Interview with Rachel Leng, COO of SeiRogai, Inc. for Minato Kumin News: “Connecting Japan and the World”

SeiRogai COO, Rachel Leng

SeiRogai, Inc. COO Rachel Leng Interviewed by Kumin News

In this article, Minato Kumin News (Minato Citizen News) interviewed Ms. Rachel Leng, the COO and Co-Founder of SeiRogai, Inc., a firm specializing in media production, advertising, branding, media technology, and business consultancy. Ms. Rachel Leng shared her motivations behind the founding of the company, as well as the goals and future projects of the business. She also shared her insights about Japanese culture and its unrealized potential and how it can connect to the world. SeiRogai, Inc. is dedicated to media distribution services, focusing on bridging communication between Japan, Southeast Asian countries, and the global audience through its unique media production techniques and business advisory. The goals are to bring Southeast Asia’s charm to Japan and connect Japan’s rich culture to the world. The company is likewise committed to internationalizing Japanese brands to a larger audience through state-of-the-art media production, consolidated network connections, and cross-cultural business perspectives. The company’s innovative services are Global Virtual Travel, a platform that offers 360-degree virtual tours to promote local tourism, and SeiRogaiTV, an online distribution platform that connects Southeast Asia and Japan. With the motto “Media & Entertainment With a Purpose”, SeiRogai, Inc.’s focus is to help local businesses establish themselves in foreign markets, maximizing global impact while supporting regional revitalization.

The link to the original Japanese article can be found on this site:  https://kumin.news/minato/articles/484231

Another compelling interview was conducted by Minato Kumin News with SeiRogai’s CEO, Samuel Yuen. He shared a distinctive viewpoint on SeiRogai’s strategic vision and future initiatives. The interview can be read on this link: https://seirogai.com/interview-with-samuel-yuen-for-minato-kumin-news/

A Closer Look at Ms. Rachel Leng

Originally from Singapore, Rachel Leng is a Harvard Graduate School graduate and holds work experience in multinational corporations including a renowned Japanese investment firm, as well as a South Korean think tank. Rachel Leng is a specialist in a wide array of business-oriented fields such as finance, international relations, cross-cultural management, public policy, market research, investment management, and business development. She is the Co-founder of SeiRogai, Inc. (“SeiRogai”) in 2019. She is a former Miss Singapore titleholder.

Bringing Southeast Asia’s Charm to Japan

Mr. Samuel Yuen (left) and Ms. Rachel Leng (right) delivering a speech at an event organized by Enterprise Singapore.

How did you get started in this business?

The idea for this work came from the desire to make Japan’s culture, craftsmanship, and local specialties more widely known around the world. I have lived and visited many countries in the past, but I have never been to a country with a culture as diverse as Japan. Notably, many foreigners who come to Japan from overseas only visit famous destinations like “Kyoto”, “Tokyo”, and “Osaka”. The reason is not they seek only famous tourist spots, but rather that information on hidden and unexplored local destinations in Japan is not reaching people overseas. My deep understanding of Southeast Asian culture and values enabled me to understand the needs and desires of the people living in those countries. Southeast Asians have an authentic interest in Japanese culture, however, I felt that there was a gap to be filled between the Southeast Asian community interested in Japanese culture and the few sources that convey information about the local regions of Japan, along with their cultural attributes. This realization inspired me to use my expertise to connect the Southeast Asia region and Japan. Career-wise, I initially worked at a top-tier think-tank company in South Korea. Afterwards, I joined a Japanese investment firm, where I had the opportunity to learn about the Japanese corporate culture, decision-making processes, as well as business practices. I was eager to become proficient in the Japanese language, so I studied diligently while carrying out my work. Additionally, I have also refined my professional knowledge and expertise to accurately listen to the voices of local Japanese companies and convey their message to audiences abroad, with the goal to serve as a one-stop solution for companies with such intent. And so, in 2019, with the Olympics soon taking place in Japan, we anticipated the incoming demand from inbound foreign companies and individuals who showed a keen interest in Japan and founded SeiRogai.

What types of services does SeiRogai offer?

SeiRogai developed SeiRogaiTV, an online content distribution service.

SeiRogai provides one-stop support for companies and local governments in communicating and developing their businesses domestically and internationally. The company’s forte in Southeast Asia research and Cross-Cultural Communication comes from a combination of my previous experiences in the investment firm and overseas think tank company, complemented by Co-Founder Samuel Yuen’s hands-on expertise in Media Production and Filmmaking, refined through extensive international training and a wealth of diverse experiences. In addition to business consulting services, which include market research, support for overseas expansion strategies and overseas market development, as well as support for business start-ups, we have also launched an online content distribution service called ‘SeiRogaiTV, which contains the development and operation of a Digital Transformation (DX) platform utilizing cutting-edge technology for the provision of video streaming services. SeiRogaiTV is a platform that specializes in bringing Southeast Asian TV series and movies to Japanese audiences. This platform enables people around the world to immerse themselves in the cultures of various regions of Japan and Southeast Asia. In comparison with other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, the viewers can readily access a broad array of Southeast Asian TV series, and movies that are not available elsewhere. The platform also has a one-day streaming access plan, so feel free to give it a try. All the content available on SeiRogaiTV is carefully assessed and selected based on the probability and likelihood of popularity to viewers in Japan and overseas, all with subtitles in Japanese and English.

For example, the Thai series “Jawdropper”, which showcases travel destinations to lesser-known places in Thailand, is a popular show viewed over 14 million times in Southeast Asia, and SeiRogaiTV is the only platform available in Japan where you can watch it with Japanese subtitles. Moreover, SeiRogaiTV is currently the only streaming platform in Japan with all three seasons of the popular “Girls Love1” genre series “Yes or No” (Jellyfish no Koi, in Japanese) with Japanese subtitles.

In the future, we would also like to add Japanese movies and dramas to expand SeiRogaiTV’s catalogue. Japan has a strong presence in the media production scene, as evident in its anime2 and manga3. Currently, the regional culture of Japan is being promoted through anime and manga, and we are interested in bringing and sharing such content with the rest of the world. We are also looking into the possibility in the future for SeiRogai to develop its original creations, where we would film and showcase Japan’s local history, culture, festivities, etc. SeiRogai is well equipped to capture Japan’s charms and to convey such impressions in a fascinating way to captivate the world. Putting it simply, conveying a message goes beyond just adding subtitles corresponding to each country’s language, as the cultural background varies depending on the country where the message is communicated. We must be mindful of such differences and deliver the information in the most appropriate way suitable to those nuances. In the future, we also envision creating talk shows, documentaries, and other informational content that showcase not only the regional culture itself but the history and stories behind the companies responsible for the craftsmanship of the local products of such regions as well.

Promoting Japan’s Charm to the World

What are your recent endeavors?

In collaboration with Japan’s Government Cabinet Office and Nikkei, Inc.4, I played a role in supporting the production as program host.  During this engagement, I introduced the initiative ‘Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation. The Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation aims to achieve rural-urban integration and transformation through building digital infrastructure, developing and securing human resources with digital skills, implementing digital services to solve rural issues, and initiatives to leave no one behind. As the program’s host, we analyzed the ongoing social challenges Japan faces, particularly those related to regional revitalization issues, and explored the efforts undertaken towards such concerns. Moreover, I highlighted the benefits that digital platforms/services can bring to such local initiatives. Lastly, I presented the opportunities for venturing into overseas markets, particularly in Asia, as a result of regulatory relaxation, and emphasized how Digital Transformation (DX) technology plays a crucial role in improving regional well-being and reviving tourism destinations.

Ms. Rachel Leng as the host introducing the initiative “Vision for a Digital Graden City Nation” on Channel JAPAN.

To tighten our relations with Southeast Asia, we are currently collaborating with the Republic of Singapore. We recently produced a video commissioned by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), which premiered at an event in Tokyo. The video outlines the Singaporean Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Agency’s lines of actions supporting Singaporean businesses’ insertion into the Japanese market. Many Japanese and foreign companies attended the event, and the video attracted a great of deal exposure. If you are a Japanese company interested in doing business with Singapore but unsure of where to start, please get in touch with us. We not only have close ties with the Republic of Singapore but have established good relationships with local Singaporean companies, as well. We actively support Japanese companies’ expanding their business overseas. Additionally, SeiRogai is a certified JAPAN Brand Development Support Partner  and we are committed to assisting companies in their efforts to expand overseas.

What do you keep in mind when you do your job?

Since the founding of SeiRogai, we have strived to connect Japan and the world. With SeiRogaiTV, we aim to increase awareness and contribute to Japan’s regional revitalization, as this kind of information struggles to be conveyed to an international audience. Utilizing our distinctive SeiRogai Edutainment Method (3Es), which integrates ‘Entertainment’, ‘Education’, and ‘Engagement’, we produce videos that transmit the unique appeal of regions and companies into a single narrative (Entertainment), create content that is educational and enlightening to our viewers (Education), and promote social interaction with local communities (Engagement). We are committed to spreading Japan’s unique features to the world, so feel free to reach out to us for any inquiries.

Post-Interview Commentary

The writer from Minato Kumin News (Minato Citizen News), who interviewed Ms. Leng, shares:

“Ms. Leng has lived in different countries and she identifies Japan as the most challenging place to live in from a foreigner’s standpoint. This challenge primarily stems from the scarcity of media outlets disseminating information about Japanese culture and customs to foreigners. On the other hand, numerous local governments and companies remain disconnected to the rest of the world due to lack of information on how to effectively communicate with the international community. Ms. Leng sees this disconnect as a missed opportunity. For Ms. Leng, there is an inherent brilliance and uniqueness in Japanese culture that Japanese people consider ‘normal’, yet foreigners perceive as ‘special’ and ‘fascinating’. It is the time to bridge these gaps so we can connect Japan and the World.”

Contact Information

Name: SeiRogai, Inc.
EN Home Page: https://seirogai.com
JP Home Page:https://www.seirogai.jp/

  1. Girl Love (often abbreviated as “GL”) refers to a genre of media that focuses on romantic and/or emotional relationships between female characters. These films explore stories of relationships, and character dynamics, and often address themes related to love, friendship, and personal growth. ↩︎
  2. Anime refers to a style of animation that originated in Japan. It is characterized by colorful artwork, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. ↩︎
  3. Manga refers to a style of comic or graphic novel that originated in Japan. It is a form of entertainment that uses a combination of illustrations and text to tell a story. ↩︎
  4. Nikkei, Inc. is a Japanese media company with newspaper publishing at its core. It owns Nikkei Asia, Financial Times, The Nikkei, Chinese Nikkei, and Channel JAPAN. ↩︎

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