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Hiroki Iwasa
GRA INC. President and CEO

Three days after the 2011 disaster, Hiroki Iwasa returned to his hometown—Yamamoto in Miyagi Prefecture—and witnessed the destruction the tsunami had caused. He immediately began volunteer work. Already running a successful IT venture business and studying for his MBA in management, he wondered how he could boost business in the Tohoku region. He shifted his focus to strawberries, a crop that had been supporting the economy of his city. He left Tokyo to set up an agricultural production corporation, the General Reconstruction Association, in Yamamoto in July 2011, hiring local strawberry farmers who had lost their livelihoods due to the tsunami. By integrating farming and IT, Hiroki created a new strawberry called Migaki Ichigo. Just one kilo of his berries costs ¥3,000, yet they sold out as soon as they were brought to market. Later someone suggested expanding his business to India. He did, and now works to solve the social issue of women’s unemployment and life in the slums through his strawberries. Hiroki is intent on spreading the agricultural techniques from Yamamotocho to the rest of Japan and the world.