“Reinventing made in Japan” Shu is driven by the sole mission to achieve this dream as a director of Singapore subsidiary of a Japanese beauty company MTG. MTG PACIFIC was founded in Singapore in 2014 after his proposal to the company CEO to set up the subsidiary in Singapore. With a very small team of four, MTG PACIFIC continues to grow in the market by achieving an annual growth rate of more than 200% in the past two years.
Having lived in 3 different countries (United States of America, Japan and Australia), Shu had always been interested in studying the behavioural and perceptual differences based on culture and ethnicity. This had led him to be extremely interested in studying global marketing. After graduating from Macquarie University in Australia with an honours degree, he decided to go to Japan to find a job for the sole purpose of achieving his goal. “What drives me is seeing and experiencing how Japanese brands are starting to lose their once earnt reputation and popularity”. Starting out as a passionate individual, Shu was motivated to use all of his experiences and skills to help Japanese brands regain their status in the global market.
By fate or miracle, he met MTG not long after his quest. ‘Reinventing made in Japan’, he sees the mission of the company and immediately resonated. MTG was a company motivated to source and find innovative technologies that are buried in Japan and to adopt them to attractive products to make consumers’ life better through beauty and wellness. It did not take long for him to decide to join this company. “One shine, we shine, all shine” is the philosophy of the company, representing the power of individual and how working hard to pursue your goal can give inspiration to others around you, and eventually contributing to bigger power than just yourself. Shu, being part of MTG, is motivated to excel in his career, believing this will contribute to the company’s growth, and in the bigger picture, contribute to the beauty industry and ultimately shining lights on Japan itself. This philosophy is what bonds his team in Singapore today.
After 6 months in the job and earning the ‘best performing new employee of the year’, he made a proposal to the founder president to setup a subsidiary in Singapore, which was accepted on the spot and he was assigned the position of a director. “I was 23 when I set up my company, you can do it too” Shu became the director of business in 2014 at the age of 23 with the founder president giving him reassurance and confidence.
MTG PACIFIC was founded in Singapore in April 2014 with a team of 3. However, against the initially anticipated success, he soon found out that managing business in Singapore was not so easy. MTG’s beauty brand ReFa had already established a strong position at the time of entry. This made business negotiations easier for Shu and the company revenue grew at a rapid speed giving him the illusion of success. However, what he failed to see was that he was no longer an executive but a business director. The first and the biggest challenge struck him after two months of operation when both two founding members resigned from the company. Given his lack of experience, Shu had initially been focused on improving his skills and expertise as an individual and earned the respect he thought he needed as the director. Moreover, high sales target had taken up most of his time and effort, leaving him no room to look after the team. Despite the company’s growth in sales, his subordinates felt there was no growth for them as he did all the work himself and gave no opportunities for his workers. After two months of operation, Shu became the business director of what seemed like a team of one.
Following this, Shu realized that motivation comes from challenges. He recalled back the time he was given the opportunity to become the business director. He realized that he was not asked to magically become the expert in managing business, but he was simply asked to grow. Shu believed that providing opportunities to challenge is a reflection of trust, that the boss is ready to take full responsibility even if the workers are not successful in handling projects.
“We have a formula to maximize employees’ performance. It is determined by Skill X Motivation X perspective” This is a formula strongly recognized by all the employees of MTG. The secret to this formula is that it is a multiplication instead of addition, and that the perspective could be either positive or negative.If someone has excellent experience and skills, and that he is also extremely passionate, you would expect this employee to be ideal. But what if he is able perform his roles and responsibilities well but constantly complaining about the job. He would influence colleague in a negative way; and this is simply a negative performance. On the other hand, if someone is motivated and has a positive perspective, he can multiply his potential even if his experience may be lacking. He may bring miracles to the company and inspire his colleague to do the same. To improve the performance as a team, Shu believes that the most important thing is perspective. “Of course, skills and experiences are important too but what matters more is that the company is willing to invest in employees’ growth, and in return the employees are happy to invest their time for their growth in your company. I try to make this company a growth platform”.
MTG now has a team of four, who has been with the company for two years now. With a positive mind-set, MTG PACIFIC has achieved a number of miracles in the past two years from obtaining the permanent sales counter at Takashimaya, penetration within Sephora, building partnership with number one fitness retailer AIBI to expanding its regional distribution to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia.
Now the vision of the team is to create a new category of beauty. “The beauty market is such a gigantic market, with half the population constantly buying products. However, the market has been saturated for a long time and we see the same category of products everywhere. Skincare, colour cosmetics, fragrances and hair care make up the industry and what we are trying to achieve is to revolutionize the industry and create a new category through our innovative beauty tech gears”.
What is waiting ahead for MTG PACIFIC is the plan to grow more than 30% YoY in the next five years. According to Shu, MTG PACIFIC is planning a launch of very big brand for the end of 2017. Through the project, Shu and his team aspires to revolutionize the industry in Singapore. What the market can expect from MTG PACIFIC in the near future is to see the new beauty innovations that will change the way beauty is taken care of.