By Nisha Bista
Student – MBA Entrepreneurship
By the end of the trip, we learned and shared a lot about each other’s background, culture and context. I was also happy that we were able to successfully work in cross-cultural teams for the research topic.
It was our first morning in Japan and we were late by 3 minutes to get to the lobby of our hotel. We didn’t realize until Prof. Yokoyama told us. Flashback approaches in our mind of the very first time we met Prof. Yokoyama at the airport. (Curiously) she asked the very first question (culture driven question), “Your flight landed on 6:30 am and in my experience you all are supposed to be out by 7:00 am. How come you all are 15 min late?” Than we checked the watch for the first time with lots of exclamation marks “ARE WE?” That day we realized that we were in Japan.
We were there for the research exchange program (Urban Business in Japan). We were five students including me, Salina, Rashmi, Punit, Sibesh and our Professor Dr. Bharat Bhatta representing King’s College and Nepal. The whole week we were exposed to the Japan’s culture and their Japanese style of doing business. We were paired with five more students of Toyo Gakuen University who were representing their university as well as Japan and Sarah Sense (“Sense” – the term for “teacher” in Japanese), who took the facilitator role of all these sessions. Upon reaching to the university, we meet with President Dan. We had a brief introduction session, where we introduced ourselves and explained why we were there.
The program was divided into three distinct schedule. The first was academic sessions – that had icebreaking, the theme of urban business, Japanese language class and our presentation from King’s College. The second was off campus visits to Tokyo Stock Exchange, Kikkoman Corporation, student dinner, trip to Kawaguchi-Ko and several other famous places of Tokyo. The third was Guest Lectures- Japanese Social Entrepreneurs in Asia by Prof. Yokoyama, a case study of Nintendo in the computer game market by Prof. Ihara, Japanese Economy by Prof. Tanaka, Design Principles and Management by Prof. Goto.
By the end of the trip, we learned and shared a lot about each other’s background, culture and context. I was also happy that we were able to successfully work in cross-cultural teams for the research topic. The main aim was to explore the concept of urban business relating to both Nepal and Japan. Through all the sessions, we have been able to develop the marketing plan through which we can introduce the Nepalese product to the Japanese market and vice-versa.
I used to think I was punctual but this trip changed my mind. Japanese people’s punctuality was commendable to the level which we have never thought of. In Nepal we talk in terms of minutes but my Japanese friends taught me to think in terms of seconds. Tourism have lots of opportunities in Nepal. Seeing the hospitality of Japanese people I think we have lots of opportunities here to improve both on personal and professional level. It was also interesting to see how much time they spend on planning, which help them execute their plan well in short time and with less errors.