“I saw an opportunity to create Brazil's leading biometrics company.”
- Year selected
Founded in 2005 by Ismael Akiyama, Akiyama — now under the name Neoyama — is a fast-growing Brazilian biometrics company and the exclusive distributor for several of the leading Asian electronics’ component suppliers in Brazil. The main business line is developing biometrics solutions, technologies that incorporate automated methods of recognizing individuals based on physiological or behavioral characteristics.
Ismael Akiyama possesses a rare combination of technical expertise and business acumen. He grew up in Paraná, Brazil with his father, a protestant minister, and his mother, a stay-at-home mom. Ismael enrolled in a technical high school for electronics—the Federal Technological Education Center. During his last year of high school Ismael had a son and after graduation he decided to join a friend who was starting a small business focused on developing solutions for access control. In 1997, Ismael became one of the first three employees of what would grow to become one of the largest manufacturers of access control technologies in Brazil, HENRY Tecnologia. Over the course of 8 years at HENRY, Ismael was the right-hand-man to the CEO as Head of International Commerce and earned recognition from the Commercial Association of Paraná for his success in exporting HENRY’s products to international markets.
While managing HENRY’s relationships with international suppliers, Ismael recognized an opportunity to solve the problem Brazilian manufacturers had finding the parts they needed from Asian manufacturers. In 2005, Ismael left the comfort of HENRY’s established operations to start a Brazil based company distributing components- onboard modules, electronic systems- for Asian manufactured electronic products ranging from microwave to airplanes. Within two years their customer base grew from just HENRY to more than 100 private sector clients across Latin America. Working closely with his customers, Ismael expanded his distribution business to include components involved in the automation of both manufacturing processes and the products themselves. He launched this second business line in mid-2006 and by the end of 2007 Neoyama had grown to a successful company.
In the coming years, demand for security products will be strong in Brazil as the country works to address its considerable crime rate and becomes host to a number of global events including the World Cup and the Olympics. As the only local player in the markets in which they operate, Neoyama is exceptionally positioned to anticipate market demands; and win public sector business as most government contracts have clauses prioritizing domestic suppliers. The future of Neoyama looks very bright as the company is constantly innovating and creating a name for itself in this emerging market.
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