Steve Feldman

Steve FeldmanOccupation:
Computer hardware / software dealer.
Time in Japan:
3 years

When I was a kid, my dad told me never to work for anybody, and I really took that to heart. Japan has become my home because this is where I have been able to realize my dream of being my own boss.

My first experience in Japan was a home-stay for two months during the summer before my senior year in college. After studying Japanese for a year, I was inspired to do a work exchange. However, I didn' know what I was really getting myself into, because instead of teaching English, I found myself knee deep in the dirty work of a chicken farm'gathering eggs and killing chickens in rural Saitama.

Although I would never choose to do that kind of work again, my chicken farming story helped me to win a national Japanese speech contest in Chicago the following March. The prize was a first-class, round-trip ticket to Japan. So after graduation, I returned to the land of the rising sun in search of a cleaner, more fulfilling Japanese experience.

My first "real" job in Japan was at a computer company, selling multi-media equipment. I had studied marketing in school and enjoyed sales, so I was much happier than during my earlier experience. Eventually I developed a solid relationship with computer companies all over Asia to whom I had sold hardware. After establishing a network of contacts, I was able to break off and start my own company called Discount Supply International. With the help of my staff of five, I now supply hardware and software to companies all over Asia.

One of my major projects right now is Modelbase, an on-line network to promote models from the US, Europe and South Africa. I have been coordinating network parties and fashion shows in Japan to get people interested here. Cyber-scouting is expected to completely change the Japanese model industry and we will be a part of it.

It has been a real challenge, being a foreigner here and starting my own company in an environment which has historically been very exclusive. But in these changing times, Japan has become a land of opportunity, and Tokyo is the place to be if you're a new entrepreneur.

Information: 5214-6688.

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