Team

Khin Lapyae Won

Special Advisor
Khin Lapyae Won is the Finance Manager at Microfinance Delta International Company Limited (MIFIDA) and a special advisor at Gojo. She holds a bachelor in English from Yangon University and Chartered Accountant from ACCA (UK). She studied Master of Banking and Finance at the Yangon University of Economics in 2017. She started her career in 2009 at Myanmar Vineyard Estate Co., Ltd (Aythaya Wines) a 100% foreign owned first local winery. She began working in the microfinance industry from 2014 in Fullerton Finance Myanmar, a branch of Fullerton Financial Holdings from Singapore as a Senior Finance Officer. After that, she joined MIFIDA in 2016. She is fluent in English and Burmese. She is fond of continuous learning and her hobby is singing and traveling around the world.

Work in: Myanmar

Mangyo Kinoshita

Audit & Supervisory Board Member
Mangyo is an attorney qualified to practice Japanese law and California law and the founding partner of “southgate”. His practice primarily focuses on cross-border and domestic M&A, joint venture, strategic alliances, private equity and venture capital. He also regularly represents social entrepreneurs as well as social impact funds. Before founding southgate, Mangyo was a corporate partner at White & Case, an international law firm, and O’Melveny & Myers LLP, another international law firm where he led its corporate practice in Tokyo. At Gojo, Mangyo monitors management from an independent standpoint by attending board meetings and investment committee meetings as well as supervises day-to-day business execution.

Works in: Japan

Masahiro Kotosaka

Non-executive Director
Masahiro Kotosaka is an Associate Professor at Keio University and an Associate Fellow of The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. He is an expert in Internationalization strategy and early stage business development, and advisor to several global start-up companies. Before moving to Keio, he was an associate professor of multinational management at Ritsumeikan University, a teaching & research associate at the University of Oxford, and a consultant at McKinsey & Company based in Frankfurt and Tokyo. As a practitioner, he worked for strategy/marketing projects with sixteen client organizations across nine industries and nine countries and spent four years running three profitable IT/Retail businesses before joining McKinsey. He graduated from the University of Oxford with D.Phil. (Ph.D) in Management Studies and MSc in Management Research with Distinction.

Works in: Japan

Myint Swe

Managing Director at MIFIDA and Special Advisor at Gojo
Myint Swe is the Managing Director at Microfinance Delta International Co.,Ltd (MIFIDA) and is a special advisor at Gojo. He holds a B.Sc, B.L, CPA, D.S from Yangon University and Ministry of Education. Myint Swe dedicated himself to the field microfinance in his early career as a Myanmar Certified Public Accountant, a project manager, and a finance officer. His job experience includes working for UNDP Kenya and UNOSOM in Somalia for 6 years, and a microfinance project of UNDP for 11 years. Having spent several years in the field of microfinance, he became a freelance microfinance consultant in 2009 and also formed his own company called Microfinance Delta Co., Ltd in 2013, primarily using his own funds and supported by his friends. MIFIDA became a partner with Gojo in August 2015. Utilizing his extensive experience and his knowledge of the microfinance sector in Myanmar, Myint Swe provides consultation to several microfinance institutions in Myanmar. At MIFIDA, he serves as a Managing director and oversees the functioning of the entire institution. He is fluent in English and Burmese. He is good at sharing his knowledge of microfinance. Myint Swe lives in Yangon with his wife and adult children.

Works in: Myanmar

Natsuki Sugai

Vice President
Having graduated from Waseda University, Natsuki started his professional career at Fast Retailing, a global fast-fashion clothing retailer based in Japan, in which he engaged in branch management of UNIQLO, the retailer’s flagship brand. In 2012, as a college student, Natsuki founded an NGO to support education in developing countries and led the entire process to establish public schools in Lao by collaborating with the Lao government. While he was in Waseda Jitsugyo High School, he twice took part in the National High School Baseball Championship as a regular player despite joining the school as a non sports-exemption student. Out of his passion for making Gojo’s vision and mission come true, Natsuki joined Gojo in 2015.

Works in: Japan

Praachi Gandhi

Head of Social Performance Management
Praachi is a Sociologist from the Delhi School of Economics. She was Lecturer and Trainer at Delhi University. Praachi has been a research specialist with several NGOs and has worked on various international projects with John’s Hopkins University, USA, the MacArthur Foundation. For several years she worked closely with people below the poverty line to analyze the impact of various health interventions in the field. Praachi has a unique ability to connect seamlessly with people from all walks of life and all age-groups. At Gojo, Praachi heads social performance management using her field experience to make sure that the partner MFIs of Gojo fulfill their social responsibility. For Praachi laughter and music is the source of immense energy in this universe.

Works in: India, Cambodia and Myanmar

Pa Ponnak Rithy

Chief Executive Officer at MAXIMA
Pa Ponnak Rithy is the Chief Executive Officer at MAXIMA Microfinance Plc. (MAXIMA) He holds an Accounting, Finance and Banking degree and received his Bachelor in Business Administration in 1986 from the University of FINANCE ACCOUNTING and BANKING in Cambodia. Rithy began his career in 1980 as the Deputy Chief of Credit Office at National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) in Kampot province where he worked for 15 years. Consequently, Rithy was with the Pacific Commercial Bank as Chief of Accounting and later as Accounting and Administration Assistant at LWS(LUTHERAN WORLD SERVICE). 2000 onwards he has been with MAXIMA, where he heads the institution as the CEO. Rithy is fluent in English and Khmer. Rithy is like a paternal figure to many staff at MAXIMA and is committed to run MAXIMA as a socially responsible microfinance institution. To this end Rithy works hard with his staff to operationalize social performance management at MAXIMA and is also regularly invited on Cambodian national television to participate in and steer debates on client protection and other responsible practices like transparency in microfinance. Rithy lives in Phnom Penh with his family and adult married children, all of whom partake in taking care of Rithy’s mother who also lives along with Rithy and family.

Works in: Cambodia

Renuka Rathnahewage

Country Head – Sri Lanka
Renuka is a Certified Management Accountant and Certified Professional Manager from Sri Lanka and holding Master in Business Administration from the University of Wales in the U.K. Renuka started her career as an accountant in 1998 at PRDA (NGO/MFI) and was promoted up to General Manager. In 2008 Renuka joined Sewa Finance, an MFI in Sri Lanka, as CEO and took over the leadership for the company facing a severe crisis and was able to turn around the company to a profit making entity by restructuring all the systems and building a cohesive team. She served as a director of the Lanka Micro Finance Practitioners’ Association as a director for 3 years. At Gojo, she is handling all the activities in Sri Lanka project and serves as the CEO/Director of Sejaya Micro Credit Limited in Sri Lanka. She is fluent in English and Sinhalese. She is good at dealing with people and gives supports to HR related issues at Gojo.

Works in: Sri Lanka

Sayuri Aoyama

IR Officer
Sayuri works in investor relations for international debt/equity investors. Having graduated from Rikkyo University, Sayuri has worked more than 16 years in every aspect of securitisation both in Tokyo and London. She worked as a structurer and portfolio manager of structured finance portfolios at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. She brings her intensive expertise of global debt/capital markets to Gojo.

Sayuri is also a member of Prosperoworld, an established philanthropist network in London, which connects social investors and philanthropists with outstanding charitable projects.

Sayuri has two children. She is fluent in French, English and Japanese. She loves ski (qualified children’s ski instructor), aikido and playing the piano.

Works in: UK

Shun Ito

Country Representative, Myanmar

After studying at Keio University, Faculty of Economics, and graduating from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Shun joined Roland Berger and worked in the Japan and Singapore Offices. As a management consultant, he was involved in multiple projects across Southeast Asia. As a freelance consultant, Shun worked in rural Japan in Akita for a local supermarket chain. His early childhood was spent in the UK and Brazil. Proficient in English and Japanese, he also has basic Burmese skills. Tennis is his favourite sport. During an earlier stint in Myanmar, Shun ordained at a Buddhist monastery and practiced meditation.

Works in: Myanmar

Stuart Rutherford

Independent Commissioner at Gojo

Stuart Rutherford is a versatile researcher, practitioner, teacher and consultant in financial services for the poor in Asia and Africa. A well-known figure in the field of microfinance, Stuart has been a consultant with the World Bank, UNDP, UNCDF, DFID, ADB, EU, MicroSave and many NGOs including Oxfam, CARE, Save the Children, ASA, BRAC, Gates Foundation, ActionAid amongst others.

Stuart has taught at the University of Manchester, UK, has held training sessions for the Boulder Institute in the USA and Turin, Italy, for the Asian Development Bank in Tokyo and more. Stuart did his Masters from Cambridge University and is also a qualified architect.

Working in the microfinance field in Bangladesh in association with the Global Development Institute, UK, for a DFID project, Stuart developed Financial Diaries, a research methodology that has collected a wealth of information about the behaviours and fortunes of clients of financial services. In 1996, Stuart founded SafeSave, an MFI in Bangladesh that pioneers ultra-flexible savings and loans services for the urban poor. He has published papers and articles in international reports and journals that have helped to shape research in the microfinance sector. Of his books, The Poor and Their Money (2000) has been described by the World Bank as “the best thing we have read on how poor people manage their money.” Other books include The Pledge: ASA, Peasant Politics and Microfinance in the Development of Bangladesh (2009) and the co-authored Portfolios of the Poor (2009). For his services in the microfinance arena Stuart was honoured in 2011 with the “OBE” (Order of the British Empire). He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Global Development Institute, (GDI), UK, for which he is currently writing a series of papers based on original research in progress in central Bangladesh. Stuart speaks Bengali, some French and Spanish and a little Japanese. He lives in Japan with his wife. He enjoys reading and taking walks, listening to classical music and the Beatles.

Works in: Japan

Sreng Sive Chheng

Chief Financial Officer at MAXIMA Microfinance Plc.
Sreng Sive Chheng is the Chief Financial Officer at MAXIMA Microfinance Plc. (MAXIMA). She obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2001, specializing in Management at the National Institute of Management, Cambodia. She completed her masters in Financial Management at the Royal University of Law and Economics, Phnom Penh in September 2016. Sive Chheng has been with MAXIMA since the inception of the Company in 2000. Before MAXIMA, from 1995 to 2000, she worked as Chief of Remittance at Pacific Commercial Bank, Cambodia. At MAXIMA, she is serving as the CFO. She is fluent in English, Thai and Khmer. She is demanding yet very caring sister to all staff.

Works in: Cambodia

Takefumi Uda

Director / Chief Operating Officer

After graduating from Osaka University, Takefumi started his consulting career; first as a product development consultant for manufacturing companies at Information Services International-Dentsu and then as a management consultant at A. T. Kearney. After that, he joined Akindo Sushiro, a family sushi restaurant, first as a consultant and then as the Executive Officer and worked as one of the 4 management members of the company. He managed corporate planning, marketing, HR, quality assurance and IT of the company and built organizational & operational foundations to run problem-solving at all level of the company, enabling its sustainable growth. At Sushiro, Takefumi was the driving force of the company’s growth, contributing to transforming Sushiro to be the leading company in the industry. His strength is to develop business foundations and HR system for a “people business” where the quality of the front-line staff works as the competitive edge. He is a part-time lecturer at Rikkyo University Business Leadership Program. A would-be Yogi, Takefumi has practiced Ashtanga yoga for more than a decade.

Works in: Japan

Tomohiro Isozaki

Country Representative, Cambodia

After studying Sociology of Education at the University of Tokyo[T1] , Tomo joined Healthbank Pte.Ltd. providing management consultancy services for healthcare. Tomo was a Business Development Associate with them, working in several Southeast Asian countries mainly Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. In 2016 Tomo joined McKinsey & Company and was involved in multiple projects across various industries and varied functions. For instance, he was involved in developing and suggesting a long-term food and agricultural policy strategy for a client, while for another client he was leading the work stream of organizational health improvement and several such projects. Later, as a member of the strategic planning division of the Food Business Unit of Mitsui &Co.,Ltd. Tomo was again engaged in manifold projects of unit strategy planning, M&A, enhancement of subsidiary companies, operation improvement, and skill training for the unit members.
Tomo is proficient in English and Japanese and is also learning Khmer. He likes sports, traveling, and reading books. His motto is “Be tough, wise and tolerant, enjoying your own life.” Throughout the business activity, he tries to establish a fair and free society based on trustworthy relationships.

Works in: Cambodia

Yoshinari Noguchi

Head of Analytics
Yoshi joined Gojo and currently is leading the company’s analytics projects. Having graduated from Tokyo University and worked for Dai-ichi Life Insurance for 2 years, he spent 10 years as a quantitative analyst at Goldman Sachs Asset Management where he used to work for Global Alpha, a hedge fund of the investment bank. At Goldman Sachs, Yoshi managed quantitative global tactical asset allocation of the fund and developed various quantitative investment management products and tools. After leaving Goldman Sachs, he founded his own company and used to run a music studio business while providing consulting services for financial institutions. He loves finance theory, music, and skiing.

Works in: Japan

Taejun Shin

Founder, Representative Director & CEO

Founder, Representative Director & CEO
After graduating from Korea University and Waseda Graduate School of Finance, Taejun started his career at Morgan Stanley and then worked for Unison Capital. While working in the finance industry, Taejun founded Living in Peace, an NGO, in 2007, and created the first microfinance investment fund in Japan’s investment history in 2009. Taejun cofounded Gojo in 2014 and has led the company’s growth until today as the CEO. He was the Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum and is the youngest founding member of Endeavor Japan. The Harvard Business Review Japan Edition selected him as the 20 best CEOs under age 40. He is the author of 9 books, a finisher of the 1648 km ultra-marathon, and a Karate black-belt holder. Taejun is fluent in Japanese, Korean and English. He plays drums and shows up in a live performance once a year.

Works in: Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka

Sanjay Gandhi

Founder & Head of Investment

Founder & Head of Investment
Sanjay qualified as a Chartered Accountant before graduating from Delhi University. His first job as an Audit Manager was with the Indian Associates of KPMG. After working for a finance company, he joined the microfinance industry in 2003 and has worked in 25 countries and conducted about 125 ratings of MFIs; some of the assignments were for the World Bank, ADB, UNDP, Mercy Corps and HIVOS. After his CEO assignment at a Cambodian MFI, Sanjay cofounded Gojo and has led the Company’s investment activity. Sanjay speaks English, Hindi, and Punjabi. He is very fond of music, movies, and reading, with The Beatles as his all-time favorite music band.

Works in: India, Cambodia and Myanmar

Tsuyoshi Nagashima

Founder & Head of Administration

Founder & Head of Administration
Tsuyoshi is a Japanese Certified Public Accountant and Certified Tax Accountant. Having graduated from Waseda University, Tsuyoshi started his career at Deloitte Tohmatsu and worked for a financial industry auditing team. After Deloitte, he joined an independent accounting office and engaged in financial and tax due diligence, valuation, tax consulting, financial advisory, etc. After the above career, Tsuyoshi started his own accounting firm in early 2012. While working as a professional, Tsuyoshi is a serial entrepreneur, founding an IT consulting company in 2013 and a web app development company in 2014. At Gojo, Tsuyoshi leads software development and takes care of all of its back office tasks. Tsuyoshi speaks English and Japanese and loves Indian movies.

Work in: Japan

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