Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show, co-founder and CEO at Oishii, Hiroki Koga. Oishii grows the best fruit in the world by deploying ground-breaking vertical farming technology that pushes the boundaries of agriculture. Today, Harry and Hiroki talk about the origin story of Oishii and how they became the first in the world to grow fruit in an indoor vertical farm at commercial scale. Hiroki reflects on lessons he’s learned throughout his entrepreneurial journey, speaks to those who have influenced and inspired him and expounds on the importance he places on living up to the quality and standards of the Oishii brand. Finally, Hiroki shares his excitement for future expansion of his business and what excites him the most about the future of Oishii.
- 02:45 – Harry welcomes to the show Hiroki Koga, who talks about his experience living in Europe as a child, the decision to go into consulting and finding his passion
- 07:52 – Hiroki recalls the culture shock he encountered the first time he came to the U.S.
- 09:36 – Hiroki’s vertical farming origin story
- 15:41 – Hiroki speaks to what inspired him to launch Oishii
- 23:24 – Hiroki expounds on why he embraces tough challenges
- 25:12 – Harry and Hiroki talk about some of the more popular brands of fruit in Japan
- 28:00 – When Hiroki realized there was an opportunity in the vertical farming industry
- 32:36 – Hiroki recalls some of the early days of Oishii and what his marketing strategy was
- 38:19 – Hiroki describes the Omakase Berry to the audience and shares his plans for growth
- 43:03 – Hiroki reflects on lessons and takeaways from his journey thus far
- 45:41 – Who Hiroki looks to for inspiration and a tough question Hiroki has had to ask himself recently
- 50:52 – Harry thanks Hiroki for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about Oishii and connect with Hiroki
“I was always trying to look for what my passion in life was. And I kinda struggled to find what I was truly passionate about when I graduated from college. And I went into consulting to try to find my passion.” (05:29)
“When we think about ten or twenty years out, who’s going to succeed in the leafy green space is the company who can raise the most amount of money and who can produce a head of lettuce one cent cheaper than their competitors.” (17:11)
“And that’s really when I started thinking that maybe if I started with a different crop that can overcome all of these hurdles that the leafy green companies have faced, maybe there’s a viable business model, a company, an interesting business model that’s not just about being a cent cheaper than competitors but something more exciting.” (19:11)
“The only thing that I have confidence in is my passion for this industry and my xperience in this industry and my knowledge and how I think this industry is going to trend. That’s my strength.” (47:22)
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