Toshiyuki Yachi: A Dynamic Leader Delivering Consistent & Reliable Results

Toshiyuki Yachi: A Dynamic Leader Delivering Consistent & Reliable Results

Toshiyuki Yachi , VP & General Manager - Japan & APAC Distribution

Toshiyuki Yachi

VP & General Manager - Japan & APAC Distribution

A true entrepreneur is a passionate problem solver who uses their creativity and innovation to make the world a better place. The unwavering commitment and determination of these individuals are truly inspiring for the leaders of the next generation. One such exemplary business leader who embodies the essence of a true entrepreneur is Toshiyuki Yachi, one of senior executives of Biotage. A successful alumnus of Tohoku University, Toshiyuki’s career trajectory has remarkable achievements and reflects untiring determination in the world of business.

In this interview with CEO Insights Asia, Toshiyuki shares his inspiring journey in the corporate world.

Could you kindly share some highlights of your career journey so far?

I have been working in the life science and drug discovery space for over 30 years. My journey began after completing my Bachelor of Engineering in Applied Physics from Tohoku University. I joined Nissei Sangyo, later known as Hitachi High-Technologies, where I held role as Sales Marketing Associate, honing my skills in clinical diagnostics product support and navigating competitive markets.

Determined to reach greater heights, I pursued an MBA equivalent curriculum at Globis Management School in Tokyo, demonstrating dedication by earning a Certificate in Financial Management. Venturing into technology and global marketing, I joined Accelrys KK, formerly Molecular Simulations (MSI), leading to positions such as Sales Manager in Material Science and Director of Japan Sales. I transitioned the company from distribution to direct sales, parallelly securing multimillion-dollar deals of collaborative discovery research service with top Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

Furthering my education at MIT's Sloan School, I joined Biotage in 2006, tripling Japan's business till today, and became a sought-after leader. Moved to Sweden and worked in Corporate headquarter in Uppsala as as Vice President of Global Marketing, where I drove transformative changes and introduced software monetization, resulting in significant revenue. Moved back to Japan, then appointed as VP & GM of Japan and APAC-Distribution in 2014. I also tripled APAC distribution business, and raised Biotage Korea, achieving remarkable sales growth.

Toshiyuki’s ability to evaluate new technologies & seize opportunities has been pivotal in propelling his business forward

Can you share your experience at Tohoku University and what valuable lessons did you gain from campus life outside of academics?

Tohoku University is situated in Sendai, a major city in the Tohoku region. While Sendai may not be as bustling as Tokyo, it offers a unique blend of urban development and natural beauty, with abundant mountains and rivers nearby. Tohoku University, particularly in the field of technology, is renowned as a top-tier institution in Japan. This environment was highly beneficial for me. Many of my peers pursued further education, eventually becoming researchers or professors, but I chose a career in business due to my specific goals and missions.

Similarly, during my university days, I didn't necessarily see myself as a research prodigy. Instead, I believed my strengths could be better utilized in the business arena. Tohoku University attracted some of the brightest minds, and my interactions with intelligent and motivated peers inspired me. However, I also felt compelled to differentiate myself in the business world, to develop a unique position in society. Looking back on my time at the university in Tokyo, this desire to establish my identity and make a meaningful societal impact was a driving force in my journey.

How would you describe Biotage and its current market position?

The majority of Biotage’s business is related to drug discovery for pharmaceuticals and organic chemistry. We excel in providing product and services for the sector, covering many parts from synthesis to scale-up. In terms of technology, we face stiff competition from other players in the field.

What truly distinguishes us in this competitive landscape is our commitment to customers. We prioritize flexibility and sincerity in our interactions with clients. Our support and services are often valued even more than those of local Japanese vendors, as evidenced by the positive feedback we receive. This level of customer satisfaction is a source of pride for me and my team.

While we may face challenges in product competition, we recognize that our success hinges on the combination of delivering value through both our products and services, emphasizing the human element. This approach, we believe, is a key factor that sets Biotage apart and makes us unique in the eyes of our clients.

Please tell us about your leadership approach.

I use a strategic mindset and results-oriented approach to consistently contribute to our organization's success. My expertise in commercialization and deep understanding of the local market has played a pivotal role in guiding our business to its current position. I analyze financial data and draw valuable correlations, significantly benefiting our financial performance.

One of my standout qualities is my effective and passionate communication, particularly after thorough consideration of the matter at hand. I believe in a strong work ethic, great communication, and the ability to see the big picture. I maintain professionalism and stay calm under stress, balancing job demands with personal development, and showcasing a high degree of emotional intelligence. Leveraging data-driven insights to set team goals and motivate team members based on actual and projected results has proven effective.

Do you have any advice for individuals who are just starting out in leadership positions?

I believe that love and passion are crucial factors. This passion and respect form the foundation of trust, enabling successful collaboration and paving the way for a brighter future. Alongside these, various skills, experimental techniques, logical thinking, analytical approaches, and insights into human behavior contribute to our growth.

In the technology industry, showing love and passion for understanding how technology can shape the future is of utmost importance. It's about recognizing the potential impact of these technologies on the world.

Toshiyuki Yachi, VP & General Manager, Japan & APAC Distribution, Biotage

With over 30 years in the life science and drug discovery field, Yachi is known for a real turnaround leader with successful achievements in both Gobal product management and Asian sales with tripling business.

Current Issue