Use English in a beautiful office on weekdays and play golf gracefully on weekends. A representative with a gorgeous image. But how busy are expatriates in the first place? I have been in Singapore for 3 years and I will answer such a question.
My company mainly focuses on business for companies (so-called B to B). Not as much as ramen to missiles, but they handle a wide variety of products. In Japan, they belong to one department and often handle products from that department. However, as the representative office of Southeastern horse mackerel, the Singapore branch must cover almost all products in one department (sales department).
Our Singapore branch has a small number of people, but Southeast Asia + India is the territory. In short, our mission is to “sell all products to these countries.”
Work content (weekday)
My main job is to develop new things. So-called market development. “Selling products that have never been sold to Southeast Asia” is such a job.
Of course, one product is not enough, and we have to explore the possibility of developing new products and services. There are many products that are new to me and I don’t know how to sell them. Meanwhile, the following is a brief summary of what we are doing every day.
There are many things I don't know about the products I handle for the first time. Just like a student, study how to use, industry, customers, strengths and weaknesses. Learn from scratch on the Internet, literature, and lectures from the person in charge at the head office. By the way, books are expensive and the lineup is small in Singapore, so I buy them all at once when I return to Japan temporarily. If you don't know what you are doing, you can't sell it, so we thoroughly identify the good and bad points. We will make a hypothesis by considering what kind of strengths we have and which industry we are likely to sell. It's a simple but very important process.
Once you have the knowledge of the product, the next step is to think about the customer. Decide on a target market while considering what you are having trouble with and whether those problems can be solved with our products. After specifying the target, carefully investigate using the Internet or a research company. As a result of the investigation, whether it is likely to become a business (whether the customer and us are likely to be happy), we will use both sensibility and theory to connect to the project. That's the work.
After the market research is over, think about the sales strategy in earnest. To put it simply, it is a task of thinking about "why," "what," "how much," and "how" to sell, and fleshing out with logic. Of course, it is not possible to make a perfect project from the beginning, so we will proceed through trial and error while dividing the phases ("idea stage", "maybe we can do it", "maybe we can do it", "may we make a full-scale project?" There are 4 stages).
After planning a plan, proceed with each phase. In the early stages, you can email, call, or dive into potential customers to get information, or send samples for the time being. In the middle and late stages, there are a lot of things to do such as making a full-scale business plan and presenting it to the head office and customers. Each phase is different, but I'm working on more than a dozen projects in parallel, and while working from home, I'm working all day with email, phone calls, web conferencing, and so on. India 🇮🇳 often corresponds to the night because of the time difference. When I noticed, it's already past the fixed time 😱 I'm sending such everyday.
Work content (weekend)
What are expatriates doing after regular hours and on holidays? Here's my example. In fact, expatriates often have some plans at night and on holidays. There are two main ones.
Attendance of business travelers from Japan
There were really many before Corona. Singapore has a time difference of only one hour from Japan, and because it is safe and can speak English, many people come on business trips. There are waves depending on the time of year, but on average I attended business travelers two to three times a week. Generally, the attendance flow is like this.
- Meet at the airport
- Wait while sending to the hotel and letting you check in
- Accompany the visit to the customer
- Meal at the restaurant
- Second party
- Send to hotel
- Go home
It's been gone for a few months due to the influence of the corona, but doing this several times a week is quite difficult 😅
A staple of expatriates, golf on holidays. Overseas, the community to which I belong becomes smaller. Golf is a representative of the means of communication. I still don’t know why 😌
Playing golf on holidays in Singapore is quite expensive (about 30,000 yen), so everyone often goes to Johor Bahru in Malaysia or Batam Island in Indonesia. The price is certainly cheaper, but it’s a day’s work to move.
Even if you leave early in the morning, you will come home at the earliest in the evening. For those who like golf, expatriate life is a paradise, but for those who don’t, it’s a pain.
By the way, I’ve been playing golf at work for almost 10 years, but I still don’t like it 😅
Expatriates are hard work! !
Of course, there will be some differences depending on the company and occupation, but basically the expatriates are busy. Of course, they are dispatched in anticipation of overseas expansion. On the other hand, it is also a fact that you can gain experience that is difficult to do in Japan, which can be said to be the real pleasure of expatriates. Expatriates are recommended for those who are physically fit and like to try new things without fear of failure ✌️