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About Hiroshi Kikuchi, President and CEO, Grape.Sounds
Hiroshi Kikuchi has been bringing fine wines to the Japanese market for over 20 years.
A capable and experienced sales executive, Hiroshi successfully built and led some of Japan’s leading wine companies and has contributed to the success and growth of several other wine business ventures. His background combines deep industry knowledge and experience, broad industry contacts and a strong leadership skills.

   Hiroshi's wine career started with Gallo Japan KK. Starting as a Regional Sales Manager, he rose through the ranks to become Gallo Japan Country Manager and Regional Board Director. While at Gallo, Mr. Kikuchi was responsible for Gallo's entire Japan operations and sales. His accomplishments included:
  • Total Sales of 1.21 million cases — 60% of California wines sold in Japan, 4% of the total wine market — #3 sales volume for Gallo outside of the US.
  • Managing 160 employees, Mr. Kikuchi built and expanded Gallo’s on-premise business and successfully built a strong and effective sales system including man-power planning and allocation, recruiting, training, and incentive systems.

 

As executive vice-president and board director of FWINES, a subsidiary of Suntory, Mr. Kikuchi built a company from scratch, and developed a sales concept totally different from Suntory's existing style. In five years, Mr. Kikuchi's team achieved total sales of 5,200,000,000 yen.

He successfully implemented a complete-temperature control distribution system from the winery to the glass, (a first in the industry), successfully changed the on-premise supplier system, and built a strong supplier distribution network throughout Japan.

 

In 2007, Mr. Kikuchi was hired as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Board Director of Terra Vert Company, Ltd., a Kikkoman-affiliated company. He was tasked with starting and building a fine wine distribution company and portfolio from scratch.

Despite the challenges of selling fine wine in a during difficult economic times, Terra Vert's portfolio and sales continued to grow under Mr. Kikuchi's leadership. Sales reached ¥500,000,000 in 2009; and the company added Henri Bourgeois, one of the most prestigious brands in Sancerre.

Grape.Sounds — Where Fine Wine, Innovation, & Business Knowledge Converge
With all of this experience under his belt, Mr. Kikuchi started Grape.Sounds in April, 2010, with the sole mission of being a fine wine distribution company, while also serving the varied needs of Japan's food and beverage industry. The wine industry in Japan is facing challenges on several levels — the global economic downturn, the recent earthquake and tsunami that caused great destruction and disruption — to name but a few.

Wineries looking to do business in Japan — and on-premises business and wine retail establishments — need experienced executive leadership in order to navigate the challenges of doing business in this fascinating business environment. Grape.Sounds, with its combination of flexibility, innovative sales and marketing experience and knowledge of Japan's wine marketplace (and love of fine wine) is a company that new and established wineries should consider when seeking business in Japan.

Please call +81-0220369-8770 or email for more information.

 

hiroshi kikuchi
Please email or call us at: +81-22-290-3676 for more information about Grape.Sounds.
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