Startup Interview with Kosuke Sogo, CEO of AnyMind Group by@anymindgroup
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Startup Interview with Kosuke Sogo, CEO of AnyMind Group

by AnyMind GroupAugust 14th, 2021
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AnyMind Group co-founded in 2016 and now operates in 13 Asian markets. Founder of AnyMind says his company's mission is to make every business borderless. He says the team is very open-minded and collaborative. AnyMind has added new software and verticals to its business, including cloud manufacturing, e-commerce enablement, and logistics. We’re constantly developing new software to add new value to our customers and help them in so many ways, and that means being open minded and collaborative to work on new products.

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HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

I always wanted to start my own business, which was inspired by my grandparents, who were entrepreneurs themselves. Running a business in the technology space would mean impacting millions around the world. That said, I knew that I needed to get some practical experience in a company first before starting my own thing. When I graduated from university, one of the pillars powering some of the most exciting tech companies was advertising.

That’s why I started my career in the ad-tech industry when I was 23 years old, and two years later, was given the opportunity to expand and lead that company into Southeast Asia. In 2016, I co-founded AnyMind Group.

What's your startup called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

At AnyMind Group, our mission is to make every business borderless. This means that we create software that forms the next-generation business infrastructure for the digital economy.

What is the origin story?

When I was in the university more than a decade ago, I traveled to various regions in Asia including India and some parts of Southeast Asia, and saw there was huge potential in the region stemming from two factors: highly enterprising and talented populations in various countries and a region primed for technological disruption.

When we started, we were called AdAsia Holdings and took the marketing industry in Asia by storm - providing various software for digital marketing, influencer marketing, and publisher monetization. Today, we’re powering over a thousand publishers and serve over 16 billion impressions a month through the AnyManager platform, and our influencer marketing platform has a daily data update cycle from more than 200,000 influencers, and so much more. However, we realized that we could help our customer base of marketers and businesses, influencers and online publishers, in so many other ways. That’s why we expanded into AnyMind Group in January 2018.

Over the years, we have added new software and verticals to our business, including cloud manufacturing, e-commerce enablement, and logistics. We’re also working on more exciting projects. Since the start, we have been constantly innovating, and we are always looking to bring new value to our customers.

Today, the business is operating across 13 markets: from Tokyo and Singapore to Dubai and India, and everywhere in between. We have a diverse team of engineers from more than 15 nationalities, with engineering hubs in Tokyo, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Mumbai.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

I really love that the team is very open-minded and collaborative. This is important because we have a wide variety of products, and we always have very open discussions about new innovations and ideas. There are products in the market now that started as ideas over lunch with the team. This also means that the team has the flexibility to work on products for a specific vertical or across a wider range of verticals and learn new things about specific customer segments and industries.

True to our mission to make every business borderless, we are constantly developing new software to add new value to our customers and help them in so many ways, and that means being open-minded and collaborative to work on new products and/or further develop existing products.

If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?

To be very honest, I never really thought about it, as I wanted to build my own startup from a young age. It is literally in my blood, haha. But hypothetically speaking, I would try my hand at being a professional basketball player.

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

I would say that one of our core metrics is the number of businesses, creators, and publishers that we have made an impact on around the world. True to our mission, we’re looking to make every business borderless. It’s an ambitious one, but something that we intend to do.

Some of the other core metrics are product ones but would be too vast and detailed to explain quickly. In short, we have achieved considerable scale since we started the business, and we’re looking to drive even more scale-like increasing the number of publishers and monthly impressions, increasing the number of influencers signed up to our platform, increasing the number of e-commerce stores connected to our platforms - so that ultimately, our software can provide more accurate recommendations and actions.

What’s most exciting about your traction to date?

There are two things of equal excitement, I would say. How we’ve continuously grown our product suite, and the number of businesses, creators, and publishers that we’ve made an impact on so far.

At present, our software is used by the most exciting brands, most dynamic creators and influencers, and most forward-thinking publishers, and we are constantly delivering new products that can add value to our customers.

What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?

The explosion of people using digital means to access the world, and on top of that, how 5G will further connect the world. We’re seeing people operate an entire business through their mobile phones, purchase digital products with just a unit of data signifying their ownership, digital transformations of supply chains, and so much more. I get excited about essentially new technologies, and that’s why we’re constantly developing new products to add greater value to our customers.

What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?

I would have to say, and I’m sure you agree, it’s all about the community. The brightest minds in tech publish on this platform, and just-as-bright minds consume content on here.

What advice would you give to the 21-year-old version of yourself?

The path you’ll take is the right one, but also don’t ever be satisfied with what you currently have. You’ll make an impact on many people and businesses in the future.

What is something surprising you've learned this year that your contemporaries would benefit from knowing?

As a founder, the tasks that we get running a company can be overwhelming and it’s easy to just focus solely on work and ignore everything else. However, I’ve also learned that it is super important to allocate some time each week to exercise and stay healthy, as it gives me, even more, focus and energy for my work.

Vote for AnyMind Group as the startup of the year, Singapore.