Ashok Ashta (Founder President)

Born in 1966, he grew up in Delhi before going to London, UK for his A' levels. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts, USA on a full scholarship graduating with a double major in Mathematics and Economics, with honors in the former. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.

After teaching English briefly in Nagoya, Japan, he joined Toyota Motor Corporation, where he set a company record by rising to Assistant Manager by the age of 30.

He started BUSINESS-INDIA/JAPAN in November 1999 to actively promote Indo-Japanese cultural and business relations. He also contributes articles on related matters to the national English press.

Ashok conceives and implements market growth strategies.

He guided Toyota's successful start-up in India, and Toyota achieved segment No. 1 market share.

Next at Hitachi, Ashok grew new markets in the Energy and Environment sector. Now at Minebea, a comprehensive precision components supplier to the automobile industry etc., he is developing strategy to grow the Indian market.

A former table-tennis player and rower, he now enjoys public speaking, golf, gym and meditation.


Hitomi Ashta (Current President)

Born in 1965, she grew up in Toyohashi where she completed her schooling at Jishukan High School. She went on to Aichi Shukutoku University to graduate in English.

A licensed teacher, she taught at Toyo Junior High School in Toyohashi before becoming busy with raising children.

She now works to promote Indo-Japanese business and cultural relations.

A former badminton player, she was also the captain of the University Choir.

She continues her interest in singing and is a member of the Choir Mayur in Delhi. She is also a black belt in the Japanese martial art of Shorinji Kempo.

She is a licensed teacher of the Japanese paper craft Origami, and has served as a judge in several competitions. Her trilingual books, ORIGAMI and MORE ORIGAMI, are available in local bookstores. She founded the international community club Origami Oritai, India in 2009.

Oritai can have two meanings in Japanese: ‘I want to fold’ and ‘a folding group’. (Oritai’s blog:

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