No programming skills? No problem –– Yappli is a no-code SaaS startup on the rise with a drag-and-drop platform for building and managing mobile apps. As CFO, Tsunoda was part of the team behind its IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange late last year.

What’s the biggest opportunity in Japan that’s often overlooked?

Its dependency on system integrators. The lack of software engineering resources is often talked about, but it’s not always fully understood. You’ll be surprised how some of the largest enterprises in Japan fail to secure IT talent and rely on external vendors. 

What was the most important decision of your career?

Quitting investment banking. Although I had a lot to learn, I was not cut out for the job of a junior banker. I don’t regret starting my career in investment banking though. 

What’s the most common misconception about the Japanese market?

Japan is sometimes portrayed as a futuristic country with highly efficient operations, but the adoption of modern technology is usually very slow.

How are you preparing your company for the end of the pandemic?

By investing in R&D and building brand awareness. I’m not sure if the pandemic will have a clear end to it, but we are committed to reaccelerating our growth in the coming years by reinforcing our product offering and increasing the recognition of the Yappli brand.

*This 3 Minutes With interview first appeared in the Rest of World weekly newsletter. Sign up here.