Kota Ohashi

  • Beachhead Advisor, Japan

Kota Ohashi has dedicated his entire career to the food industry. With nearly 40 years spent at Mitsui & Co Ltd (a Japanese giant trading house) including its subsidiary companies, he has been in charge of both importing overseas foodstuffs and exporting Japanese foodstuffs overseas.

Mr Ohashi has overseas experience being previously stationed in Hong Kong from 2000-2004, where he not only gained an intimate knowledge of the Hong Kong food market but also obtained a sound understanding of the food and beverage sector in other South East Asian markets. Prior to this Mr Ohashi spent two years in Philippines, 1978-1980 studying for an MBA at University of Philippines then working at Mitsui’s Manila branch primarily responsible for processed foods, seafood products, and food ingredient materials.

Within Japan, Mr Ohashi has spent some time in Okinawa, when he learned to appreciate regional differences and how to do business through understanding reality of those differences.

Mr Ohashi was responsible for a large range of food products throughout the course of his career such as seafood, meat, rice, nuts, soy beans, and even stock feed. So even if he is advising on items he has not dealt with directly, utilising his 40 years of experience in the food sector including import, export, distribution, brand marketing of packaged products, he can share his insights and suggestions with those who are seeking ideas and approaches on how to tackle the Japan market. He describes his customers as being "stomachs".

Mr Ohashi graduated from Waseda University in 1975 with an Economics major. He completed Master of Political Science and Economics at Nippon University Graduate School in 2016.

Advisory areas

Business Strategy, consultancy, go-to-market strategy and execution, market entry, marketing & strategic communications, new business and products launches, retail & distribution, sales and marketing, Japanese business culture and strategic planning.

Sector experience

Beverage, Dairy, FMCG, Fruit & Vegetables, Meat, Seafood/Aquaculture.


Ohashi has specific experience working in Japan.