Author: Junichiro Waide (CEO at Research Panel Asia Philippines Inc.)
With the remarkable developments in Asia, local and international investors have continuously set its eye on the region. In particular, Southeast Asia has shown the world immense development in the past few years. I am witnessing it first hand with our daily operations in the region.
For instance, many foreign countries have expressed their interest of expanding their business in Southeast Asian markets. However, some of them concede to the challenges of cultural differences. Struggle is indeed inevitable even before business goes into orbit.
My company, Research Panel Asia Inc, has not been spared from these struggles. Several years ago we settled one of our offices in the Philippines; it equipped and is still equipping me with the awareness and knowledge needed in making Online Market Research Team a success in South East Asia. This, I would like to share with you through 8 key points.
1. Never Give Up
Local rules or customs may work for you or against you, but it cannot halt your company’s growth. However, it is one of the most basic challenges you have to overcome.
You can collect all the know-hows about local culture, rules, customs, favorite color, favorite food and memorize them in one night but it can never be enough.
You have to live with it, and more importantly you have to learn how to deal with it.
Remember though that it cannot be done over one night. Just like any process this can take time from an hour or two to a year or two.
Just three words of advice: Never give up.
Even I have experienced difficulty at first. I’ve been into situations I have never experienced before.
Nevertheless, whenever I look back I see those instances necessary in able for our company to survive in the long run and succeed.
Never giving up in the face of adversity is a key factor in building a stronger organization. It is not an easy challenge but also not an impossible one.
2. Think and Act on Your Own
Imagine yourself lost in a country where your native language is not very much well understood.
Nobody will help you if you sit on a chair and think alone. So, you ask questions but sometimes not all answers are reliable.
In this instance, by which you cannot fully rely to other people, one has to take out their sword of independence and get ready for battle in their not so familiar battleground.
Interaction with other people is necessary but also the ability to think and work on your own is essential. In able to do that, you first have to discern your own strengths and more importantly use it, use it really well.
For example, in the process of operating business in a new country, it is imperative to actively meet with people working in various relevant industries.
Make every instance an opportunity to gather information and tips which could be vital in strategizing how you can lead your way to success.
3. Pursuit of the Essence
Now it’s you plus your members, together with all your individual and cultural differences. Beyond those differences however, what bind people from different walks of life is the collective pursuit of essence.
We identify not just what we need to do, but also why we need to.
Aligning personal needs with company needs presents both the members and the company in a win-win situation.
By fully identifying our core we can fully attend to the needs of clients.
Open communication with members constantly verifies the rationale for each work and to whom is it for.
We believe that knowing the reason behind our hard work gives us significant push.
4. Overwhelming Speed
There is an undying truth in all industries, competition is very high.
In a snap of a finger, the bar is raised to another level and we all have to keep up. Thus, every company aims to be innovative, the difference lies on how soon one can achieve it,
We recognize this necessity to find solutions to current issues and market demands in an overwhelming speed.
Our team is working really hard to seek all possible ways from various perspectives in able to be one of the key players in Online Market Research Industry.
5. Get Along with Colleagues
I personally believe this is the most important factor I listed here.
Since our company’s offices are established in four different countries with different time zones, it requires us some adjustments for us to fully communicate.
Our management team exerts significant effort to maintain constant communication with different teams in our company.
We also make sure that we let every member know that we are working together closely.
In our case in the Philippines, we treat each other as a family member in order to sustain a high level of performance of individual members.
We all give each other respect, and we share all success and failure with everyone.
This type of nature leads to an increase in information flow and a boost on the sense of responsibility for each member.
Furthermore, team members never fail to encourage me and I can never be more proud of every member in my company.
With these great people behind my back I firmly believe we are ready to compete globally.
6. Have Fun in Everything
Work can be stressful, but that does not mean it is no fun.
Fun and joy shared together unlocks the door for trust and understanding of each other.
With that in mind, we installed an in-house bar, conducted a recreation camp that will further heighten our teamwork.
These fun activities also offer opportunity to interact with members from small talks to even their takes on big decisions.
Offering a positive workplace brings positive energies in our daily operations.
7. Have Good Faith
It is worth reiterating the value of teamwork not just to build a positive workplace but also to provide efficient work.
For most cases, business strategy and decision-making process are openly communicated with members.
Communication lines are open for any idea to strengthen our company, may it be workflow inside our company’s premises or to our dedicated service to our clients.
We believe that honesty to yourself and transparency to members make things much easier in any given situation.
This is a key value clients can trust us with.
8. Dreams, Ambition, and Passions
We do have the big dream that has never blurred since its founding.
Our management always center it whenever we meet. As time goes by, the same ambition and passion are shared gradually to members.
We make sure to specify processes and actions, necessary to turn that dream into reality.
May these 8 key points be helpful to those who are planning to enter the region.
Furthermore, allow me to express my sincere thank you to Mr. Akshay Kanyal for giving me this honored opportunity. I hope you all the best in your future endeavours.
You can contact the author on Skype: junwaide
Editor’s Note: Research Panel Asia has headquarters in Tokyo with offices in Los Angeles, Seoul, Shanghai & Philippines. Established in 2009, Research Panel Asia is servicing market research clients globally with a robust panel base in Japan, China & South Korea. Their Japanese panel members are very responsive and highly recommendable!!