards modernity, to compete sustainably with emerging superpowers such as China, is to improve diversity at the executive boards of Japanese companies. This sentiment has been furthered by Kazhuiko Toyama, who has been recognised as one of Japan’s foremost advocates of reform. He has a clear vision of what New Japan needs to remain globally competitive, and how to achieve that vision for the zombie-like Japanese companies he is commissioned to revive.

Hear Toyama at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019 present the cases where he has helped Japanese dinosaurs resurrect from a fate of extinction, and perhaps you will see some similarities that can be applied to Swiss industry!



The world, including Japan, is facing a period of uncertainty. We are facing an historical trend in which successful economic and corporate value creation depends on human resources rather than fixed-asset investments. We are also seeing the rise of various business models; i.e., not only American and European but also Chinese and Southeast Asian business models. These business models are uniquely intertwined in the Japanese business environment. Together with an expected rapid decrease in population, numerous issues have arisen that can no longer be solved with a traditional style of business. Under such circumstances, the consulting firms, investment banks, and private equity funds, all of which take the Western business model as a premise, can no longer fully address the new issues.
IGPI was founded with the mission to fill this void. Our services center on providing experienced professional staff who can manage all aspects of business operations, from decision-making to execution. Every day, our experienced staff are working with client companies to push the management frontier.

Our professional service is a unique endeavor, even by global business standards, as we provide management support through our people and make a long-term commitment to the client company and its main stakeholders through our policy of risk-sharing. In the 21st century, in which new types of issues overwhelm companies, we need to think outside the box for a creative set of solutions. IGPI strives to bring about management breakthroughs from Japan, and maintains the spirit to question the status-quo. We are committed to working hard with our clients every day and in every operation.


In my essay “The Curse of ‘Japan Inc.’ and Japan’s Microeconomic Competitiveness,” I spoke about the “disease” that has afflicted the Japanese economy over the past 20 years. I referred to Japan Inc. as the nation’s economic management system, characterized by the union of lifetime employment, seniority-based workplaces and enterprise. This union became the established domestic corporate system during the period of high economic growth and contributed greatly to the nation’s success.

However, this system is outdated in the new international business environment, which has been fundamentally altered by globalization and the digital revolution. Today, strategic dynamism and the speed at which companies adapt are key success factors. The homogeneous and consensus-based nature of Japan Inc. hindered its ability to adapt to this new environment. I used the case of Sony to illustrate the strategic and structural setbacks that have affected the entire Japanese corporate sector.

Although the essay had a pessimistic tone, I ended it on a more positive note, emphasizing the great potential Japanese companies still have, with their technical expertise and business know-how.

From Nikkei Review



Kazuhiko Toyama has started his career with BCG and later became one of the founding members of Corporate Directions, Inc. (CDI), a Tokyo-based independent management consulting firm, eventually becoming its CEO. In 2003, he was appointed to lead Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan (IRCJ), a government-backed restructuring fund with US$100 billion budget, as COO. In 2007, when IRCJ was dissolved, he founded Industrial Growth Platform, Inc. (IGPI), which he currently runs as its CEO.

He graduated from Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo and holds an MBA from Stanford University. He has passed the Japanese National Bar Examination.
Vice Chairperson of KEIZAI DOYUKAI (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), Expert member of Council on Economic Fiscal Policy (MOF), Member of The Tax Commission (CAO), Member of the Council of Experts Concerning the Corporate Governance Code (FSA), Outside director of Panasonic Corporation and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc..