Today, 4th July, marks the 7th anniversary of Gojo’s establishment.
Now our total clients reached beyond 0.7 million. Most of them are working mothers, supporting the lives of approximately 2 million children, or 10% of the total child population in Japan. We came a long way.
Also, we have strengthened our organization significantly in the last 12 months. Arnaud Ventura joined us as the Managing Partner; Gojo installed 3 committees structure to strengthen its governance; the Executive Committee is formed, among others. I am confident that Gojo has the best team among the companies operating microfinance globally. Digitalization of the business accelerated in the last 12 months too.
However, I cannot be satisfied with the current situation. The target asset size in June 2021 that I projected when we started the company won’t be achieved (we made it until the last year). Gojo is still in the middle stage to fully understand our end clients to develop truly meaningful products.
Granted, the last 15 months have been especially challenging for us due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the coup in Myanmar. However, we cannot blame only the external environment because we know it constantly changes. We could have done more and better.
Reflection on the last 7 years brought home the importance of being both insane and cool-headed. If the objective of the Gojo were to do microfinance in some Asian countries, we would never be here today. The reality is cold and hard, but we should aspire high while avoiding being a Don Quixote.
As you all know, we are founded to make the private-sector version of the world bank. The mid-term goal is to work in 50 countries and serve 100 million people by 2030. Among the 50 countries, Eurasian countries will account for 15, Africa 30, and the others 5. Among the 100 million customers, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia (despite the foreign capital regulation), Philippines, Egypt, and DRC account for 70–80%.
There will be around 60 group companies, and we will have to think about how to manage this. We started making a “playbook,” which defines how we work on operation, product, IR, technology, risk management, audit, among others. We will make the playbook by obtaining support from entrepreneurs and managers of our group companies and installing it to the entire group. Also, given the time difference and the local recruiting condition (for example, India is the best place to find tech engineers), we will need to think about having regional hubs.
If the asset per client reaches $500, simple math tells us that our total asset by 2030 should be $50 billion. To achieve this, we will need to raise $5 billion capital in the next decade. Some investors laugh at me when I say this, but I don’t know how else we can achieve the goal. It is just simple — to change the world, we need a lot of money though we surely seek the efficient way to use it.
It is not easy to raise such a big capital as a private company, so we need to go public in the stock exchange. Even after the IPO, we will keep raising capital to get our job done. To make it happen, we will need a growth, governance, and control mechanism which satisfies investors from all over the world.
I stop here. The point is, although we came a long way, it is still just the beginning of the much longer journey ahead of us. We will do our best to change the history of the world with great colleagues. I hope that you maintain support for us.