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INTERVIEW-8

Osamu Takanashi, Optical Transmission Business Development department

Q&A

Q1. What are your current roles and responsibilities?

My department's purpose is to develop Fuji Xerox's optical video transmission system business, which includes technologies such as optical HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)Note1 and optical DVI (Digital Visual Interface).Note2 Today, people are exposed to video in more and more situations during their everyday lives. For example, we see video playing in stores or showrooms, as well as digital signage, which is starting to take the place of billboards in places like train stations or city streets. Optical video transmission technology allows these kinds of video to be displayed accurately and at high quality.

My personal role in this department is technology sales and marketing.

Specifically, my job includes developing plans to expand our business, visiting customers, designing video systems, planning exhibitions, creating catalogs and promotional videos for our products, and planning and creating tools to promote sales, such as those showcasing case studies.

Q2. What do you keep in mind while at work?

One thing I keep in mind on a day-to-day basis is to make sure I express ideas in a way that is easy for others to understand. I try to organize my thoughts by asking myself, "If I had to sum everything up in a single sentence, or a single page, how would I say it?" I especially make an effort to phrase things clearly when I'm making a proposal to a customer.

However, sometimes I get discouraged when a customer proposal doesn't go as well as I'd hoped. When this happens, I try to stay positive, recognize the gap between the customer's expectations and my own, and keep trying different proposals in order to reduce that gap. This is the secret I use to keep myself from getting discouraged.

In my job, I'm committed to delivering results, taking action to get those results, and thinking on my feet. Delivering results is not an easy thing to achieve, but if you are able to do it, it becomes a starting point that can lead to many new developments, including new technological improvements or products, as well as new personal connections. Also, in order to work more productively, I plan my day by dividing it into segments and devoting each one to different types of tasks based on my state of mind during that time of day. I use the early morning as a time for thinking, the middle of the day as a time to talk with customers, and the end of the day as a time to get work done.

Q3. What do you think is the value of technology?

I think it's important to continually work to further improve technology. I'm currently working with a type of laser technology called VCSEL. Globally, there are a lot of other companies competing to develop this technology as well, both in Western and Asian countries.

However, unlike in sports, our opponents (or rival companies) aren't right in front of me where I can see them, so it's difficult to constantly keep a competitive mindset. Trying to think this way for too long can be exhausting, so I have to take breaks from it every once in a while.

My goal is to work hard together with my colleagues, sharing moments of success and failure with them, in order to remain in the global competition in the future.

Q4. What do you like to do to relax or relieve stress?

Because I am in charge of new business that no one else in the company has taken on before, the right answers aren't always obvious, and I often feel uncertain about how to proceed. When this happens, I meet with a group of colleagues who were in an R&D leadership training program that I participated in before, and we freely share our feelings of uncertainty with each other. Because we've been having these get-togethers for more than two years, we've developed a strong bond of mutual trust, and because we are all experts in different fields, we can learn new things from each other, so I feel like I can really count on them. Also, by putting my thoughts into words, I am better able to organize them. We plan these get-togethers ourselves, and we usually go drinking together afterward.

One Day - a day in my workweek

8:30 a.m. I prepare for a visit to a customer who made an inquiry at a previous exhibition. Before I go, I review the content of my proposal to make sure it can meet my objectives and lead to further opportunities.
9:30 a.m. I visit the customer's site. They tell me about their business challenges, and I start to think of new ways in which we could apply our technology.
11:00 a.m. I receive a request for a demonstration from a customer, so I work on reserving a conference room and the necessary equipment, then contact the customer to arrange a date for the demo.
12:00 p.m. I eat lunch. Sometimes I respond to customer inquiries while on the move.
1:00 p.m. I go to stand by during the shooting of a video explaining our optical HDMI products, which I have been planning for the past two months.
6:00 p.m. I write and submit a weekly report while outside the office. I check my schedule and action items for the next few days and go home.