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[NTQ Rubik] Viet Nam Through the Lens of a Japanese Technology Expert

Considered to be calm and quite quiet, Mr. Fujiwara Shinya is always present when the "juniors" need him.

In April 2023, Mr. Fujiwara joined NTQ Consulting Japan (NCJ) as the General Manager of the System Services Department, at the request of Mr. Ishikawa, the CEO of NCJ. The shift from an onshore to offshore working model has brought new challenges and development opportunities, as well as rich and unique experiences with the Vietnamese team.

Hello, could you tell us about your current job at NTQ Consulting Japan?

I am currently responsible for managing the online phone stores of one of Japan's top telecommunications companies. Interestingly, I worked on a similar project 10 years ago, also related to systems for retail phone stores. Unexpectedly, when I joined NCJ, I returned to this same job. It's an interesting cycle, but also full of novelty and challenges.

Is this job significantly different from what it was 10 years ago?

The goals and objectives of the system are still the same. However, my role and tasks have changed, and there have been a lot of advancements in technology and processes. This requires me to constantly update my knowledge and learn new things, rather than relying solely on past experiences.

It is known that you were invited by Mr. Ishikawa to work at NCJ right from the early days of the company's establishment. How did you feel at that time and what made you accept the invitation?

I don't remember my exact feelings at that time. However, when Mr. Ishikawa shared NCJ's vision with me, I was impressed by the clear direction that NCJ is both an offshore company and an independent, separate institution.

At the same time, there was a shift in job orientation, and Japan's population was decreasing and aging. Offshore jobs would create many new opportunities. Therefore, I decided to join NCJ and consider it a new step in my career.

What is it like working with a Vietnamese team?

What I find really interesting is working with my Vietnamese colleagues at NTQ Japan. The atmosphere in the office is always cheerful and comfortable, and the team spirit is high.

Moreover, the biggest difference compared to my previous jobs is the language of communication. Since the developers are Vietnamese, communication needs to be more flexible. We always have interpreter support to ensure that everyone understands the purpose and technical specifications.

How have you personally changed the way you work to coordinate the two sides effectively?

When there are time zone differences, cultural and language differences, I realize that I need to be much more proactive in communication and project management. This not only helps optimize work processes but also enhances mutual understanding and trust between team members.

First, I pay special attention to response speed. I understand that in a multicultural and multi-time zone working environment, responding quickly when developers in Vietnam encounter problems or need to exchange information is extremely important. This helps minimize delays in the project and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Second, I always prioritize written communication, such as via email or text message. This method not only helps avoid misunderstandings that may arise when talking back and forth due to language differences but also enables members to store and be able to use translation software to look up easily.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and points that need improvement of the Vietnamese team?

Your biggest advantage is that the young team should easily absorb new things, new knowledge, and quickly learn from the experiences of their predecessors.

At the same time, the exchange and working process can be adjusted to ensure effective two-way interaction. For example, reconfirming information. Many times, even if it's just a small mistake or an easy request, you often ignore it. In fact, confirming little by little will help a lot, limiting the two sides from missing out, lacking information, or not understanding each other correctly. Thus, the final result will be more complete, ensuring it meets customer expectations.

What advice would you give to young people pursuing a career in technology, given your 20+ years of experience in the field?

The technology industry is relatively broad and constantly changing. This requires you to learn a lot and explore a lot. Don't be afraid to try new things when you're young.

Once you have experience, you will be able to answer for yourself which field you are strongest in, which field you like the most, and then deepen it. The more experience you have, the more solid your knowledge base and relationships with people in the industry will be, and they will give you more insight.

Do you have any plans in the near future?

My goal is only to focus on NCJ.

Most recently, we want to have more core members join NCJ, increasing touchpoints from the search, recruitment, and interview stages to attract more capable members.

The further goal is to improve working processes and coordination between the Japanese and Vietnamese sides. At the same time, we will train and improve team capacity, not only in Japan but also in Vietnam in terms of professional knowledge, working skills, and thinking about standards and quality.

Thank you for your insight into your career and work at NTQ Consulting Japan.


*This article is part of the series: "NTQ Rubik - series about NTQ people across the globe." 

As a Global IT Service Provider, NTQ Solution aims to create a working environment that brings together diverse technological talents with a shared passion, ambition, and unity to innovate and propagate numerous values. At NTQ Solution, we empower our employees to "shine" by providing a diverse, free, and flexible space to hone their skills and conquer the global market.

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