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Dealmaker Diaries Podcast

Dealmaker Diaries Podcast

By Donald Thomas
Dealmaker Diaries Podcast grants you access to expert real estate investors, syndicators, entrepreneurs, lenders, private equity, property managers and advisors. ... Host Donald Thomas is a passionate real estate and mergers and acquisitions investor who has over 20 years experience in and around deals in these two industries.
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Episode 6 Robert Teague, Founder and CEO of Greenroom Technologies

Dealmaker Diaries Podcast

Episode 25 w/Mike Alfant - CEO Fusion systems - Business is a Team Sport
Mike Alfant, Group Chairman and CEO at Fusion Systems and Chairman and CEO at Binfinity AG delves into his experiences leading in Japan. Mr. Alfant previously held the position of President for The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and recently finished his term as the President of the Tokyo American Club. In addition to this, he is also on the Board of Newport, Pasona Tquila and Healios KK, and has also advised at Stanford University and lectured at Keio Business School, Kyoto University and Temple University.   Mr. Alfant’s wide range of experiences clearly shows that he is true leader in the fintech industry of Japan.  Mr. Alfant originally grew up in Brooklyn, New York and worked on Wall Street for roughly 10 years in the technical side of investment banking with his Computer Science background. Mr. Alfant became fascinated with Japan after a business trip, prompting him to move to Tokyo to start his first company, Fusion Systems.  Mr. Alfant explains the difference in work culture and leadership style between the US and Japan, in which he describes the former to be achievement oriented, and the latter to be process oriented. He explains, “what I needed to do [in New York] was clearly articulate a goal and essentially get out of the way. What I found in Japan was that I really needed to flush out the process and the process would then enforce itself based on the characteristics of the employees and the culture here.”  Mr. Alfant additionally points out that Japan-based leaders need to have a long-term mindset like a marathon-runner to achieve definite results.  In order to increase employee engagement and motivation, Mr. Alfant tries to avoid interjecting and let others take initiative. He also makes many of his employees shareholders of the company so that they feel more ownership within the company. In order to build trust with his employees, Mr. Alfant talks about being consistent with his behaviour, and understanding how people pay attention to action rather than just words. He also adds leading a healthy lifestyle with meditation, exercise, and eating well has helped him achieve this.   Lastly, Mr. Alfant leaves excellent advice for those who wish to successfully lead in Japan. He advises newcomers to “limit the scope of your vision and goals” and focus on achieving one or two business goals. Secondly, he advises people to have thick skin, and accept that Japan is a unique culture that will not easily change. Thirdly, Mr. Alfant advises people to explore the beautiful places in Japan as “the real Japan is not Tokyo. The real Japan is outside.”
October 4, 2021
Episode 24-Darren McKellin- Author of Mind Over Sales
Originally from Chicago, Darren has lived in Japan for the last 30 years and has extensive sales and marketing experience in the APAC region. He is currently the Area Director for North Asia for Zscaler and prior held senior roles in Oracle NetSuite, Verizon, and Vodafone KK. Darren is currently Co-Chair of the Information, Communications and Technology Committee and Vice Chair of the Digital Transformation Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.    The book is a powerful distillation of Darren McKellin’s journey to mindful leadership, which began 30 years ago when he moved to Japan and had to learn to navigate one of the world’s most challenging and opaque cultures, where team harmony and patience are strong virtues.   Darren was the co-founder of the Mindfulness Project at Oracle Japan, an organization of 2,000 employees, in 2017.  Oracle Japan had more than 2,000 employees and, as a result, there was a full-time doctor on staff. That company doctor noticed that many employees were suffering from work-related stress, resulting in headaches, stomach pain, and other ailments. He would recommend aspirin and other medication, but more and more employees were asking for a remedy without taking any pills. The doctor contacted the HR department, which in turn decided to create a program based on Google’s “Search inside Yourself ” course.     The team set up a 5 week course including Meditation, Body Scan Meditation, Mindful Listening, Mindful Eating, Walking Meditation, Journaling and Reflection.  The team interviewed the attendees and collected data and had a sizable improvement in Concentration, Productivity, Confidence, Energy & Relaxation. Because of his role in creating this course, he's led many employees down the route of mindful sales, and now has written Mind Over Sales so that anyone and everyone can become mindful in their careers at any time or place.
September 28, 2021
Episode 23: Hunter Thompson - Author of Raising Capital for Real Estate & Managing Partner of Asym Capital
Hunter Thompson is the founder of Asym Capital, a private equity firm which helps accredited investors invest in vetted commercial real estate opportunities. He is also the author of the international bestselling book, Raising Capital for Real Estate.   He has personally raised about $30,000,000 of private equity from more than 300 investors all over the United States.  He has been featured on Forbes, Inside Self-Storage, Globe St., Cashflow Ninja, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever, Lifetime Cashflow Through Real Estate, Real Wealth Network and 50+ other real estate and business podcasts.   He is also the host of the Cash Flow Connections Real Estate Podcast where he has interviewed Grant Cardon, Jim Rogers, Tom Woods, Oren Klaff, Cameron Herold, Robert M. Murphy, Doug Casey, and a variety of other leading entrepreneurs, economists, real estate operators, and investors.
September 20, 2021
Episosde 22 w/Julie Holly - Ask Her How She Knows
Sometimes to go big you have to start small. Julie grew up in a residential real estate family in California's Central Valley but three decades later moved to Denver, Colorado where she began her family. Throughout her adulthood Julie served as a public school educator while dipping into real estate.  When her family moved to a small rural town in Far North Idaho she found the path to breathe life into her big dreams through investing in multifamily real estate. Julie leverages her real estate experience that began at 24 of overseeing full house remodels and managing tenants from states away.   Now, her passion is paired with an ability to serve allowing her to help investors diversify their investment portfolios with real estate holdings. Additionally, she continuously offers growth opportunities to listeners through her thriving podcast Ask Me How I Know: Multifamily that releases one mindset episode and one conversation with industry experts each week.  From suburb and city to a the quiet of small town living Julie marries the experiences for your benefit!
September 7, 2021
Episode 21 - The Donis Brother - No Limits, No Excuses
Jeffrey, Kenneth, And Kerwin Donis built a portfolio of cash-flowing rentals and a six figure business as single family real estate investors. ​Donis Investment Group purchases and operates apartments. Through syndications, they provide investors great returns, mitigated risk, and passive income. As passive investors, their clients receive the benefits of multifamily real estate without the hassle of operating the asset. ​The Donis Brothers are passionate about helping others reach their financial goals through real estate investing. ​You can check out Their podcast–The Real Estate Monopoly Podcast with the Donis Brothers., where they interview professionals who are dominating the real estate industry.
August 18, 2021
Episode 20: Brandi Shotwell w/Reno Capital Management
Brandi Shotwell is a Principal at Reno Capital Management in Dallas, Texas concentrating on debt and equity. With over 20 years’ experience in finance and real estate, Brandi has had leadership involvement in over $1 billion in real estate projects ranging from commercial acquisitions to commercial development.  She has organized funding acquisitions and development opportunities for multifamily investors, high net worth individuals, municipal growth areas, and manufacturing clients.  Prior to joining RCM, Brandi was Vice President at Edge Capital Markets in Dallas, Texas.  Preceding Edge, she was Vice President of Coronado Bay Capital where she was a top producing originator of the company.  Previously, she was a founding partner of Global Mortgage USA. Brandi attended Purdue University Northwest where she studied business and marketing.
August 4, 2021
Episode 19 w/Josh Plave-Integrating your Retirement Vehicles into Your Multifamilt Real Estate Syndication Portfolio
Josh Plave is the founder of Wall to Main and a full-time multifamily investor. Investing with his family, they hold a portfolio of over 700 units across three markets. ​Josh's experience in retirement accounts began at 16, when he opened his first Roth IRA and began trading equities. Since then, after the unfortunate passing of his grandfather and mother, he was left with multiple Inherited IRAs. Through careful research and structuring, Josh has been able to further the legacy of prior generations and accelerate the growth of his family's capital. This experience led to the creation of Wall to Main, where the lessons learned and opportunities found are meant to be shared, free of cost, for those who seek to preserve and grow their wealth for a prosperous future.
July 19, 2021
Episode 18: Kelly Stinson & Anselmo Torres III - Water Conservation for you Habitational Assets
KELLY STINSON “The Potty Princess” – National Sales Manager, SAS Passionate about water & energy conservation and the influence to improve our environment. ·  “Potty Princess” nickname caught traction ~3 years ago through her continued commitment of bringing awareness, education, & support across the country to multifamily property owners relative to the financial and environmental impact of old toilets on their properties. ·  In 2019 she saved multifamily property owners over $2 MILLION on their water/sewer bills coupled with reducing water consumption by just over 200 million gallons (that will fill 303 Olympic size swimming pools) CONTACT INFO: Kelly Stinson: 214-636-9550 LinkedIn: #thepottyprincess Facebook: #thepottyprincess ANSELMO TORRES III, National Account Manager ·  Created a software program called LeakAware that helps multifamily properties monitor their water consumption & detect high consumption / leaks. ·  Walked over 300 properties across 30,000+ units performing audits & collecting data. ·  Passionate about water conservation and sustainability and saving our most precious resource one leak at a time. Anselmo Torres: 214-914-1139 LinkedIn: Anselmo Torres III
July 1, 2021
Episode 17 w/Mark Owens-From Strong Arm Robbery to Strong Balance Sheet
From the young age of 12 years old, Mark was an active addict, in and out of jail, rehabs, and spent periods of his life living on the street. It wasn’t until he was caught in an armed robbery at 24 years old, putting him in jail for four years that his life turned around, thanks to the discovery of a life changing book he read during his time served.   Mark has an amazing story of breakthrough that he wants to share with the world to encourage those who are struggling that it gets better; how anyone can start at rock bottom and become successful. “You can if you think you can.”   Today, at 55, Mark is a multi-millionaire, thriving in the Real Estate Investing industry, with over 100 rental units and coaches new investors to acquire and build their portfolios as well. Mark spends his free time at investor meetups and classes, Facebook Live and podcasting, sharing all that he can possibly think of, without holding anything back.
June 16, 2021
Episode 16: Robert Burr-President, Panex Exploration
Robert D. Burr is truly one of a kind. When he speaks, people listen because they have never heard anyone quite like him. Born and raised in Louisiana Bob still has a bit of a drawl, but that doesn’t stop him from getting right to the heart of the matter, no matter what the subject might be. Over the past 40+ years Bob has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for Oil and Gas ventures. He is a master syndicator and deal strategist.   The recent crisis in the Oil Patch has been a huge opportunity for some like Mr. Burr who saw what was coming and moved to capitalize on it. Panex acquired the BR Dome fields outside of Houston, TX, where wells were shut-in by the pandemic. With just a few of their over 200 wells back online, they are now producing over 300 barrels of oil per day and paying 12% interest to  investing partners.You may wonder how Panex is paying 12% interest in times like these? ... and that is why you should have Bob on your roledex. If anyone in this audience needs to find an alternative investment that is over collateralized, and providing immediate cash flow, Panex has it, and Bob Burr can explain the benefits and the risks of it in plain English.
May 31, 2021
Episode 15: Paul Moore-How To Lose Money
After graduating with an engineering degree and then an MBA from Ohio State, Paul started on the management development track at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. After five years, he departed to start a staffing company with a partner. They sold it to a publicly traded firm for $2.9 million five years later. Along the way, Paul was Finalist for Ernst & Young's Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year two years straight. Paul later entered the real estate sector, where he completed 85 real estate investments and exits, appeared on an HGTV Special, rehabbed and managed dozens of rental properties, developed a waterfront subdivision, and started two successful online real estate marketing firms. Three successful developments, including assisting with development of a Hyatt hotel and a multifamily housing project, led him into the multifamily investment arena. Paul co-hosts a wealth-building podcast called How to Lose Money and is a contributor to Fox Business and BiggerPockets, producing live video and blog content on a weekly basis. Paul is the author of The Perfect Investment - Create Enduring Wealth from the Historic Shift to Multifamily Housing (2016) and has a forthcoming book on self-storage investing. Paul is also the Managing Director of two commercial real estate funds at Wellings Capital.
May 17, 2021
Episode 14: Tax Mitigation & Cost Segregation with Yonah Weiss
Yonah is a powerhouse - with property owners' tax savings. As Business Director at a national cost segregation leader, Madison SPECS, he has assisted clients in saving tens of millions of dollars on taxes through cost segregation. ​ Over the past 15 years Madison SPECS has done over 16,000 cost segregation studies covering all 50 states, resulting in over $3 BILLION in tax savings. In this episode we covered: How does one know if their property is a good candidate for a cost segregation study? What does one look for in a cost segregation firm? Should one always get an upfront estimate first? Is one able to capture some of the benefits of cost segregation retroactively, if they've already held a property for a long time? Looking at the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, does the change in the Act allow property owners to take their depreciation deductions much faster. Is this temporary, or a permanent change in the law? How does any of this impact an investor’s personal income taxes? Tune in for a very engaging conversation!
April 30, 2021
Episode 12: Rob Claar Co-founder/CEO at HekaBio
Rob Claar first came to Japan after graduating from college in 1987. After working in a Japanese think tank in healthcare policy and health economics, Rob started his entrepreneurial path in 1992. He has created nearly 20 businesses in Japan that focus on the goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients, doctors, innovators and government agencies. Rob has deep healthcare regulatory knowledge, strong Key Opinion Leader doctor relationships and maintains a worldwide trust network with leading innovators in drug discovery and medical technology through optimism, tenacious follow-through and a spirit of collaboration. Rob is a school board volunteer and serves on the board of Hope International Development Agency, a non-profit focused on enabling self-reliance for the neglected poor in Cambodia, the Philippines and Ethiopia. In his free time, Rob enjoys traveling in the countryside of Japan, visiting Shinto Shrines and hot springs with his family.
March 31, 2021
Episode 11: Ray Klein Investor/Entrepreneur
Ray Klein is an entrepreneur, mentor, crisis manager, and project leader. Ray Klein co-founded American Life Inc., a Seattle, WA real estate investment company, in 1996. During his tenure, from 1996 to 2012, he grew total funds under management to approximately USD 1 billion, primarily from Asian investors.  During 2012–2014, he led Rainbow Clean Energy GK, a developer of mega-solar power generation projects in Japan. In 2015–2016, he restructured and then sold a USD 1.5 million retail and gift store business that was previously acquired as part of the Okabe purchase. In 2009, he led a local private investor group in the acquisition of the Okabe Hotel Group, a 500-room resort chain in Japan, and served as its president until the company was sold in late 2010.  In 1996, Ray also founded Tekinvest KK, a strategic consulting firm that focused on localizing numerous U.S. technology companies to the Japanese market. Most notable was NetRatings Japan, Inc. (a joint venture with Nielsen Media Research and Transcosmos Inc.). Ray has previously served on the board of HOPE International Development Agency, Japan, which extends help to Asia's neglected poor. He holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science. Ray is bilingual in English and Japanese, and has lived in Tokyo since 1990.
March 15, 2021
Episode 10 Jim Weisser Founder of Sign Time & Weisser Ideas
As a serial entrepreneur, Jim has founded and has angel invested in a number of startups in Japan. The start-ups Jim focuses on are in digital transformation in Japan. On a personal level, Jim has been running Internet and cloud and SaaS related businesses in Japan since 1996. He started his first company in 2000, second in 2003 and third in 2006, PBXL. In 2020, Jim founded SignTime K.K. a Japanese company focused on electronic contracts, e-hankoes and digital transformation in a global environment. Previously, Jim founded PBXL , a SaaS based company focused on cloud calling, which was acquired by BroadSoft in November, 2015,. Through the time Cisco acquired BroadSoft, he led both the SaaS sales and factory operations for the team in Japan until August, 2018, when he moved into a dedicated sales role. Jim has substantial SaaS experience in Unified Communications and Collaboration, hosted PBX services, integrated VOIP offerings, team collaboration and instant messaging/Chat. Outside of collaboration, he also has experience with Call Center/Contact Center as Services (CCaaS) as well, in both indirect and direct sales roles. In his previous role at Cisco, he built teams to work with the big 3 large telecommunications service providers (KDDI, NTT and Softbank) and the major Japanese SI companies like Fujitsu, Hitachi, CTC and Mitsubishi.
March 1, 2021
Episode 9 Daniel Smith Executive Producer/CEO at Daneil Smith Productions Show Reel
People are Dan Smith’s business—specifically, entertainment people. As creator and producer of Fox Backstage Pass, his goal isn’t just to get the biggest celebrities onto his weekly entertainment program: it’s to get those stars to look at what he can offer and definitively say, “Yeah, let’s do that.” It was Smith who leveraged his experience as a former U.S. Air Force public relations superintendent to get Will Smith (no relation) on a Blackhawk helicopter ride from Nishi Azabu to Yokota Air Base and back to promote I Am Legend in 2007. At the time Smith was producing entertainment segments for Japanese networks with his independent Access Television LLC, and the stunt caught the attention of Fox. Smith subsequently got the principal cast of 2012’s Battleship onto an actual U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, and when Tom Cruise came to promote Edge of Tomorrow, the Japanese distributor naturally approached him to find out what he could do to help promote the film. The feather in his cap was when the promoter for Michael Jackson himself sought Smith out to cover what would have been the King of Pop’s final Japanese tour. “That’s when I started thinking, oh, maybe I’m kind of successful at this,” Smith says. It’s that variety that keeps Smith going. “I get up every day excited that I am never going to have the same day—never,” he says. “It’s never going to repeat itself. That in itself just gets me charged up to go out there and kick some ass. I love that aspect about my job, and I love that aspect about my programs.” Tune in to hear Dan's prospective on business and what keeps him motivated on his day to day.
February 15, 2021
Episode 8 Greg Dickerson of Dickerson International
Greg is a serial entrepreneur, real estate developer, coach and mentor. He has bought, developed and sold over $250 million in real estate, built and renovated hundreds of custom homes and commercial buildings, developed residential and mixed use subdivisions and started 12 different companies from the ground up. Greg currently coaches and mentors some of the top entrepreneurs and real estate investors around the world helping them start, grow and scale their business, raise more capital and do bigger deals. Greg's current clients have over $2 billion in AUM and deals in process. Greg is an expert on the topics of entrepreneurship, leadership and real estate and is regularly interviewed on some of the top real estate investing and business podcasts today. Greg served in the United States Navy right out of high school and has always been a leader in the community as well as supporting, advising and serving on the boards of several churches, ministries and non-profit organizations.
January 29, 2021
Episode 6 Robert Teague, Founder and CEO of Greenroom Technologies
Bob is the Chief Medical Office of Green Room Technologies. He and his colleagues help early stage companies and others to turn good ideas into good business. They specialize in business viability working with health tech firms who have software and medical device products or services. Their entire focus is either startup to Series A or more mature companies who want to enter the healthcare market. They focus on market and technology readiness and bring value with interoperability solutions, market growth acceleration and enhanced investment potential. When Robert graduated from college, entrepreneurial business was about the furthest thing from his mind. He did not come from that background as a kid, and he was going to medical school. When you get on the medicine train, you go where the train goes until you are ready to get off. It is a highly structured path, like a train track. Robert landed in Houston, TX at Baylor College of Medicine in the ever-impressive Texas Medical Center for post-graduate training in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine in which he is Board certified. He stayed in academic medicine for the next ten years practicing academic pulmonary and critical care and doing academic things. But it was in this time that he first began to understand the technology of the day and to see where it was headed. It was about the time that the personal computer was making its first splash in the market. He merely followed the electrons.
December 15, 2020
Episode 5: Tracy and Keeley Hubbard of Hubbard Capital Group
Tracy is a real estate investor and syndicator, professional Forex trader, and serial entrepreneur- having owned and operated 6 companies across various industries. He has 20 years of experience in the financial sector as a professional commodities and Forex trader and investment fund manager, previously holding Series 3 and 43 licenses. Because of Tracy’s extensive experience in the global interest rate and currency markets, he brings a unique advantage in his understanding of how global interest rates can affect cap rates and financing rates, giving him the edge to position his investors for the coming years. Tracy’s real estate experience began in the 1980’s where he owned and operated over half a million square feet of industrial warehousing distribution facilities. He recognized the opportunity of income-producing real estate and utilized sale/lease-back strategies to purchase the real estate and operating companies. In recent years as Tracy has watched the financial markets evolve, he determined he needed to diversify himself and his investors by transitioning to opportunities in multi-family properties across the U.S. Tracy is a former United States Marine, 6th generation Texan, proud father of 4 children and 2 grandsons. He has been married to his high school sweetheart since 1977. In his spare time, you’ll find him looking at Texas ranches for his favorite hobby- cattle and vineyards. Email: Keeley comes from a diverse background and has gained a unique perspective on both the financial and real estate markets. At 14 years old she began watching her father trade the commodities and foreign currency markets using nothing but paper charts and a call-in broker before the days of electronic trading. Keeley’s passion for the financial markets continued throughout her college years when worked for a large bond trader in Dallas. Following her TCU graduation, she spent 7 years in the financial education industry as an Executive for an international company where she drove unprecedented growth. Throughout her career, her primary focus has always been to help people achieve their financial life goals.  Keeley’s passion for people and skilled communication provides investors peace of mind as she apprises them on the scope of the project- from acquisition to operations, and ultimately on to the next multi-family opportunity. She is also responsible for creating and maintaining commercial broker relationships to provide the best opportunities for Hubbard Capital Group investors. Keeley is a proud 7th generation Texan who enjoys TCU football, hot yoga, vacationing in Hawaii, and spending time with her big, crazy-fun family. Email: Tune in as this amazing Father-Daughter duo share their experiences, wisdom, and outlook on life, skills, and multi-family real estate investing, from a macro/micro perspective.
December 1, 2020
Episode 4 Terrie Lloyd, Founder, Japan Travel
Terrie Lloyd is a 62-year dual-national of Australia and New Zealand, who has lived in Japan for 37 years. He formed his first company on a working holiday visa at the age of 25, in Japan, and has established more than 17 companies in Japan (others internationally) since then. He has had 8 successful earn-outs: LINC Computer and HK-based TechMan sold to EDS in 1995, LINC Media Web division sold to Chinadotcom of HK in 2000, Layer-8 Technologies spun out to ThetaMusic in Japan in 2003, DaiJob Software KK sold to a Nikko Principal in 2004, DaiJob Inc. sold to Human Holdings of Japan in 2005, Esphion NZ sold to Allot Corporation of Israel in 2008, and BiOS KK, an IT company, sold to co-investors then on to TMJ KK of Japan in 2013. Of the above companies, was particularly notable, as it was Japan’s first mid-career recruiting portal, and within 24 months of starting had 160,000 registered users interacting in both English and Japanese. Currently Lloyd is Founder and CEO of the following companies: 1. Japan Travel KK– Japan’s largest (by content volume) and second largest (by traffic) inbound travel site. Lloyd invented a unique “structured” crowdsourcing software platform to create massive amounts of user generated content at low cost for As a result, the website now has 18,600 writers, photographers, and videographers, is producing 30-50 articles and videos a day, and is available in 13 languages. Other teams in the company include a luxury/business Type 2 licenced travel agency, and a systems integration operation that pulls in data from large Japanese firms, for re-organization and resale to foreign tourists (rental bikes, bag handling, etc.). 2. MetroWorks KK – an innovative software development company, which built the www.japantravel.comcommunity engine. 3. Japan Inc. Holdings – a consulting, investment, and Japanese-language marketing company. Other positions Lloyd holds include: 1. Director of Keating Media Pty. Ltd., a news organization based in Canberra, Australia, and which has a press licence to operate inside the Australian Parliament House. Keating Media includes among its clients China’s Xinghua News Agency. 2. Director of Instinct Entertainment, a start-up mobile games and cloud software company, based in Wellington, New Zealand. Lloyd is married to a Japanese national, Kumiko, and has 4 daughters and 1 son, ranging from 34 years to 17. His hobbies are starting businesses, cycling and swimming, and hanging out with the kids.
November 16, 2020
Episode 3 Anil Raj, Founder Raj Group
Anil Raj is a serial International entrepreneur. With just over a decade into entrepreneurship, today his businesses range from Indian chain of restaurants, International kindergarten school, Travel and leisure, Imports and Exports, and more. An ex-techie with 17 years of experience working in International investment banks like Credit Suisse, Dresdner, Japanese Shinsei Bank and Citi Bank. He holds an M.S. in Information Technology from Australia. After his MS in 1997, he moved to Indonesia to work for an Indonesian bank as an IT specialist. In 1998, he shifted to Japan for Credit Suisse, and has worked for other well known Banks after that. A n d i n 2 0 0 5 , A n i l t o o k a p l u n g e i n t o entrepreneurship, and has cracked its code multiple times since. His company, RAJGROUP, founded in 2005, is based in Tokyo, Japan. He recalls that he always wanted to be an Entrepreneur, right from his college days. It seems like the drive to better things, and questioning the status quo, had always been in his DNA. Anil attributes his business success to two simple Mantras - Create a Need or Address one. In one such instance, Anil Raj found that Indian restaurants in Japan never served authentic Sourth Indian food. Hence was born NIRVANAM, a south Indian speciality Restaurant. Today, NIRVANAM, is the most awarded Indian chain of Restaurants in Japan. Anil Raj is well known amongst the business and political circles in Japan. Anil is consulted for, when Indian Head of States and dignitaries travel to Japan on business visits. He says there are many things to learn from Japan and vice versa, and it is time both countries collaborate deeply to improve the quality of living in both these countries. Rajgroup is the first company to bring in construction workers from India to Japan. Anil Raj was also selected as a special invitee for the Loka Kerala Sabha 2020. Anil is well rooted back home as well. He has addressed various forums in the country to encourage Indian students and entrepreneurs. He believes India’s growth story can be realised this century, with the upcoming talent in country. RAJGROUP businesses today: • Award winning restaurant brand ‘NIRVANAM’, which has 6 branches, 4 of it in central Tokyo, 1 in Yokohama, 1 in Saitama. Awarded “THE BEST RESTAURANT IN JAPAN” consecutively for 6 years now. • NEHAN TECH is a IT Consulting and services company headquartered in Tokyo. • Co-  Founded ‘ STARKIDS INTERNATIONAL KINDERGARTEN SCHOOL’ in Central Tokyo. • Import & Distribute Indian products in Japan. • Connect and bridge people and businesses between India and Japan, to enable business tie-ups, selling products or even cultural exchange. • MAXROOT - Exporting Japanese Patented Cosmetic product and distribute in India. • BIZCOOT.COM - A Talent Network Company, based out of Bangalore. • VIFL - Director, Vivekananda Institute of Foreign Languages (VIFL.IN) • VERYCOM - Branding. Design. Digital marketing.        
November 2, 2020
Episode 2 Mark Kenney, Co-Founder Think Multi-Family
Mark and Tamiel Kenney are seasoned real estate investors and the founders of Think Multifamily, a leading Multifamily Acquisition and Education Company that prides itself on a family-oriented approach to business. Mark and Tamiel are invested in over 4,000 units with a strategy focused on acquiring, owning and operating apartments, and providing clients with otherwise unobtainable real estate investments at reduced risk. Think Multifamily provides innovative technology simplifying the investment process, facilitates avenues for investment, increases returns through capital campaigns and perhaps most importantly, provides people with better places to live. Despite Mark and Tamiel’s family-oriented approach, things weren’t always so rosy. Indeed, the genesis of their philosophy came about when Tamiel nearly walked out on Mark after plunging himself into 80+ hour work weeks. With that rude awakening fresh in their minds, Mark and Tamiel redoubled their efforts and went into business with each other. Now, they are focused on giving back to their community, with a large portion of Think Multifamily’s profits going to support various charities. Tamiel herself is a registered nurse, and has gone on a number of medical mission trips. As business partners, they are also passionate about apartment investing and offer a holistic approach to educating others on how to become successful in this business, as well as in other areas of their lives. In their very first year of coaching others, they helped close on 2,500 units in excess of $180M.
October 19, 2020
Epidode 1: Fusion Systems CEO Mike Alfant
Building a business from the ground up can be an exhilarating and fulfilling time in the life of an entrepreneur. However, that road is filled with potholes and other dangers that can knock you out of the game before you get started. Having a mentor or someone who's done what you're trying to do can make all the difference in your journey as an entrepreneur. Host Donald Thomas and Fusion Systems CEO, Mike Alfant discuss a variety of topics ranging from Entrepreneurship, Investing, his business experiences in Japan, and other topics.  Mr. Michael Alfant is the  CEO of Fusion Systems ( Mr. Alfant started Fusion Systems in 1992 and led it to a $60m acquisition by IMRglobal Corporation (NASDAQ: IMRS) in 1999.  Fusion Systems was re-launched as a Fintech/IT specialist organization in 2005 and has offices throughout Asia. Michael has founded over 20 technology companies over the past 30 years in countries throughout Asia Pacific, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, and the United States with multiple successful exits during that time. Mr Alfant served two terms as President and one term as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, 2011-2013, encompassing the period of the Tohoku earthquake and it's aftermath.  Michael's leadership was instrumental in the ACCJ being awarded the "Peace Through Commerce" medal by the United States government.   The Peace Through Commerce Medal, originally commissioned in 1790 by Thomas Jefferson during his tenure as the United States' first Secretary of State, has been awarded to fewer than 20 individuals and organizations in its 223-year history. It is the highest honor awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, recognizing those whose actions contribute to the promotion of peace and commerce through international trade and by strengthening relationships between countries ( Mr. Alfant has served on the Boards of publicly listed technology firms in both the United States and Japan and is currently an independent Director for Healios (JPX: 4593), one of the worlds leading regenerative medicine firms.  Michael was elected as the President of the Tokyo American Club ( in late 2016 and currently maintains that prestigious office.  Mr. Alfant has served as an Advisory member to the Stanford University Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is a regular lecturer at Keio Business School, Kyoto University, and Temple University.  Michael participates as a member of the Japan Board for Hope International and is active in community service throughout Asia. He spends his spare time exercising, meditating, reading and exploring Tokyo on long, urban hikes. Hopefully, this conversation will help some entrepreneurs who are beginning their journey or are well on their way in building a substantial business.
October 5, 2020