Masami KAWASAKIFounder & Representative Shimmerose Solutions
Think globally, work locally, and connect personally.
"What should I do to make my business global?" "How can I take my products overseas?"
Many business owners today must have asked these questions to themselves. Dealing with language differences is obviously a necessary step. But, what's more crucial is to understand the culture and customs of the country in which you conduct your business.
I started my career in a Japanese telecom giant NTT as a public relations specialist. Most of the time in the company, for about 20years, my job was to develop overseas markets, mainly in Europe and NorthAmerica, for the company's cellphone system. I lived and worked in more than twenty cities around the world including New York, London, Dublin, Paris, Vienna, Oslo, Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai, among others, and partnered with numerous companies in more than a dozen nations, and what I learned is how deeply the culture and customs of the country affects business practice in each area.
Later, I joined Huawei Technologies, one of the world top ICT makers that is headquartered in Shenzen, China. As a PR/CSR director for the company, my responsibilities included overseeing the external relations and the corporate social responsibility of its Japanese subsidiary, as well as designing the company's global communication strategy in collaboration with other subsidiaries in 72 nations and territories worldwide.This experience made me further realize the importance of communication skills backed by a deep understanding of local culture and customs. In order to be truly global, you must know how to be local. With this realization, I founded my business unit, "Shimmerose Solutions".
Each culture has its own rules and customs. Through more than 20 years of my experience in the telecom and ICT industry in a number of countries, I've dealt with not only local businesses,but also governments and other public institutions. I often found myself in need of help from the local insiders who could navigate me through the local system. Fortunately, I've met so many great people in each country and was able to build a network of these capable and reliable business associates in many parts of the world. This is one of the greatest asset I have for my business.
During my time as a company employee, I've also met a number of ambitious entrepreneurs who were building start-ups that seemed to have great global potential. It was frustrating for me to see them struggling to go global because of their lack of knowledge about the culture of their targeted market and about how to bridge the gap between two different cultures. No matter how a great skill they have and how innovative the products they create, without knowing how to reach the market, their potential would fail to materialize. This is especially a problem in my home country, Japan.
Living in an exceptionally homogeneous society, the Japanese have been traditionally hesitant to accept cultural diversity. Lacking personal experience and imagination, many business owners in Japan, despite their generally high skills, have difficulty to go outside of their comfort zone. This can be said not only about developing overseas market, but also about growing their domestic market. Diversity is not a concept that applies only to a situation in which you take your business overseas. Taking a different approach or a fresh view to an old problem is one of the most basic strategies in business. Embracing a diversity of opinion is always a key to a productive organization. My experience in highly diversified business cultures taught me how to use the power of diversity to grow my business. Now I can show you how to use it to grow your business.
My goal is to provide my skill and network to enlarge your perspective, to help you find new value in your business, and thus to make your company sustainably profitable. Although I'm proud of what I've done in business in the past, I am more excited than ever about what is ahead of me now. Shimmerose Solutions is a dot that I marked on the chart of my future. I'll be honored if you let me do the same on the chart of your future.
Wishing to become a shimmering light to gently illuminate the future of my clients, my community, and my country, I chose the first part of my company's name. Intermediating between red and white, "rose" can be associated with a wide range of color variations from reddish pink to pinkish white, thus represents "diversity." Anticipating the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan will have to embrace diversity much more than it does now. I hope to serve as a guide through a process that may not be easy for many people but will definitely be rewarding for everyone in the end.
Born and raised in Yokohama, I've always been conscious of the world beyond my own. I attended a high school established by three American missionary women in the mid-19th century. My university is one of the first that accepted international students in Japan. Just out of college, I joined NTT, the Japan's largest telecommunication company and was assigned to a job in the newly established section that developed the international roaming system for cell phones. It was the dawn of mobile phones and an exciting time for our business. I worked as a PR specialist, creating a marketing strategy, handling the company's relations with media, and participating in overall business planning for the company for more than 20 years in multiple overseas locations including New York, Taipei and the others.
In 2012, I left NTT and joined Huawei Technologies, one of the world top ICT makers* headquartered in Shenzen, China, and worked as a PR director of Japanese subsidiary and also managed the corporate policy for public relations and CSR working with the company's other subsidiaries. Internally, as top PR director among 70 nation subsidiary of the company, I received "Gold Medal Individual of PAC (Public Affairs Communication) of the year" appraised in 2014. In a following year 2015, I left Huawei and launched my own consulting business, Shimmerose Solutions, and set up the office in the space provided by F-SUS (Female Start Up Support) that is a part of IDEC, Yokohama Industrial Development Corporation. In April 2016, I was assigned as a member for some strategy commitees governed by Policy Bureau, Kanagawa Prefecture Japan, to be served till March 2018.
* Ranked as top 100 of the Best Global Brand by Interbrand in 2014