Introducing Altum, Altum career stories

In our ‘Introducing Altum’ -series, we’re introducing you to the people behind the scenes taking care of our different operations. This time we’ll get to know more about our Business Development Director Ryo: what tasks does his role entail, what are the joys and challenges in his job and what has he learned during his time at Altum?

What is your title?

Business Development Director

How long have you worked at Altum?

I’m just starting my fifth year at Altum.

What is your educational background?

I majored in Marketing, Policy Management and Languages in two different universities, one in Japan and one in Finland.

What made you want to work at Altum?

I sensed that Altum had the potential to become a real game changer in many industries, and this bigger picture was what originally attracted me to Altum.

What tasks does your role entail?

I am responsible for expanding our business in Japan and Asia, and work very closely with our local partner in Japan, NSE (Nippon Steel Engineering).  This collaboration is sometimes very business centric, but often also very technology oriented, and this requires a lot of both external and internal coordination between technology and business sides to make sure collaboration runs smoothly. My typical workday may involve a few hours of technical discussions with NSE, followed by a few hours of internal discussions on technical topics. While I am not inherently a technical person, my role has both encouraged and required me to learn about various technical topics to some extent, and I have enjoyed the experience.

What are your favorite things about your job?

I really like the feeling that I can make an impact on how Altum’s business and partnerships develop in the long run. Even though it’s a marathon and not a sprint, knowing there are possibilities for my work to bring in concrete results and positive developments for the company is rewarding, keeps me motivated and pushes me to do my best.

What are the most challenging things in your job?

The most challenging part is also one of the most interesting aspects, and that is working with a diverse group of stakeholders. Working with a wide range of people from different organizations, who all have their own specific ways of working and communicating is fun, but can sometimes be challenging, and communication or interpretation mishaps sometimes happen. Minimizing misunderstandings and miscommunication is very challenging, but again, working with people is super fun and I enjoy having this human touch in my daily work.

Is there something you have recently learned on the job?

I’ve learned many things throughout the years, but there’s one thing that comes to mind related to working with multiple different stakeholders in today’s digital environment. Although there are many digital tools that help in doing business and make work easier in many aspects, it’s also become clear that people prefer to discuss with real people and see who they’re working with; email and chat tools are helpful, but often the best relationships with partners or customers are built in face-to-face connection, whether it’s via video chat or in-person meetings. This “human touch” often makes many aspects of collaboration easier, such as answering questions about our technology. I am lucky to have people around me internally and externally, who share the same values.

Describe the Altum work community with 2 words?

 Versatile and transparent.

Would you like to share something funny or interesting that’s happened to you during a workday or while on a business trip?

Throughout my time at Altum, I have shocked my colleagues with the love I have for Japanese rice. During business trips to Japan with my Finnish colleagues, not only do I shock them with the amount of rice I intake during the trip, but  also with the struggles I am willing to go through in bringing back a s much rice as possible to Finland: I have many funny stories about these situations and my colleagues’ reactions.

Thank you Ryo for sharing your thoughts! 


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