This feature article series involves PayPay employees giving their honest opinion on why they joined, and the surprises encountered after joining. This time, we sat down with Eiko Ikegami from Enterprise Sales!
I’m on the team that makes pitches to online-only merchants and coordinates inter-group projects such as with Yahoo and SoftBank. I look after merchants in the e-book trade and projects involving SoftBank, which includes proposing campaigns to merchants I’m assigned, as well as encouraging businesses who have yet to adopt PayPay to use our services. In the recent past, I was involved in proposing and facilitating a campaign dedicated to a single merchant.
As for group company related projects, I get involved in the coordination required to implement PayPay in new services and assist in group-wide initiatives.
From where & why did you join PayPay?
After graduating university, I worked in sales for three years at a printing company.
There was no handover of accounts after joining, which meant I had to build up a client base of my own from scratch. So, I focused on acquiring new ones in the beginning, which gradually expanded into looking after existing accounts.
Even though we had our own factories with printing machines and peripheral tools, we had no particular product to sell, so my job was to find out what issues our clients were facing and sell a solution suited to the problem.
Most of the contacts I spoke with were from PR or sales promotion teams, and in discussing different topics with them that were even non-work related, I started to see the many issues and concerns they were dealing with. In the end, I decided to change jobs so that I was in a position to reach out to a wider range of people and help them make their everyday life just that little bit more positive, and through that grow personally as well.
I chose to join PayPay because the population to whom I could deliver something “positive” to would be immense given the number of users and merchants.
What surprised you after joining PayPay?
Firstly, it was a big surprise finding myself – just hired – with the chance to make a pitch to a major merchant! As I mentioned earlier, I started with zero accounts in my previous job. Compared to that, all sales reps in PayPay have an equal chance to maneuver projects impacting tens of thousands of users, which I think is a privilege.
Relationship with management
Another surprise was how down to earth management is. Senior managers and division heads always make a point of keeping their doors open to anyone, and whenever I ask for their presence in a meeting, they don’t hesitate to make decisions on the spot. I have nothing but appreciation for my direct supervisor in the way he takes my merchant or any other that a team member looks after as serious as he would his own account to help put a pitch together. And it’s thrilling that we can come together as one team in that way to take on the targets we’re assigned! (laughs)
Fully remote work environment
I was amazed that it’s possible to get everything done with just a computer, compared to putting the legwork in and physically getting around to as many clients as possible as I did in my previous job. Communicating online required some figuring out at first, but just like the advice from a senior team member who also joined PayPay from a different industry, I soon found there were various things I could do to get the job done quite efficiently. Nearly all client meetings I have today are on Zoom.
I was a little anxious when joining PayPay that by working remotely I would miss out on the chit-chat with clients that comes with meeting them in person, but this ended up being a mere preconception easily removable by becoming creative.
What you pitch takes shape
On the contrary, I daily feel the expanse of unpaved ground within the company, in the wake of the tremendously fast growth the business is going through.
Many things are unprecedented, and we need to hack our way through the undergrowth. Coordinating things amongst group companies can be hard too, not just within PayPay. On the upside, this means that my ideas and proposals are often adopted as-is and become actual campaigns or plans. This can be very gratifying when it’s launched or when I see from the results that it’s being used by many users. It can be hard with online-only merchants to gauge whether the users are satisfied, but data analytics and posts on SNS have revealed many a delighted user, which is a nice morale-boost!
Are you happy having joined PayPay?
Yes, without a doubt! You obviously need to know PayPay inside-out to sell it to merchants, but at the same time, you need to know marketing, technology, advertising, making creatives, etcetera, etcetera. If you think that’s all, you’re in for a surprise like I was because you also need to know your merchants and what’s going on in the wider industry. (laughs)
I do think, though, that the opportunity to pick up knowledge across such a variety of areas is unique to PayPay, because it offers multiple services built on top of its core “payment” feature. Having the chance to encounter top players from different industries and learning about different sectors is very fun.
Another positive aspect is that everyone in the department I was first assigned to, and the department I’m a member of now are so nice. We get on so well and I love them all. We get together – online – for a drink then and again too!
Since joining PayPay, I am reminded every day of the fact that I’m able to get my job done thanks to the help of all the people around me. They are quick to lend a hand when necessary, thanks to which, I was able to learn most things about my job even though I started in a fully-remote work environment. We see each other every day and even though it is through a screen, it’s obvious that management keeps good track of how everyone is, so there’s a sense of safety. My direct supervisor, in particular, makes time to chat on a daily basis which helps a lot to solve any day-to-day questions and concerns.
There’s still a lot I need to learn, and I feel obliged to the people I always turn to for a hand, but I will be doing all that I can to start repaying some of that generosity.