What was your experience in your home country, what are the reasons that encourage you to come to Japan, and what kind of experience did you have before joining the company?
After graduating from university in Malaysia, I worked in an audit firm in Malaysia, engaging in accounting audit mainly for multinational corporations for three years.
Since I had always wanted to try out the living in Japan, when offered a scholarship from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan back in 2012, I decided to give it a go and entered the Faculty of Business Administration at Kobe University Graduate School. I learned Japanese and pursue a Master in Business Management there for three years.
Why did you choose the company?
I joined proaxia Consulting in April 2015, and now is my sixth year in the company.
I visited a job fair for foreigners when I was in my first year of graduate school, and met proaxia Consulting, which was exhibiting there.
At that time, proaxia Consulting was relatively young compared to other exhibiting companies. During the company introduction session, I could feel the company’s enthusiasm in focusing on overseas expansion as a future company policy, so it would be nice if I could also participate in that future possibility and the growth of the company.
What made you finally decided to accept the job offer?
When I visited proaxia Consulting for an interview, I really liked the atmosphere of the office. To me, it feels different from the typical Japanese company, which I believe it would be a comfortable working environment.
From time to time, I got this question that wouldn’t it be difficult or a waste to work in a field which totally different from my previous job.
My answer to that is, although the positions and roles of auditing and consulting are different, the fundamental of providing value-added services to customers has not changed. Similar to audit, it is also necessary to understand the business processes of the customer when providing a system consulting; although the entry points and consideration are different, the ways of thinking and experience of the previous job are extremely useful for the current position.
What kind of projects have you actually been involved in since joining the company?
Since I had the knowledge of finance and accounting, so I was mainly in charge of the SAP finance module.
In my first project, as a PMO, I experienced a Japanese company SAP roll-out implementation to its base in Philippines. I stayed in the Philippines for about half a year throughout the project and was mainly in charge of coordinating with local people in English.
In addition, I had the opportunity to learn the FI-AA module in practice, which I am truly grateful to be involved in this project and being assigned the role.
Subsequently, I have participated mainly in overseas implementation project, such as Thailand, Indonesia, China and United States, as a finance module consultant.
What are the challenges and interesting experience you have had in your current job?
Since my portfolio are mainly in overseas implementation, it is the most interesting part to be able to acquire knowledge of local business practice and accounting standards in various countries. I enjoy to interact with people of various nationalities, from different background and have many opportunities for overseas business trips.
The hardest part was overcoming the language barrier when I started working in Japan.
I still think that the challenge is not only in communicating your thought, but also to be able to correctly understand the signals that the other person is trying to convey and to respond correctly.
While learning through daily conversations with customers, we try to confirm that there is no difference in mutual understanding by drawing or giving concrete examples when discussing important topics.
How do you feel about the working environment?
I emphasize on human relationships and communication with customers and project members, which in my personal opinion that this is the most important factor which could ensure project are smoothly carried out, and we can concentrate on our work without unnecessary stress and pressure.
Regular gatherings are also held in the company too, and our colleagues with the same hobbies are building up small clubs, creating a very comfortable atmosphere in proaxia.
How is your work-life balance?
Work-life balance has always been a challenge in my previous job. I manage to keep my mind refreshed by switching to private mode immediately after work in order to maintain a work-life balance.
I enjoy more on indoor activities, engaging in hobbies and chatting with friends during my private time.
Would it be a challenge to acquire new knowledge and qualifications while working?
I could acquire practical accounting and SAP knowledge throughout the engagement in project. For example, I am exposed to new technologies such as S/4 HANA Cloud in project currently, learnt at the beginning by operating with actual machines while referring to the materials.
What are your targets and future plan?
My target is to be able to play an active role in Southeast Asian countries expansion. I am looking forward to involve in more overseas expansion projects and acquire various knowledge of each country which I have yet to experience at the moment.
In addition, there are more areas in the finance module, such as central finance and consolidated accounting, that I have not experience yet. I would like to master the fields of finance and being a senior consultant to deliver value added services in a wide range of accounting operations to our customers.
In your opinion, how is the future of SAP industry?
S/4 HANA and S/4 HANA Cloud would be in the spotlight.
I am now participating in a S/4 HANA Cloud project. If the business design is not that unique or complicated that require add-on development, the functions of S/4 HANA Cloud is readily available as they are, so it is relatively simple and cost efficient for overseas subsidiary implementation.
If there is a lack of functionality or additional enhancements are required, additional development on SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) will be the mainstream.
Personally, I am quite looking forward for the market expansion of S/4 HANA Cloud in Southeast Asia onwards, so I would like to do my best to contribute to the overseas expansion business of proaxia Consulting.
How would you describe our company?
In short, I think it is a “comfortable company” to work at.
Immediately after joining proaxia Consulting, I was assigned to a project, learned and adapted to business manners in Japan by practicing on-site with members.