Board Member Profile- Pat Ryan

What do you do in Japan?

I am an Angel Investor, Mentor and Entrepreneur and am investing in early stage startups in the US, Japan and Ireland. Where I can, I am also supporting Irish startups and SME`s who wish to enter the Japanese market.


Tell us about your background?

After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cork RTC, I went straight to a small village in Iwate in Northern Japan where I worked for four years as a design Engineer for ALPS Electric designing thermal transfer colour printers. I then came back to Europe to ALPS Electric Ireland as part of the launch of these printers in Europe. Two years later, I started my own Technical Services business with ALPS as my first client doing after sales support and repair of these printers in Europe. I merged my business with another small startup in the year 2000 and the other three founders and I grew this business over the next fifteen years to be the largest Irish owned Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business with over two thousand employees serving Government, Utilities and Financial services clients across Ireland and the UK. In late 2015 we sold the business to private equity and after working for three more years, I finished up in 2018 and moved to Japan in 2019.


How did you come to join the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce?

I arrived in Japan in early 2019 and soon after, I joined the IJCC as a professional member. I know it is really important to have a good business support network when arriving in a new country as it makes it so much easier to settle in quickly, I went along to a regular IJCC networking event called “Third Thursday”, which is an informal business networking event usually held in one of the many Irish pubs in Tokyo and everyone was very welcoming and eager to introduce me to others. I was also impressed that there were many local Japanese involved as well.


What is your role in the IJCC?

In May of 2020, I was privileged to become a Director on the board of the IJCC. I am passionate about how much I had benefited from membership when I joined, so my role in the IJCC is to ensure that the IJCC focuses on providing existing and new members with a relevant and value added community experience that supports the growth and development of the members and their organisations.


What are you looking forward to over the next 12 months for Ireland Japan relations?

 I want Irish companies and their leadership teams to see Japan as a market for expansion and think about Japan in the same way as traditional international markets of the UK and the US. In a similar vein, I want Japanese people and business leaders to be more aware of Ireland as a gateway to Europe. I believe the IJCC community has many Japanese and Irish members who are passionate about Ireland Japan relations and can help make this happen.


What do you like most about Japan?

I like so much about Japan, the people, the food, the culture but I think the one thing that always amazes me is the senses of safety and security you feel no matter where you travel in Tokyo or Japan.


What is your favorite Irish / Japanese food?

My favourite Japanese food has to be Ramen with some Gyoza on the side and Irish stew and Bacon and Cabbage are tied for first place when it comes to traditional Irish food.


What is your favorite place to visit in Japan / Ireland?

 Gougane Barra in West Cork in Ireland and the mountains around Tokyo with views of a snowcapped Fuji san in the winter in Japan.


What is one thing that a lot of people don't know about you?

I was born in South Africa as my parents spent 6 years out there when my Dad was working there. I am also one of the worst Karaoke singers you will ever hear, but I try hard.