This Professionals series showcases talented experts who support PayPay Group’s operations.
In this issue, we sit down with Shun Takagi, who won the Best Manager Award at the PayPay Sales Awards 2022. We asked him about his reasons for joining PayPay and what he values most as a manager.
Sales Group, West Japan Sales Division
Shun spent two years backpacking before joining a leading internet service company. He has gained around 9 years’ experience working in credit card, electronic money, and code payment-related businesses and has played a major role in establishing a management team and sales offices during his career. He joined PayPay in February 2021. As Kyushu Block Support, he was in charge of supporting scanning installation at merchants before assuming the role of Manager at PayPay’s Okinawa Office.
Excellent environment that allows me to concentrate on selling
Why did you decide to join PayPay?
In my previous role, I was working in sales for a code payment service provider and competitor of PayPay’s when I found myself astonished by the momentum of PayPay’s growth despite being a latecomer to the market. I couldn’t help feeling envious of PayPay’s impressive promotional campaigns, their ability to provide services that reflect the trends, and the unbelievable speed of their developments. I was intrigued by what sort of sales strategy and organizational structure PayPay had that enabled them to grow so quickly, which led to my joining.
Since joining the company, have there been any differences which took you by surprise?
One thing is that roles and responsibilities are divided both vertically and horizontally, in a good way. At my previous job, I had many concurrent roles, which made it hard to focus purely on sales. There were many instances where I had to look into something as I follow up on customer inquiries. PayPay has a proper support structure in place which allows me to devote 100% of my resources to my core role. Added to this, PayPay has a dedicated sales page available on its in-house portal, allowing me to get information whenever and wherever I need to start selling.
I was also amazed at the systems PayPay has in place to support the development and motivation of human resources. After joining the company, you will first be provided with basic training such as lectures and role-play sessions, where you can build lateral connections with your peers from all around the country that joined at the same time as you. Even after receiving my allocation, there were opportunities to engage in some friendly rivalry with my colleagues across the country through the Newcomer Awards or Sales Awards that are run internally, which really helps fuel your motivation.
Focusing on our management challenges like attracting customers as well as the payment side of the business
Tell us about what you do at PayPay
The Naha Office is responsible for developing new business with individual stores in Okinawa Prefecture as well as pitching PayPay coupons and stamp cards to existing merchants. Our team is divided into three teams: a consulting team for existing merchants, a team for new business development, and a team that oversees business with local governments and municipalities etc. As Manager of Naha Office, I have to present our roadmap for each quarter, which includes information on how we are managing the office, human resource development, and KPIs.
For example, one challenge we face is that in comparison to other offices, the Naha Office is responsible for a larger number of small-scale merchants. In response, we decided to formulate a strategy based on the order of priorities that we had decided on. First, we would further strengthen our business with our leading customers to try and further boost the top segment of the customer pyramid. Secondly, we planned to share success cases laterally with our colleagues and try and build more business in the middle segment. In parallel with these, setting common goals at the Naha Office allows us to create an environment where we can always work as One Team.
What is the atmosphere like in your team?
In the recent Sales Awards 2022, many of the award winners were from the Naha Office , but actually many of them had joined the company without much sales experience. Their backgrounds are also quite varied, including system engineering, restaurant management, bank-affiliated credit card companies, and even the Self-Defense Forces. The one thing they have in common is their desire to help Okinawa prosper because of the love they have for this island. Many of our members find it rewarding to be able to make proposals not just for the payment features but also through PayPay coupons and stamp cards as a way of solving some of our business challenges. We have an established culture of helping each other out in this office and the communication is very lively.
How exactly do you communicate?
Usually, we are going directly to and from the customer location and our homes, but we make sure to have a morning meeting via Zoom every day. But we have a couple of chances each month to get together as a group. Every month on the last business day, we look back on our previous month’s progress and talk about what’s planned for the following month, giving us an excellent opportunity to communicate face-to-face.
We also have plenty of chances to get together and do team-building activities, such as going on trips, camping, snorkeling and so on. We frequently have BBQs where family members also participate! And since it is in Okinawa’s culture to build close relationships with one’s family, it feels like the Naha Office is one big family that extends to our members’ families.
A workplace where everyone plays a leading role
What do you value in your work?
The most important thing is having an open work environment. I try to communicate with each member individually to find out their characteristics and strong points and also respond to any of their concerns right away. From PayPay 5 Senses, for me its number 3: Ego is not welcome, Communication is necessary that stands out.
In fact, in my first three months as Manager of Naha Office, I spent that time focusing on understanding each of our members’ strengths while we were visiting customers together. Based on what I observed, I decided to set up study sessions where we could use the individual strengths of each of our members and have them take turns in facilitating the session. This initiative also put the spotlight on the quieter members of the team, which helped encourage everyone to have a go at presenting. We want to create a workplace where everyone plays a leading role, and no one gets left behind.
Another thing that I have continued to say since I arrived in this post is “continue to take on challenges”, an idea which corresponds to Number 5 of the PayPay Senses “Work for LIFE or Work for Rice”. We tell them to set challenges that only they can achieve. Actual examples of this include the televised commercials advertising PayPay coupons at local businesses. I tell our members that I want them to build up success stories that will nourish their future careers by having them try and grow businesses from their ideas.
Enjoy PayPay’s fast-paced environment!
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
As Manager, I want as many of my members to be able to boast about their accomplishments to their families and to be proud that they work for PayPay.
As for the Naha Office itself, our goal is to establish PayPay as the undisputed leader of electronic payment in Okinawa prefecture. Our aim is to continue spreading the deep red of the PayPay brand color across the prefecture, enhancing our customer base in the payment business as well as contributing to the revitalization of local areas so that the image of PayPay becomes synonymous with Okinawa.
Do you have a message for anyone thinking of joining the PayPay Sales team?
One big attraction of PayPay is that it’s a great place to grow. In terms of human resource development, we have access to contents that enable us to engage in sales from a more sophisticated angle, and work in a rich environment where members all over the country, from Hokkaido down to Okinawa, can inspire each other. Regardless of industry, we have the opportunity to negotiate with decision-makers, gaining valuable experience, and developing so fast that you find yourself sailing through milestones that would ordinarily take three years, in only six months to a year.
We would like to meet with people who have integrity – the foundation of the human experience – and someone who is always ready for a challenge.
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Special Thanks: Shun Takagi / Editor: Danata / Author: PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team / Photographer: Tak
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.