MEET OUR MEMBER: AZUMI UCHITANI!
by Tribes Inspiring Workplaces, on 15 Jun 2018
THIS WEEK WE’VE TRAVELLED TO THE ONE OF THE MOST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLACES IN THE NETHERLANDS!
This week we’ve travelled to the one of the most international business places in the Netherlands: The South Axis! We’re heading towards Tribes South Axis ITO during lunchtime, and the Gustav Mahlerplein square is packed with business men and women enjoying the sun.
We’re on our way to meet Azumi Uchitani, Deputy General Manager at Information Development, who works together with her colleague Yojiro Nishida, General Manager in an office on the seventh floor. Before we’ll take a look, we’re sitting down in the one and only X-Tribe room; to get to know all about Azumi. She starts to tell us about Information Development, a Japanese IT company, which she joined this year. Azumi has a background in IT and business management, but also a very interesting expertise in Japanese culture and arts, and that special knowledge she uses not only during her day job, but also in her Japanese Salon – private art salon where she curates exclusive exhibitions on Japanese art, antiques and design.
First, we want to know all about Information Development, and Azumi explains: ‘Information Development Co., Ltd is a one –stop IT service company, providing comprehensive IT solutions to financial institutions and leading Japanese companies since 1969. with its HQ in Tokyo and offices around the world. “Over 2000 colleagues are working on the other end of the world, spread over China, Singapore, Myanmar, the US, and now, we, two of us, are in Amsterdam. With our office here in Amsterdam, collaborating with trusted local IT companies and talents, we wish to extend our support for Japanese companies.
We can’t help imagining how global team meetings take place, and Azumi tells that it requires some flexibility in working hours.
Information Development offers knowledge, advice, system management and software development, based on best practices. They have systems engineers across Japan to deliver comprehensive services, from the data centre management, cyber security to custom software development, to clients in financial institutions, transport, energy and other sectors. Although the immense amount of expertise has gained a lot of trust from clients, some have stayed from the start of Information Development.
Information Development Amsterdam office was established just 2 years ago, initially for the market research, and to build partnership with local IT companies for the knowledge exchange and collaboration. We have succeeded that and now we are on our second phase to develop business.
As one of our activities, we have initiated regular meetups in Tribes called Digital Salon where we connect people and technology. The next one will be on 19 June with the topic on Machine Learning and AI and how it has been implemented in actual business.
Azumi has been actually working as an intercultural business consultant in IT and Financial services in Europe and also has been giving lectures and talks, such as TEDx on that subject. ‘I really enjoy studying about different cultures and people and combining the best of all and create dynamic team. ‘I’ve learned about many cultures I live. I’ve lived in Japan, UK, Ireland, France and now the Netherlands, and there are many differences. I started to learn and appreciate the differences, and I’ve noticed soon that that knowledge can be helpful when you’re doing business from another culture. We need to be flexible enough to be aware of the differences and create ability to think Out of the Box. I’ve also noticed that it was easier for those CEOs and board members to think of the box, when they were ‘out of the office’ and especially while they were enjoying and relaxed, for example with Japanese food or art, learning about the history philosophy more from their emotional side, instead of understanding with their only logical mind. That experience often help them to understand their counterparty better and achieve more in business. Art have been my life long love. In 2009, besides my consulting work, I founded Japanese Salon, and it has evolved to the current shape as a private gallery in Bussum.
She is active over the weekend to keep inspiring individuals through art exhibitions, salons and workshops on her signature calligraphy meditation and tea ceremony.
That makes us curious of course, because we love to learn more about other cultures (how could we not, since we’re working at the Tribes marketing department!), and Azumi shows some amazing images on her Instagram. ‘One of my other passions is working together: I work with other European dealers and collectors. I help them to add the historical stories behind the pieces with my native knowledge. I love to telling a story and share my native knowledge on the Japanese history, culture and rituals to those who visit the salon. I have open house every last Sunday of the month, and I am already looking forward to the next one’.
We’re wondering if Azumi considers herself a business nomad, and she agrees that she definitely is one. Not only travelling from Bussum to the South Axis every day, but she has also travel on business to other European cities. In addition, you could call here a digital nomad: ‘I travel to Japan two to three times a year to visit my family, but we call each other a lot. With modern technology it’s easy to see each other every day; you’ll only need to get used to the time differences’.
Azumi found Tribes thanks to a close friend: she was looking for a workplace in Amsterdam for the company and was considering some other locations. Her friend mentioned Tribes Amsterdam South Axis, and she decided to take a look. Her thoughts when she came to visit: ‘out of the box’, perfect lightning, great offices and meeting rooms. She moved in the beginning of this month and is really happy: ‘I like the other members, it’s really a community. I’ve been here for a few weeks only and met other members who are planning to travel to Japan and was happy to give some tips. It’s great of course to interact in this way. If you like to know more about our company or if you like to have some tips on Japan, come by at our office on the 7th floor of ITO Tower or send me a message to meet up for coffee, or a cup of Japanese tea!’
Azumi’s answer to our last question, are you happy to work at Tribes, makes us feel very proud: ‘it feels so comfortable, I sometimes forget the time and just forget to go home!’
Contact Azumi Uchitani via LinkedIn!