Otsuka People Talk

September 2014

MR Team Leader

I'm here because the first two years were so tough. By being with that team, I got to learn an incredible number of ways to approach and handle assigned tasks.

After joining Otsuka, he worked as a medical representative (MR) in Tokyo, Fukuoka and other areas, before being appointed as a team leader. He became involved in team management when named a leader in 2010.

In collaboration with NHK Enterprises, Inc.

I chose Otsuka because its products are interesting

I was always interested in manufacturing and production, and when I was in high school, I felt the urge to make something that didn't yet exist in the world, so I studied industrial design in university.

When I was considering my employment options, I happened to read an Otsuka Pharmaceutical recruitment pamphlet. I found the products they were making to be quite, well, peculiar, and certainly interesting, so I decided to apply on a whim. Because I was in industrial design, many of the job openings were in things like steel, electricity, and mechanical industries, but these jobs were all about making essentially the same things such as automobiles or metals. Among such prospective employers, Otsuka alone was unique in making many different products. I found that intriguing. I also considered a couple of other pharmaceutical companies, but I don't remember them now. I imagine that their operations were within my expectations for the industry.

The job as a Leader-180-degree Transformation

After joining Otsuka in 1994, I worked as an MR in Fukuoka and Tokyo. In 2010, I was appointed as a team leader. I think that the roles of a team player and the team manager are diametrically opposed, it's a difference of 180 degrees. As a result, initially I found it challenging to make the right decisions.

I believe that the fundamentals of team-building are: results are everything; work is fun; and ultimately, it's about people. We always focus on getting results and I believe that it's my job to find the quickest approaches to getting those results. I'm now a team leader, so I think it's also my job to consider approaches for drawing out the personal best from each of our MRs.

The first two years

The first two years were really tough. I didn't understand my job at all, but I was assigned big clients anyway. I had to learn everything by trial and error, and although I would ask senior colleagues for advice and get their help, as you'd expect, it was a comedy of errors. For those first couple of years, it really felt as if I was working non-stop, and was one of the toughest times I'd ever endured. However, by working with that team, I got to learn an incredible number of ways to approach and handle assigned tasks, and because of that, while the first two years were really tough, that experience is certainly an asset now.

Working in many locations around Japan,
and seeing many intriguing talents

Starting from Fukuoka, I went to Tokyo, Kanazawa, and Kyoto. I'm now at my fifth branch. It's always been interesting wherever I go, because there are all sorts of people in our company. I don't know how it is in other companies so I can't make a comparison, but here we have an interesting cast of characters! People ask me, "What do you mean by interesting? What's interesting about them?" All I can say is that they're intriguing to see in action. I see a lot of people who make me think, "Oh, that's another way to approach it." Perhaps that is one of our company's strengths.

A company like a small family

I'm often asked, "Why are you so energetic?" I wonder myself! I don't really know, but, I think I'm strongly influenced by the interesting people around me, and the fact that every day is different. By enjoying those daily differences, I can enjoy my work and find enormous motivation by interacting with the people around me. Of course, there are also tough times too.

You could say that Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is really like a person. While it's important to get results, I don't think there is any single method or approach that works. After all, within those approaches, there are always people, and it's ultimately about people. It's the people that get results, and as a group of people, Otsuka is unique.