Friday, June 21, 2024

Epson’s first female country manager gets deployed in PH

Epson, a male-dominated company like most firms in Japan, has appointed its first female country manager, Masako Kusama, who is now running the tech giant’s Philippine office.

Epson Philippines Corp. president and director Masako Kusama

The Japanese executive was formally introduced as president and director of Epson Philippines Corp. during the company’s annual “Fusion” media event at the Marco Polo Hotel in Pasig City.

Asked how she felt being named as the first – and so far, only – female country manager in Epson’s global operations, Kusama said: “Actually, it’s quite natural for me after working as general manager of the business systems division of Epson in Japan.”

Her life is closely intertwined with the company, having been born in 1966 in Nagano, the birthplace and home base of Epson. Like most of her generation, Kusama has not worked for any other company aside from Epson, where she is now on her 33rd year as an employee. She said, however, that this Japanese tradition of working for only one company in their lifetime has started to change, especially during the pandemic.

It is in Epson where she also met her husband, who still works at the company’s Japanese headquarters. They have two adult children – a 21-year-old boy and 18-year-old girl – who are now located in different parts of Japan.

Having grown-up children also made it easier for her to take the post as country manager for the Philippines. “I immediately said yes when it was offered to me because I wanted to work overseas. It was also a very good time for me because my kids have left home to work,” she shared.

Kusama has a good grasp of the English language, having stayed in the US for a year after graduating from college in Osaka where she studied Danish literature.

“I love languages and wanted to learn something other than English. But I can no longer the speak Danish because it’s been over 30 years. It’s now difficult for me to remember the words,” she intimated.

So far, Kusama said she is relishing her stint at Epson’s local office, pointing out that her “colleagues are very warm”. She, however, would like automate or digitalize most of the manual processes still being done in the office.

As for her plans for the company, Kusama said she is aiming to expand the Epson’s local operations with a double-digit growth this year by focusing on the enterprise sector.

“I am looking at a double-digit growth for the company because the GDP growth of the Philippines is forecast to be at 6 to 7 percent. So, we have to grow more than that,” the lady executive said.

“In order to achieve that growth, we need expand our B2B (business-to-business) segment because we are already strong in B2C (business-to-consumer),” she added.

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