Hiroki Wakisaka will leave the major Hong Kong’s general trading company FUNG GROUP through an MBO, and assume the top position at a new company this year. FENIX INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD. has renewed its logo, and is restoring its original name in 2019, the 40th anniversary of the company’s founding. The name FENIX INTERNATIONAL refers to the legendary undying bird, the phoenix, and holds great meaning to the company’s new CEO, Wakisaka.

Wakisaka will also serve as a director at Forward Apparel Limited Corporation, but tells us that he is primarily a designer, and not a professional business manager. Even so, Wakisaka already holds a clear vision for his new company, “Simply put, I want to prioritize creating an environment where our employees can enjoy their work and fashion.” Wakisaka further states, “We will further cultivate a variety of OEM contracts (producing products for client brands), and build up our image as a fashion company.” While over half the company’s business comes from commissioned manufacturing contracts, it has also sold its own original brand, SIDE SLOPE at fashion boutiques in Japan and abroad since 2005.

Wakisaka would like to leverage his experience in international sales developed through SIDE SLOPE, and “increase our client base in regions such as China and Europe” for Fenix International’s burgeoning OEM business. Wakisaka expects the network of Ant Capital Partners, an investment fund supporting the newly independent FENIX INTERNATIONAL to play a major role in this endeavour.

As Fenix International is involved in everything from thread spinning to final manufacturing, its business is sure to grow as it goes international. There is also ample room for its import/export business to grow as it brings high-quality products from Europe and North America to Japan, and likewise delivers the best of Japan to the west.

Wakisaka models his image of FENIX INTERNATIONAL on that of an Italian family business. The newly appointed CEO intends to grow his company in a hybrid style that combines this family atmosphere with the domestic and international network, and management know-how, of its partner investment fund. Wakisaka brims with confidence in rapidly increasing their sales, stating, “We are going to grow leaps and bounds next year.” Wakisaka’s hobby is golf. He is 45 years old.