A new interview article for Mujinian voice series! Today we talked with Isamu, who joined Mujin after worked for a large Japanese company for 3 years.
Isamu, who speaks English, Japanese and Chinese, has an engineering background as well as a great business sense. He joined Mujin when it had only 30 members in 2017 and is now playing a key role as a manager of both PM (project manager) and sales departments.
ーー How did you choose your first company?
I was major in Fundamental Science and Engineering at Waseda University. I also studied in Ohio, US and Taiwan for a year each.
When I was looking for my first job, I had 3 core values: “to have lots of chances to work with people in many industries”, “to work on high responsibility job earlier” and “to be involved in building a foundation for overseas expansion”. I found Sumitomo Heavy Industries meeting all the 3 values, and decided to join.
ーー What was your responsibility?
I was a system engineer at the logistics system department. Based on the customers’ requests for new factories and logistics, I was designing them and preparing for the transport/ storage system. I got chances to work on factory start-up in China, and even new model develpment.
I really appreciate that I was able to realize all I’ve wanted there!
ーー Then, why did you move to Mujin?
I was pretty satisfied with the previous company as they let me work on big projects even I was still young. But one day I happened to know Mujin, and got shocked.
It was commonly thought that the picking process was too complicated for machines and only humans could handle it. I was surprised to hear that there was a company that successfully automated it. I got curious about Mujin’s technologies and innovations, and decided to talk to them.
The impression I got from Issei, CEO, was quick-witted, and always thinking ahead. There was no such person outstandingly smart around. “I would grow a lot if I would work beside him,” I felt, and decided to join Mujin.
ーー What was it like to work at Mujin?
Not only Issei, but there are many top talents at Mujin. Each person outshines at a particular field. So I feel I can continuously grow here.
With good vision and products, a company can gather quite good members to some extent. But the hardest part is to make them stay in the company. My impression is that top talents also join large companies, of course, but they won’t stay long.
Mujin has the great company vision, “Liberate humans from manual labor to make them focus on creativity, innovation, and making the world a better place,” and the products to realize this. Along with rapid company growth, we have to keep solving many challenging problems with the highest speed. So there is plenty of room to grow for each of us. That’s why many top talents gather here and stay here, I think. What top talents want is to work with top talents. Mujin has realized a great environment where top talents gather top talents.
Now our business foundation has been established to some extent, it has lowered the hurdle to join also for the experienced people who have their families. It’s great for both companies and current members that more and more excellent people gather here!
It’s been 3 years since I joined, but I feel as if 5-10 years already. The speed of the company growth is so fast that I couldn’t have imagined what I’m doing now a year ago.
ーー What have you done at Mujin?
I joined as a technical salesperson, and my original main responsibility was to propose robot automation solution for factories and logistic warehouses to customers. But I have done anything needed for the company. It was good experience to work on making promotion flyers or company website with Issei till late at night.
Selling robots is not our goal. We can provide our values to customers only after we make the robot functional as a solution. While I was working as a salesperson, I have also keenly felt the importance of “smooth implementation.” At that time, there were only 2 project managers and they were working as an expert separately. I thought it was necessary to systemize project management to improve the quality.
Then I talked to CEO and CTO, and explained how we needed to build a project management team and I was ready to take the responsibility. So I became not only a salesperson but also a manager of project management, and started to build the team. Now we have 9 members in the team.
I’ve just turned 30, but I wouldn’t have a member to lead yet if I were at the previous company. At Mujin, we are evaluated regardless of there age or experiences. It is very comfortable to be able to take jobs I think necessary by myself but not just to wait to be given. I have never thought only for sales because I joined as a salesperson, but have taken initiatives based on what is best for the company.
ーー What do you bear in your mind as a team leader?
A startup is not a stable environment. I feel pressure for the members who have determined and joined us. That’s why I am trying to make this environment beneficial for their growth all the time. Of course, it is not easy and I keep trying.
When people cannot feel their growth, they leave. So I think leaders have to grow even faster than other members.
Mujin’s strong dream and vision are our driving force, and the reason why top talents gather here. So while the company keeps growing, it is important for leaders to keep telling these to our team members.
ーー What do you want to achieve at Mujin?
By implementing cutting-edge systems all across Japan and the world, I want to make Mujin’s stories passed down over 100 years.
ーー Thank you, Isamu!