This Professionals series showcases talented experts who support PayPay’s operations. We interviewed Shigeru Chatani, Manager of the Strategy Planning Team in the Corporate Planning Department. We asked him about his current work as well as the appeal and job satisfaction that only PayPay can offer.
Strategy Planning Team, Corporate Planning Department, Corporate Planning Division
Corporate Planning Division, Corporate Planning Department
After graduating from university, he worked in accounting at a construction and real estate company. Then he moved to an accounting consulting firm and participated in projects addressing BPR and regulatory compliance. Later, he was involved in projects such as system development while working in corporate planning and accounting at a foreign-affiliated company. He joined PayPay in September 2021 and is currently involved in corporate strategy planning and other activities as the Manager of the Strategy Planning Team.
Corporate Planning Department to drive PayPay’s growth and connect to each department
First, please tell us about the structure of the Corporate Planning Division.
The Corporate Planning Division, to which I belong, is divided into two sections: the Management Planning Department, which is centered on the formulation of financial plans and performance management, and the Corporate Planning Department, which is focused on the KPI setting and planning/execution of business strategies to achieve the financial plans.
Furthermore, the Corporate Planning Department consists of three teams: the Planning Team composed of data analysts, the DX Planning Team to promote DX in corporate planning, and the Strategy Planning Team.
What kind of work does the Strategy Planning team do?
The Strategy Planning team is primarily responsible for projects on management issues such as finance and revenue management. Specifically, we are working with members of the Corporate Planning Department and the DX Planning Team on projects such as sophistication of profit management, building planning systems, formulating investment decision criteria, and establishing overseas technology bases.
The sophistication of revenue management is the task of designing KPIs and how to gather information. Our KPIs have changed throughout the course; the number of payments was a key theme at the time of the company’s founding, then gross merchandise value (GMV) and sales became our key targets, and now we are making efforts to be profitable in each of the three services (payment/merchant /financial). Our mission is to respond to that and build a system that can manage it.
Building a planning system is also an important part of our work. We use this system to break down our mid-to-long-term management plan for the next 5 to 10 years and set goals as to where we should be by when, and on what and how we need to focus. It takes a week or two to put down the numbers in detail, and then we have to coordinate with each department…it takes a long time to execute, and we can’t keep up with the speed of PayPay’s business. So we try to get the numbers into the system at the meeting so that we can align in a short time.
PayPay’s unique make-it-happen attitude
Tell us about your background and why you joined PayPay
I previously worked for a European brand with stable sales and a calm business environment, but I wanted to be in a more stimulating environment, which is why I switched careers.
Actually, I was only seeking FinTech companies while job-hunting. I wanted to work on something that can make a power shift within the huge existing forces while riding the waves of time. I was drawn to PayPay not only because it is larger than the companies I have worked for, but also because it is more diverse. I’m the type of person who likes to adapt to change, rather than just go through a routine, and if I could have been satisfied with repeating the same tasks, I probably wouldn’t have changed jobs in the first place.
Is there any differences from your previous job?
The nature of the work is the same, but things move so much faster, and the expectations are a lot higher at PayPay. I feel that things are achieved in a more fast-paced manner with a make-it-happen attitude. Take setting up meetings, for example. Instead of saying, “Well, maybe next week,” we try to meet as early as today or tomorrow.
As for the business management by service for payment/merchant/financial services that I mentioned earlier, we discussed it in February and changes were already implemented in April. It is truly incredible that a newly established company is rolling out one service after another while simultaneously and rapidly upgrading its administrative systems. I can’t believe that I’m part of that.
How do you feel about being involved in corporate planning in the new field of FinTech?
In FinTech, the relationship with regulatory authorities is extremely important. By observing the developments of the external environment, such the public discussions taking place, and by taking actions quickly, we can achieve things we have never imagined before. There is so much information out there that is difficult to keep up with. But PayPay is ahead of the game in this aspect too, and I hope to contribute in my own way.
What is the atmosphere like in your team?
In the corporate planning work, there is a lot of collaboration and coordination with other departments, but everyone is extremely talented and friendly. They all have both agility and perseverance.
Even when we bring new proposals to other departments, everyone has a neutral or rather proactive attitude instead of dragging their feet. I feel that general agreement with disagreement in details is less likely to occur, and it is easy to move things forward in this environment.
People understand our intentions and say, “Sure, we should do it if we’re aiming to have the No. 1 internal management system.” They also accept half-formed ideas to start off with, even when they are not yet in perfect shape.
We have office days twice a month in our department when the employees are encouraged to come and work in the office, so we can meet face-to-face, eat together, etc. We are a very close team. They are all smart people, but when you talk to them casually, they are surprisingly up for silly chit-chats.
Achieving the Highest Level of Internal Control in Japan
What do you value in your work?
One is flexibility. You should never assume that “This is the way it has to be.” Since this is a venture company that goes through rapid changes, I first try to accept whatever comes my way and then move spontaneously as needed.
The other is having a wide perspective. If we were to worry about the details of the issue, there would be no end to it and we would not be able to move forward, so we always try to take a step back and think about how to optimize the whole.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
In the short term, our current focus is on building the planning system. We have set a company-wide goal of having “the highest level of internal control system in Japan,” and we hope to achieve the highest standard in the sphere of business planning in the near future.
I used to be exhausted just setting target numbers, but if the system reduces the burden and speeds up the decision-making process, I will be able to focus my efforts on the specifics as to how we can achieve the target.
To use an analogy, we want to be able to change the course as fast as a supercar instead of slowly changing direction like steering a ship. By doing so, everyone can take further steps without any stress.
After that, I hope to make strategic recommendations from my daily observation of the numbers, such as creating company routines for high-speed PDCA cycles for medium-to long-term strategies.
Do you have a message for job seekers reading this article?
I personally feel that PayPay brings out the best of my abilities. The business itself is interesting, new things are happening every day, and the challenge never stops.
I believe that the next two to three years will be crucial for PayPay to establish a solid position as an indispensable service in our society. Now that we have established a user base of 53 million, we are in the phase of building it into a three-dimensional structure. If you join us now, I’m sure you’ll have an exciting time here at PayPay!
Current job openings
*The recruitment status is current at the time of the interview.
Special Thanks: Shigeru Chatani / Editor: Kaoru / Author: PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team / Photographer: Tak
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.