About AZCA

AZCA, Inc., founded in 1985 by Masazumi ISHII, is a management consulting and investment banking firm that assists companies as they expand and diversify their businesses in Japan and other Asia-Pacific markets.

As a result of the increasingly interdependent global economy, many corporations are reassessing their direction and developing international strategies as key components of their long-term success. This may involve new venture launches, corporate or institutional investment, technology exchanges, corporate partnerships, and other synergistic business relationships.

AZCA serves as a catalyst – advising clients in the development of effective international strategies. More importantly, we play an active role through every step of the business development process to ensure and expedite their successful implementation.

Industry Experience

To date, AZCA has assisted both American and Asian companies in well over 300 engagements. Many of our clients are emerging, high growth companies in the areas of high-technology including electronics, information technology, environmental technology, and life sciences, among others.


AZCA works with selected professional firms as a partner to serve certain specific functions and industries.


AZCA’S Professional Staff

AZCA’s professional staff possesses extensive international backgrounds and direct experience working in the Asia Pacific countries. We are familiar with local business practices and customs in these countries, and maintain valuable professional relationships within the business infrastructure. Each consultant has a unique blend of corporate and venture business experience, coupled with a strong background in management and high technology. This experience added to their advanced degrees from leading universities in both the U.S. and Japan make their knowledge invaluable.

Management Team Members

Management Team

Managing Partner
Serdar UCKUN, Ph.D.
Robert Peter GALE, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon.), F.A.C.P.
Sunil MAULIK, Ph. D.
Managing Partner
Serdar UCKUN, Ph.D.
Robert Peter Gale, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon.), F.A.C.P.
Sunil MAULIK, Ph. D.


Corporate Development

Specializing in the Asia Pacific region, AZCA provides management consulting and investment banking services to clients worldwide. We enable our clients to keep pace with global dynamics through our expertise in conducting business and achieving results in the international marketplace. Our analytical techniques, together with our experience in the workings of each country’s business infrastructure, are instrumental to our clients’ success.

Digital transformation (DX) is the process of using digital technologies to create new business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.

DX is the comprehensive set of initiatives that enterprises must take in order to benefit from the efficiencies and benefits of Industry 4.0. It is expected that DX will generate over US$10 Trillion of added value over the next ten years.

The Japanese industry is lagging behind many other industrialized countries in DX and Industry 4.0 adoption. METI is concerned about a “2025 Digital Cliff” after which Japan may suffer an economic loss of up to 12 trillion yen per year due to failure to achieve DX. AZCA offers a comprehensive AZCA Digital Transformation (DX) Program for Japanese companies. The practice includes:

  • DX Readiness Assessment: Three-week study conducted on site and remotely, including a thorough assessment of company DX readiness status, prioritized recommendations, a full report including assessment of company DX readiness with respect to peers in the same industry, and a briefing of findings to senior management.
  • DX Strategy and Implementation: Customized 3-6 month long study to prepare a comprehensive DX plan and to implement initial steps for DX in the areas of Operations, Human Resources, Customer Relations, Supply Chain Relations, and Production.

IIoT refers to sensors, actuators, and other smart devices networked together with industrial control systems. Common IIoT applications include discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, energy management, and smart cities. The connectivity aspect of IIoT allows for large-scale data collection, data mining, and predictive analytics, resulting in productivity and efficiency improvements as well as other economic benefits.

IIoT is helping transform manufacturing and energy industries which have difficulties due to aging workforces and talent shortage. IIoT can transform traditional, linear manufacturing supply chains into dynamic, interconnected systems. IIoT improves the way products are manufactured and delivered to customers, increasing customer satisfaction, improving product quality, and reducing manufacturing costs.

AZCA’s IIoT Practice helps Japanese industrial partners navigate the complex and confusing world of IIoT. The practice includes:

  • IIoT Readiness Assessment: a two-week on-site study of company IT and OT systems and production processes designed to highlight areas of rapid improvement and to develop a long-term plan for IIoT integration into current practice
  • IIoT Consulting: Custom 3-6 month engagements to develop IIoT implementation roadmaps, to identify and foster IIoT technology and deployment partnerships, and to help companies deploy IIoT technologies across the enterprise

After flourishing as a largely academic endeavor for over forty years, AI has emerged as a household term during the last decade.
Advances in AI impact all aspects of business including supply chain management, customer relationships, product development, production, market research, and sales. Companies that use AI technologies effectively are more likely to complete their Digital Transformation and achieve productivity improvements, better customer satisfaction, and higher profits.
With its staff specializing in AI and related technology areas, AZCA is well suited to support corporate clients with their AI projects aimed at business transformation.

There are tremendous advances in life sciences including novel therapeutics, tissue engineering, implantable devices, smart prosthetics, and technologies to help the aging population live healthy and productive lives. With its strong Life Science practice, AZCA helps emerging life science companies outside Japan to establish lucrative markets in Japan, and helps Japanese life science companies source new technologies abroad that could lead to significant competitive advantage.
Recent AZCA engagements in life sciences include:

  • Business development for a novel therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative disorders in the US
  • Industry analysis and competitive strategy for ion channel drug discovery
  • Technology search in medical devices
  • Entry strategy in Digital Health

Environmental problems centered on climate variability are becoming more and more serious. AZCA supports business development utilizing elemental technologies including hardware and software for the realization of a recycling-oriented economy, innovative low-carbon technologies for materials, and the realization of smart communities.

  • Strategy in waste water management and water purification
  • Strategy for REDOX Flow battery system
  • Strategic partnership in fuel cell
  • Strategic partnership in transparent solar panel

The use of big data analytics and digital technologies such as blockchain is causing disruptive innovation in traditional financial products and services. AZCA supports clients in areas such as cryptocurrencies, investment / asset management / robo-advisors, and asset management optimization.

Emerging Technologies promise better products and higher revenues, but it might be difficult to differentiate truly revolutionary technologies from hype or science fiction. Examples include highly publicized technologies such as blockchain and quantum computing. With a staff well-versed in various emerging technologies, AZCA could be your partner in identifying companies and partners with effective, practical solutions and avoiding those whose products are not mature or simply deficient. Recent AZCA projects focusing on emerging technology areas include:

  • Blockchain
  • Cyber security
  • Quantum computing (hardware and software)
  • Autonomous car
  • Conversational voice AI
  • Innovative peptide synthesis
  • Intracellular drug discovery
  • Neuroscience


Experience in North America




AZCA, Inc. Headquarters
525 Middlefield Road, Suite 120
Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
Main: +1 (650) 324-9100
Teruyo WILSON (Office Manager)
Masa ISHII (Representative Managing Partner)

Boston Office

AZCA, Inc. Boston Office
45 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Main: +1 (650) 743-7192
Serdar UCKUN (Representative Partner)

Tokyo Office

AZCA, Inc. Tokyo Office
Ark Hills Executive Tower S601
1-14-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
Tel: +81 (0)50-3567-9100
Mariko TAKAYOSHI (Administration)
Fumi OKUMURA (Representative Partner)

Tel: +81 (80) 9031-7406 Direct

Affiliates: Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei