CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Shinichi Togawa

Togawa completed his studies at Tokyo University Graduate School of Engineering and then began his
career as a network engineer at a major telecommunications company.

Initially, his focus was on facility maintenance and operational planning. Later, he was assigned to a department where focused on advancing communication network technologies efficiently. As a director, he was responsible for overseeing information systems, digital initiatives, logistics, and centralized procurement of materials. After working in a food trading company, he began his current job in September 2022.

Togawa received Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo and Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

*Interview, article, and photography by the external team.

The Word of Mentor, “Be the GM of the industry” Has Became the Cornerstone of Career Transition

After graduating from the graduate school of the engineering department at the University of Tokyo, Togawa took his first step as a professional network engineer at a major telecommunications company. Initially, he was involved in maintenance and operation of equipment, primarily responsible for operational planning. Later, he was assigned to a department where focused on advancing communication network technologies efficiently.

“After considering various possibilities for creating an optimal network, I came to the conclusion that the ultimate challenge lies in the management issues. In other words, it is impossible to achieve anything without a clear direction from the top. Such an idea prompted me to aspire taking charge of managing company’s future, which ultimately motivated me to pursue an MBA degree at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University.”

In addition, Togawa was also contemplating the advice given to him by his mentor during his university years. A highly esteemed professor known for nurturing successful individuals in the field, consistently emphasized the significance of attaining a managerial position and becoming a leader within the industry. Keeping that in mind, Togawa prioritized this goal in his professional endeavors and subsequently transitioned to a prominent consulting firm after completing his MBA degree.

“As a consultant, I derived immense satisfaction from overseeing the operations of client companies. However, as I climbed the corporate ladder, my role shifted more towards selling consulting services. This shift in my role prompted me to reflect on my true aspirations, leading to my desire of a position that was closer to the actual business operations.”

Ultimately, I made the decision to transition to a dynamic growing internet-related company. There, I took on the responsibility of establishing efficient management systems to facilitate international expansion strategy and its growing presence.

Drawn to its Global Vision, Spirit and Joined AWL

In 2013, Togawa made his career change and joined a retail company that operates supermarkets. The company’s representative, who knew him well, invited him to help build up the company’s future foundation. With the promise of great discretion and a wide range of responsibilities, as well as his strong interest in the field of digital marketing at the time, Togawa decided to join.

“During my time at the retail company, my primary responsibilities involved reforming the information system and logistics, including replacing the core system after three years of tough negotiations, utilizing state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data and thus implementing various measures to boost sales,” he said.

Interestingly, it was during my tenure at the retail company that I first came across AWL, Inc. He recalls that he learned about Edge AI’s image recognition technology while chatting with Hiroki Tomiyama, president of Satsudora Holdings, when he participated in a dialogue project in the retail industry.

“I never dreamed of changing jobs to work for AWL at first, and I can still vividly recall being amazed by the presence of such a company. At that time, instead of engaging in analysis and marketing, I had the chance to trial cutting-edge AI cameras for security operations at the store.”

Togawa worked at retail company up to the position of director. After successfully establishing a new foundation and structure, he decided to move on and joined a food trading company as a new business director.

“In the realm of the food industry, I found the remarkable progress in technology, particularly the introduction of serving robots, to be incredibly intriguing. It was during this time that AWL approached me with an opportunity to serve as CFO. Currently, AI technology is entering a thrilling phase following a period of inflated expectations. What truly captivated me was AWL’s ambition to leverage its technology as a means to gain a competitive edge on a global scale, which motivated me to join AWL.”

AWL, where “Adult Style” Exploits Networking Gained from Life Experiences

Throughout his career, Togawa has had the opportunity to work in various organizations, where he has played a key role in building foundations, streamlining processes, and providing advisory services. As the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of AWL, the primary objective is to enhance the company’s groundwork, leveraging his expertise in this area.

“At present, my immediate focus is to guide AWL towards achieving an Initial Public Offering (IPO). To accomplish this, it is imperative that we strengthen our management team, define a clear direction, and develop a comprehensive business plan. I firmly believe that only by accomplishing those goals can we successfully expand our operations on a global scale.”

Drawing on his experience in larger corporations, where success is achieved through effective systems, Togawa has identified several challenges within AWL’s current state. Where, he see tremendous potential for improvement in areas such as meticulous budget management, implementation of the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle, and optimization of the company’s operational structure.

As a professional, my role is to invest in valuable assets and make informed decisions to optimize organizational processes. Despite being a venture company, AWL has a well-established corporate culture with extensive experience working in different companies and countries. To put it bluntly, AWL has an environment where everyone is moving towards the same goal without any immaturity, where each individual’s expertise shining in various aspects. For example, leveraging the network built from life experiences can effectively support sales activities and fundraising, thus driving the business forward. Such an approach would be challenging without the presence of experienced professionals.
Once upon a time, Japan had numerous manufacturers that were able to expand overseas with their core technology. Togawa is enthusiastic about the potential of standardizing the “AWL Trainer” as it would allow for continuous retraining and automated deployment of AWL. This could make it an indispensable pillar in the global industry.

“I would like to create an environment where our engineers can unleash their potential and skills to make the dream of deploying Edge AI technology globally a reality.”