Last month, I had the unique opportunity to travel to Tokyo with a group from SendGrid to celebrate the launch of SendGrid in Japan by our partner KKE. Our CEO, Jim Franklin has had a long-standing relationship with Shota Hattori, the CEO at KKE, and has worked with him in various capacities over the last 20 years.
For the launch we had an afternoon meeting with local Japanese start-up companies and press. We heard from our CEO Jim Franklin, our contact Kansuke Nakai from KKE, the U.S. Ambassador in Japan, and our friends from Microsoft Azure and Salesforce.com. Aside from Jim’s presentation, the content was in Japanese so I can’t elaborate on what was shared, but it was exciting to be there to see SendGrid expand to Japan.
Toasting Our Partnership
The real treat for me was the celebration after the meetings. In Japan, a custom as a business launches and at weddings and other significant events is the “Breaking of the Mochi.” This refers to the opening of a kagami mochi, which consists of opening a barrel of sake with a hammer for good luck. Of course we all toasted to the launch with sake afterwards in our traditional sake boxes that had SendGrid logos on them!
On a personal note, it was my first trip to Asia and I found the Japanese people to be incredibly kind, respectful, generous, and friendly. We were received at the airport, went to many “interesting” meals, and taken care of during every step of our time in Japan. I know that like Jim, my friendship and business relationship with KKE is one that will last many years to come. I’m very optimistic about the adoption of SendGrid in Japan and look forward to returning to Japan.