As Managing Director of R/GA Tokyo, Kei Shimada leads the direction of one of the most influential US companies in Japan, emphasizing the importance of new services that help businesses and brands create a more human future through product/service innovation and breakthrough communications. He’s been a pioneer at the heart of the intersection of creative, strategy, and technology for close to 25 years.
Kei has devoted his time to helping Japanese companies with their product and service strategies in expanding across borders and likewise guided International companies with their entry into Japan and was most recently the founder and leader at Digital Makers Lab of IBM Japan. At Digital Makers Lab he led a group of talented developers that fuse IBM digital assets with external innovative products to create new solutions with a focus on either a ‘worlds first’ ‘region first’ or an ‘industry first’ that uncover unforeseen but practical business opportunities 2 to 3 years in the future. His team's work has filed patents, been shortlisted for creative awards, and has been awarded the CES Innovation Award 2021.
Prior to IBM he was Global Innovation Director at Dentsu Inc., where he was responsible for initiating and leading a Dentsu Aegis group wide innovation initiative while creating new solutions around 10 core areas of innovative technologies including artificial intelligence, biometrics, drones, fintech, IoT, locational big data, robots, space, VR/AR and wearables. He has also worked with government ministries and municipal governments on crisis management infrastructures, going beyond the traditional advertising business to cultivate new and sustainable business opportunities.
He was also appointed Chief Lab Officer at Dentsu’s dX LAB where he was responsible for leading dentsu x innovation labs in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, China, bringing thought leadership to the teams as well as excavating physical / digital assets from other Dentsu / Dentsu Aegis locations and building new business models to help formulate sustainable business models in local markets.
Kei graduated from Tokyo’s prestigious Waseda University in 1996. He resides in Fujisawa with family and is an avid surfer, snowboarder, runner and BBQ’er. He is an active keynote speaker, having presented in over 40 countries. In addition, he is an official pitch mentor at Plug and Play Japan and an officially appointed evangelist by the Japanese Government for their homegrown GPS satellite called ‘Michibiki”.